Book Title: Here We Lie
Author: Paula Treick DeBoard
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Genres: Psychological Suspense, Domestic Fiction
Pub Date: 01/30/18
Megan Mazeros and Lauren Mabrey are complete opposites on paper. Megan is a girl from a modest Midwest background, and Lauren is the daughter of a senator from an esteemed New England family. But in 1999, Megan and Lauren become college roommates and, as two young women struggling to find their place on campus, they forge a strong, albeit unlikely, friendship. The two quickly become inseparable, sharing clothes, advice and their most intimate secrets.
The summer before their senior year, Megan joins Lauren and her family on their private island off the coast of Maine. The weeks go by, filled with fun and relaxation, until late one night at the end of the vacation, something unspeakable happens, searing through the framework of the girls’ friendship and tearing them apart. Many years later, in the midst of a political scandal, Megan finally comes forward about what happened that fateful night, revealing a horrible truth about Lauren’s family and threatening to expose their long-buried secrets.
Paula is one of my go-to authors; after devouring The Drowning Girls last year I immediately consumed The Fragile World and The Mourning Hours in quick succession. I find her writing to be one of the finest examples of flawless character study around. While each book has a different theme, she manages to keep a tight reign on her cast, always ensuring that, what could be construed as the everyday mundane, is in fact transformed into a tense, unstoppable freight train of suspense. Last year’s The Drowning Girls was a domestic drama full of tension and suspense, and DeBoard hits us again with another tale of power struggles, this time in the woefully relevant arena of political scandal and sexual assault.
We’re dropped in the first chapter at a press conference where we are about to be hit with some truth bombs… But obviously not right away. That wouldn’t make for a very suspenseful story, now would it? 😉 We are immediately whisked away back (14 years or so if I recall) to where it all started, the beginning of Lauren and Megan’s friendship. These two couldn’t be more different, yet somehow their lack of similarities drive them closer than imaginable as they attempt to support each other through their own tragedies. If you’ve read the blurb then you can hazard a guess at where the story is going, which gives the book less of a mystery feel and more of a “tension accelerating toward a breaking point” experience.
The plot most definitely takes a backseat to the characterization, as it should; in books that have a widely written about plot, there needs to be detail in the flow of the writing that sets it apart from all the others like it. Here, and honestly in every book she’s written, the author does an exquisite job of connecting reader and leading cast. The girl’s relationship is relatable in the sense that us women have all been in a friendship that didn’t go the way we expected. There are a good number of friends I’ve made over the years that, for one reason or another, didn’t end up being the lifelong companions I expected us to be, and that is the minor theme that struck me the hardest here.
If you enjoy deep, well-defined, and gloriously flawed characters, you’ll want to pick up a copy of Here We Lie. I can’t express what a privilege it is to pick up DeBoard’s books and feel as if I’m chomping at the bit already to get my hands on another one of her delectable stories. They are the type of juicy, compulsive reads that aren’t cheapened by cliches and meaningless drama, yet make me feel as if I’ve bettered myself upon completing them. Highly recommended to women and men alike, and bravo to the author for creating such a well needed narrative for our country where the timing couldn’t be better.
*Many thanks to the author for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.