Review: What I Saw and How I Lied

Posted on December 4, 2008

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What I Saw And How I Lied
By Judy Blundell
Scholastic Press
November 2008
288 pages

When Evie’s stepfather Joe returns to Queens from World War II, she and her mom Beverly are so relieved he’s alive they don’t question where the money came from to start a chain of appliance stores. They’re so happy to have him at home, they ignore the changes in him. When he drags them off to Palm Beach, Florida, on a whim they pretend that everything is perfectly normal. What Evie and her mom choose not to see is as plain as day to the reader. That all is not what it seems.

Blundell meticulously knits the compelling theme into the fabric of the story. From Peter, the mysterious young man whom Evie falls head over heels for, to the Graysons who are hiding a secret, to a shocking mystery involving her parents. All along the reader can see there’s something wrong with this picture while waiting for Evie to wake up and smell the coffee.

It’s easy to see how What I Saw And How I Lied won the National Book Award. From the very first page, it’s like stepping into a classic film noir. I love books that come to life on the movie screen in my head and this one does that for me. Yet it’s more than a visual experience. Blundell takes a hard-boiled mystery and jazzes it up with sexual intrigue and a vulnerable – albeit at times clueless – heroine in Evie. Read it with a bowl of popcorn!

Copyright (c) 2008 by Peggy Tibbetts

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