2011: 56. What I Saw and How I Lied

“The match snapped, then sizzled and I woke up fast.”

What I Saw and How I Lied, Judy Blundell

This young adult novel won the National Book Award, and deserved it.  It’s a hell of a story - a book that manages to be noir, historical fiction, a rumination on post World War II America, and still a good story with believable characters - not to mention a pretty good coming of age story.  It’s a quite an accomplishment on Blundell’s part, to make all that work and she deserves all the kudos she got.  

Evie is a young girl living in New York.  When her stepfather returns from the war, he’s different - jumpy and moody, despite his post war success, and one day he decides on a whim to drag Evie and her beautiful mother down to Florida on a extended vacation.  There Evie finds that nothing is what it seems, and somehow she needs to figure out the truth from the lies (all while dealing with her first love).  That’s the bald outline of the plot, but I’m not quite properly capturing the tone - the way that everything is shaded by the lies and untruths, and the way that Evie learns how to figure out her own way of being true in a world of lies.  Just a gem of a read.

Categories:  Fiction, Young Adult

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017