What I Saw and How I Lied
by Judy Blundell
YA historical fiction. 281 pp.
When Evie's father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe's company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him . . . until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two.
As she begins to realize that almost everything she believed to be a truth was rally a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between loyalty to her parents and feelings for the man she loves. Someone will have to be betrayed. The question is . . . who?
After my experience with Chains, I was not looking forward to continuing forward with the NBA finalists, especially considering that I've been avoiding the Lockhart book since its release. Fortunately, when the NBAs were announced, What I Saw came out as the winner.
Then I started the book. Despite an intriguing opening scene, I feared I was in for more blah. The beginning is slow. The initial looks at the characters are as through a dirty window. The setting and atmosphere are okay, but nothing to shake a stick at.
But then it kicks in. And the book is good. More than anything, Evie turns out to be phenomenal. Her growth and development is unexpected and wonderful. You watch her do hard things, impressed that she's actually able to do them. And yet she redeems herself so that you're not as worried about who she might become.
I really liked this book in the end. I liked the characterization and the setting, especially as Blundell managed to turn post-War Florida into a character itself. So I'm pleased it won the NBA, spurring me to read it.
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