I am BACK as Guest Judge for Book of the Month! My September Pick: Lies She Told by Cate Holahan
Fans of Emily Carpenter’s The Weight of Lies will flock to this twisted, disturbing and brilliantly crafted tale of Liza Cole, a former best-selling thriller novelist who is trying desperately to revive her career. It has been years since Liza has known success in the literary world and her publicist has given her one more shot at redemption. To make matters worse, Liza’s personal life is also falling apart. After enduring multiple failed fertility treatments, she and her husband David find themselves cracking from the emotional strain. David’s answer is to drown himself in his work while Liza puts her last hope for a baby in a controversial hormone experiment. With her book deadline looming and the hormone treatment causing alarming side effects, Liza starts to slowly unravel.
While Lies She told is an excellent story in and of itself (who doesn’t love a book within a book?) it is also a very interesting examination of a writer and their craft. Holahan delves into the writing process and explores where author inspiration comes from and how creating a story can often times take on a life all its own. At first glance, it appears that Liza is incorporating circumstances from her current situation and applying them to Beth, the protagonist in Liza’s latest novel. But as the lines continue to blur between author and character, it becomes almost impossible to distinguish one from the other. I absolutely LOVED the dynamic between the two women and both their stories are packed with crazy plot twists. The writing in this book is whip smart and the way their lives seamlessly blend together is a testament to Holahan’s own skill as an author. I was hooked from the first chapter and Liza’s notion that being a writer was to be a “con artist” and “a life thief” was never far from my mind as I began to wonder how much of her story was indeed a con instead of what I initially interpreted as the truth.
Pour a glass of wine and prepare to immerse yourself in the parallel worlds of Liza and Beth. Pay attention dear reader, as the two stories become one. When bodies begin to appear on the pages of her book as well as in Liza’s real life, will she be able to distinguish between what is actual reality and what is fiction? Will you??