Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Emily Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Three cousins and one friend, nicknamed The Liars, spend summer after summer splashing in the water on the Sinclair family island off the coast of South Carolina. Growing up in a world where money isn't an object, The Liars soon find out that possessions can take hold of hearts, and can turn sister against sister and father against daughter. At the end of a particularly argumentative summer where nearly all the adults were focused only on the estate and inheritance, The Liars, now fifteen, come up with a plan to remind everyone what is actually important. Cady, one of The Liars, has a swimming accident, loses her memory, and is torn from everyone who matters to her. The readers discover the road of pain pills, depression, and recovering from mental illness with Cady as she struggles to remember what actually happened at the end of that fateful summer.
The rich life of East Coast family money is alluring and intriguing. Trying to understand that world of privilege, servants and constant play is enticing. Readers soon realize, however, that money is not everything. An appreciation for the families, perfect or otherwise, that they have will be gained. And the dark world of mental illness will be traveled, luckily, only by proxy.