The Book of Lies is the debut novel of Mary Horlock. It’s an intriguing novel that links two stories – one from the past and one present. It sheds plenty of insight into a time past on the small island of Guernsey and how that history weaves back into the present time.
Is Cat Rozier a murderer? Well, she thinks so. Fifteen-year-old Cat is a smart gjrl but she’s also a fat and frumpy girl (her words) and this makes her not so very popular with her peers. But then Nicolette, who is very pretty and of course immediately popular, comes to town and befriends her. Cat is surprised of course but she’s certainly not going to turn down the chance to be friends with one of the most popular girls at school.
So begins Cat and Nicolette’s friendship. They become inseparable and do everything together. Cat had never been one for parties (of course she’d never been invited before either), but meeting Nic changes all that. Now life is about going out with Nic to parties and drinking way more than she should be and, of course, boys. Then things go awry and Nic gets the wrong idea about something that Cat has done and all of a sudden Cat becomes enemy number one. Instead of being her friend, Nic is now a big bully towards Cat and being nothing but cruel to her.
In the background of this story, another story is being told and that is of Cat’s Uncle Charlie, who had lived through the Nazi occupation of Guernsey and spent time in a concentration camp paying for his supposed sins. As his confession is related throughout the story, Cat relates it to her own life. You see her Uncle Charlie believes he murdered someone when he was young and Cat believes that she has murdered someone in the present. Cat also believes that history repeats itself. She believes that she was a murderer before she was even born due to the history of her family.
I did enjoy this book but I didn’t love it. I really liked the premise of the book and thought it sounded great. I guess for me, I found parts of it really drawn out. I did however like Cat as a character although a lot of her behavior wasn’t likable and you’re never really sure if she’s telling the truth about anything. However, I thought much of her behavior came from her family life and just how she felt about herself. I thought she was very real and her pain of being ‘out of place’ very real as well. Through her words and ultimately her actions you could feel her pain at being shunned by Nicolette.
I read The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock for her book tour with TLC Book Tours. Be sure to check more opinions on the book at the other tour stops for it. You can pick up your own copy of The Book of Lies here in the US and here in Canada.
© 2010, Darlene of Peeking Between the Pages. All Rights Reserved. If you’re reading this on a site other than Peeking Between the Pages or Darlene’s Feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.My copy of The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock received for review from TLC Book Tours and Harper Perennial.
(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea says
I had similar thoughts about this one Dar. Good…but!
I have this books galley with me and I keep hearing it is god and there is a But as well. But then I really want to read it as well.
Sounds like I liked this book more than you did, but glad to see you liked it overall. I've linked to your review on War Through the Generations.
Sounds interesting and like the plot should have been tightened up a little bit.
I am hoping to read this one soon, Dar. It sounds excellent and a little like a "mean girls" story which always intrigues me. I am sorry this wasn't a perfect read for you, but I'd be interested in reading it and discussing it with you!
my review of this will post on Friday. I really enjoyed the book and the more time I spent away from it, the more I enjoyed it.
I have seen many reviews where the reader liked Cat but felt the book was a bit too long and didn't flow well. Not sure if I will read this one or not. I keep reading the reviews since it does have an interesting premise.
You make me a bit wary of this one. I think I would just get very annoyed with her if she acts like that
I love the dangling legs on the cover! But…I worry that it's set on Guernsey because that was the setting for that Potato Peel Pie book, and look how popular that book turned out to be.
I'm glad you enjoyed Cat's character – sounds like she is a bit tricky, and I usually like that in a narrator.
Thanks for being a part of the tour.
I have this book on hold at the library. I am looking forward to reading it.
I just got a review copy of this book from netgalley. I like the concept and the background on Guernsey. It sounds like it has some mixed reviews.
I am the one person on the planet who didn't like the Guernsey Potato book so I have been overlooking this one just because of the other book. I LOVE the cover of this one though.
Off topic, but how is Sammy doing? Chloe is out of her crate now during the day and very independent. We love her to death! She is just so sweet. She just gained another pound which puts her at 10 lbs at one year.
Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts on this one! I'm not sure that it would be something that I would like, but I'll keep it in mind just in case 🙂
I was like you that didn't quite love it either. It was an interesting read and I did enjoy getting more of the back story of Guernsey during WWII but some of the rest was just a bit off-kilter.
Jenny Girl says
It sucks when good stories run off the rails. Sorry this didn't turn out the way you would have liked. Thanks for the review.