Cadence is the eldest grandchild of a wealthy grandfather. Every summer, her cousins, aunts, and grandparents vacation on the small island they own near Martha’s Vineyard. Cady recounts the summers spent with her oldest cousins, nicknamed The Liars. She tells of the constant currying of favor the aunts employ in gaining wealth from their father. When Cady is 15, some tragedy occurs that affects her memory and health causing severe migraines. Two years later she is back on the island and tries to remember the events of that messed up summer.
This is a departure from E. Lockhart’s fun, witty and popular chick lit teen novels. The reader must piece together the clues of the tragic event along with Cady. The story moves at a slow but deliberate pace. I grew a tad impatient and rather ticked off at the poor little rich girl mentality and also the aunts who can’t support themselves. The grandfather is painted as something of a villain in maintaining tight control over his family. However, I liked the grandfather, except for how he treated Gat, but understood his frustration with his groveling daughters. If the aunts do not like their father’s power in their lives, they should have made their own way in the world. They had the best education and every privilege. Sorry – no sympathy from this reader. Could be that is what the author wanted. I am sorry for Cady, but the whiny ‘poor me’ and the life of privilege wears thin.
Stunner of an ending? Yes! Thought provoking? Yes – weeks after finishing the book I am still thinking about it. And in a way, it is a welcome relief not to like a main character. Not everyone who has a story to tell is likeable. Can Cady redeem herself and grow? Most likely and that is what I am left with.
Netgalley review Publication date 5.13.14