“Family of Liars” The Truth Untold


Sloane Contrino, Staff Writer

“Never take no for an answer,” has long been a family motto, but will Carrie Sinclair get what she wants this time? Approval from her parents, beauty like the rest of the family, and answers- but even in her possession, what she wants may not be what the eldest Sinclair daughter needs. 

Lockhart has, I assure you, done it again, with her latest fictional release, Family of Liars. Habitually, she’s left readers floored by the dazzle of her generational talent, and her stories’ unique breed of artistry, mixed with harsh realism and supplements of dialogue with elements of poems and fantasy. “Family of Liars” is a prequel to Lockart’s 2014 We Were Liars, and the author’s latest feat takes one to the same Beechwood Island setting circa, the summer of 1987, where strife on the island rejuvenates a spark in her loyal readers.

The book starts off slow, as sister-story We Were Liars did. Despite a seemingly perfect appearance, the Sinclair family is no stranger to the obscure, and no exception to the dark and the tainted. On a tiny, remote private island off the coast of Massachusetts (Think Martha’s Vineyard), the girls are pretty, and boys are strong. Scandals are swept out to sea as sweet nothings are told beneath the sound of the waves and the crashing Atlantic. A Family of Liars, the Sinclairs are indeed. 

Some less than pleased with the controversial ending to the previous We Were Liars may take a change in stance (no spoilers, I promise) by the end of Lockhart’s latest. Still sobered by sadness, and then a familiar disquietude, I found this story’s ending to be, despite similar emotions experienced in both, more satisfying than that of its precedent. In Family of Liars, the elegant disasters that ensue in the depths of family power, money, and all its grand messes, resurface as time rolls in with high tide. With everything that is known at stake, 17-year-old Carrie Sinclair, narrator and protagonist, does all she can to keep her head above the breaking surface. Readers will feel, through authentic twenty-first century writing, her drowning beneath a sparkling sea. 

Of course, elusivity is all part of Lockhart’s well-known charm as a writer. My fingers gripped tightly, desperately, wishing for it never to end. My efforts proved to be vain. Raptured by fiction, held hostage by spikes of anticipation, the pages kept turning, and obediently, I obliged. 

Young, foolish love, time-old, dirty maneuvers, and the wisdom of mother nature herself leave the Sinclair family spinning. The nostalgia of quaint New England summers, tear-streaked and torn, makes for a hell of an escape. 

On all other accounts, I am a firm supporter and avid believer in the local library system. However, I have never been happier to cherish a purchased book as my own possession as I am to own this masterpiece. Like the four by five miniature edition of We Were Liars that is kept squarely on my bedside table, the contents of Family of Liars will stay with me forever. Read it, and you will never return.

Once you’ve traveled to Beechwood through E. Lockhart’s brilliant mind, here’s a few more suggestions for reading on Cape this summer.

End with Us

Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover explores the many faces of love, including some dark sides. In the riveting novel, Hoover follows protagonist Lily Bloom’s life, stemming from the trauma induced as a child, and the growth from there on. Leaving behind her first love, she chases her dream of starting a business in the city of Boston, where she finds a new love. Dramatic twists will leave you tearful, and the storytelling will keep your pages turning. – Ava Lubash 

Where the Crawdads sings 

The novel Where the Crawdads Sings tells the story of a young girl (Kya) whose troubled family life has left her to survive on her own in the marshlands of North Carolina. Suspense builds throughout the story as she explores love interests as her uniqueness shines through about her unmatched knowledge of nature. This book in enticing, beautifully written, and puts you on the edge of your seat as the plot unwravels to reveal Kya’s involvement in a murder trial. The movie Where the Crawdads Sings hits the theaters July 15, so don’t waste any time reading the book first. – Carly Steenstra 


If you are looking for a book with depth, mystery, and emotion, the book Columbine, by Dave Cullen is a great summer read for you. The book portrays the true story of the Columbine School Shooting and follows the victims and perpetrators lives before and after the event. It is a very thought provoking and interesting read with a very sad undertone. – CeCe Brisbois

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close 

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close By Jonathan Safran Foer will make you laugh and cry. It is definitely one of those books that makes you think about yourself and reflect. The book is about nine-year-old Oskar Schell who is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweler, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11attacks on the World Trade Center, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father’s closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace. – Kenzie Vetorino 

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine 

“In an old-fashioned financial panic someone shouts “Fire!” in a crowded theater and the audience crushes each other to death in its rush for the exits. On Wall Street in 2008 a crowded theater burned down with a lot of people still in their seats,” said Michael Lewis. This is the story that he so brilliantly tells in this classic. The story he tells is not necessarily “about” the financial crisis, but rather what caused it in the first place. Lewis follows the work of four different investment groups who, independently from each other, correctly foresaw and predicted the dramatic collapse of housing in 2007. For Wall Street, the party started in 1995 when Bill Clinton reformed the Community Reinvestment Act to put pressure on banks to start to lend to low-income and minority populations and neighborhoods. A lot of bad things start with a good idea in mind, things like extending credit to more households in America in order to spread “the American dream with more people.” This planted the seeds in the minds of Wall Street executives to invent products like Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs), and packages of mortgage-backed securities called CDOs. People were able to get mortgages at a low “teaser” rate, sometimes being able to put 0% down and lie about their income. Thousands of mortgages like these were then packaged together and sold to investors. Lewis tracks this whole process and also the investment groups who implemented something called a Credit Default Swap. These investment groups essentially put a big bet against the housing market in 2005 and thus made serious money by 2008. This book gives you the eyes and ears into what actually happened before the fiasco of 2008. An insight into how “the cake was baked.” If you want to understand how one of the largest economic crises in the United States was brought about, this book is for you.  – Eric Arabadzhiev

If These Walls Could Talk: Boston Red Sox

I recommend reading “If These Walls Could Talk: Boston Red Sox” by Jerry Remy. This was one of the few books I read for fun during this school year and it gives you an inside look at late Red Sox broadcaster and player Jerry Remy’s time inside the Red Sox organization. This book is good for any Red Sox fan who, like me, grew up listening to Remy on summer nights. You hear about the personalities of Sox legends and never before heard stories from inside the clubhouse. If you’re looking for an inside look at the Red Sox I highly recommend this book. – Dan Botolino

The Great Gatsby 

Considered by many to be an American classic, The Great Gatsby is certainly worth the read. While it may not be a book that many would consider to read for pleasure, I would recommend it to those who maybe want to get ahead of their junior year English class. Not only will it prepare you, but it also is an interesting commentary on the “American Dream” as well as being chock full of hidden meanings and lots of symbolism. – Evan Fishback