Friday, December 26, 2008
What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell
How much do we owe our family and those we love?
It’s 1947, the war is over, and 15-year-old Evie’s stepfather, Joe, has come home. He decides, suddenly, to take his family to Florida for a vacation and it’s there that they run into Peter, who served with Joe in the war. He asks her to dance, takes her out, kisses her, and Evie falls for Peter, ignoring the fact that he’s older, that Joe doesn’t seem to like him, and that he’s so mysterious. There’s a storm, a boating accident, and Evie’s life starts to unravel, revealing all the lies, forcing her to pick sides, to choose between her allegiances to her parents and the man she has come to love.
With a very noir feel, this coming of age story has everything—style, secrets, betrayal, theft, first love, blackmail, racism, adultery, a perfume called My Sin, and yes, murder. Very visual, you can almost see this as a film — think LA Confidential. Now I see why this won the National Book Award.
And, by the way, did you know that Blundell also writes Star Wars novelizations?
PS I'll be away for a few days so want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy new year.