The Sinclairs have money. Tipper and Harris have so much money that they own an island off the coast of Massachusetts called Beechwood. Each summer the whole clan, consisting of three divorced daughters with eight children and one friend, boat out to the island to join the Sinclairs.
On that island are four beautiful vacation homes. The Sinclair’s three-story Victorian, Clairmont, is filled with priceless art and an extensive library for summer reading. Cadence "Cady" Sinclair Eastman, the first born grandchild, loves to spend her time amongst the books in the comfy library instead of basking in the sand and water.
Each daughter owns a two-story beach home at different points on the island. The Eastmans own Windemere that sits on the northern point. The Sheffields stay in Cuddledown on the Northeast corner and the Dennises live on the southeast corner in Red Gate. The homes, tennis court, boathouse, staff shack, beaches, and docks are connected by wooden walkways.
The Sinclairs are a beautiful bunch. Each is tall, golden and athletic, with radiant smiles of sureness. Standing at a distance, one cannot see lawbreakers, addicts or failures in the group. It is only the closest family member Cady who recognizes the cracks in the façade.
Cady is 18 years old when she retells the story of the fall of the Sinclairs. She is recovering from an accident that happened on the island within summer 15, and we are privileged to hear of her life as she recalls the summers before.
Cady spent each summer with Johnny, Mirren and Gat. The family calls them the Liars. The lies are never used to deceive, but, in fact, such whoppers that no one would ever believe. The Liars are all the same age. The family calls the next group of grandchildren in similar age, the Littles.
Cady wants readers to know she is alright and still living with her mother and three golden retrievers in Burlington, Vermont at the beginning of the book. She now sports thick black hair having dyed it after summer 15. Perhaps, she hopes people will not see a Sinclair resemblance.
When Cady returns to Beechwood for summer 17, having spent summer 16 traveling Europe with her father, the Liars are slow to warm to her new look and attitude.We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is absolutely the best young adult book out there. No matter how many hints Ms. Lockhart leaves, readers cannot predict the end. Here is my hint. Cady is not a reliable narrator.