Friday, 2 September 2011

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

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 just good 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 really a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between her loyalty to her parents and her feelings for the man she loves. Someone will have to be betrayed. The question is . . . who?

For a while now, I haven't been keen on books set too far back in the past. But this one caught my eye so I thought, why not? And I actually really enjoyed it. With the way Blundell writes, the reader really gets to know the character of Evelyn Spooner, and by the end of the story you feel more like her friend than just a reader of her tale.  Blundell really manages to capture the essence of teenage feelings in this novel, and also how complicated and confusing they can be. From the beginning you are on Evie's side, and see things entirely from her point of view - and despite the different eras, I really felt like I could relate to the events around her as well as her feelings. Each main character in the book is well developed - you even manage to get a clear picture about the minor characters. I was particularly impressed by the way the relationship between Joe and Bev is told - how at the beginning, it seems to be romantic and true, and at the end it seems to be the complete opposite. I have to say, I took a rather big liking to Peter, even though he was the cause of most of the problems around Evie and her family. I don't have any critisisms for this story - I only wish that we'd seen a bit more of Evie and Peter's relationship, for it was so frustrating when you just wanted the two to be alone, but there was always someone else with them. I really enjoyed this novel, and I am actually thinking of reading a few more novels based around that time - it's actually really interesting to hear about a teenagers life from the past; you realize that we all have the same feelings, no matter what era we are from.

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