Judith D Collins
Here We Lie
Publisher: Park Row Books
Publication Date: 1/30/2018
My Rating: 5 Stars
Top Books of 2018 A riveting novel about how the past never stays in the past, from the critically acclaimed author of The Drowning Girls and The Mourning Hours 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.
In this captivating and moving novel of domestic suspense, Paula Treick DeBoard explores the power of friendship and secrets and shows how betrayal can lead to disastrous, and deadly, consequences.
From the critically acclaimed author, of The Drowning Girls, The Fragile World, and The Mourning Hours (all five glowing stars-review links below), Paula Treick DeBoard follows with her latest riveting suspense, coming Jan 2018— HERE WE LIE.
Rich in character, a look inside the secrets lives of two different unlikely friends from two different social classes. A world of privilege and secrets. The lies and secrets they tell themselves, and to one another —with devastating consequences.
Ripped from today’s headlines: Scandal, power, cover-ups, and deadly secrets. Messy, complicated and imperfect lives.
Told in alternating first-person perspectives, moving between past and present. Megan Mazeros and Lauren Mabrey. Each view the world differently— from diverse backgrounds.
As the book opens it is 2016. A press conference. Someone is about to spill a lie. Age thirty-five. Female. A lie kept silent for fourteen years is about to be exposed to the world.
“Fourteen years was a long time. It was long enough to forget, forgive, move on.” A long time to keep a secret.
Megan is from Kansas. She lived for years watching her dad die each day slowly from asbestos fibers (a poor man’s cancer) from the mesothelioma with his job. She holds a secret. Her father’s dying wish.
“Something had to die so something else could live.”
With the life insurance money, Megan can attend a college of choice in combination with a scholarship and her good grades. She wants nothing more than to escape this town and her past. Her mom has moved on to Gerry, her boss at the accounting firm.
She decides on Keale College in Scofield, Connecticut— a unscale private girls-only school. She realizes that wealth lives here and people of privilege. People different than herself.
She meets a regular local boy named Joe on her first day. Soon after that, her roommates commits suicide, assigning her another roommate.
Lauren Mabrey is the wild child with continued reckless behavior from a wealthy family. From the elite, boarding schools, and old money pedigree. The cars, wealth, homes, status, power, and the best education. She is the daughter of a U.S. senator from Connecticut. Lauren has a poor GPA; however, with her parent’s money, she can pretty much do as she pleases.
She also feels like an outsider in her only family and goes against the traditional values, causing disarray in her family. Often she wanted to be regular so as not to have to live up to the expectations.
A bit rebellious, she encounters some problems with drugs before she goes off to college, which lands the guy in jail, and ultimately ended up dead in a prison yard. This event haunts her. However, her parents manage to keep this out of the news. Her mom warns her they cannot continue to bail her out.
Lauren loves photography and takes her talent a little too far. Her family dismisses it. After an encounter with her current roommate, Erin she is assigned a new one.
Lauren and Megan become best friends in their freshman year 1999-2000. Lauren is everything Megan is not. Lauren sees Megan as normal. Due to her family environment, she finds herself attracted to Megan, Joe, Marcus, and others she meets, unlike her status.
However, Megan distorts her life offering shocking lies about her family. She exaggerated about how poor her family was and how many boyfriends she had. She wants to be someone else, someone different from the dull girl she is. To feel better about herself. Both girls are insecure in their ways.
Lauren loves Megan’s wit, and the two develop a friendship based on lies. Telling each other their best and worst truths and lies. As time moves on, they also become jealous and angry with one another.
Megan meets Lauren’s family and becomes exposed to a different way of life. Their home, a job, and a private summer island off the coast of Maine. This trip was to be their last vacation before senior year.
However, one night something happens which changes the course of their lives. A house of money. To cover up the dirty deeds of its family members.
Dreams of Harvard are no longer in view. Shattered by one night. Worse than her father dying. A choice to make. A decision. Who would believe her—a girl from nowhere? The Mabrey's had the kind of power that could buy justice—that could shape truth.
The lies she had told. She could not put herself through it. She would remain silent. One girl all alone. Dreams shattered. Another one left clueless about the events unfolding around her. Where was the trust in one another?
Many years later when the girls have their separate lives and families of their own, someone comes forward with rape and sexual assault. A political scandal. If someone had come forward earlier, could it have saved others down the road?
The silence broken, shattering lives and the ugly truth revealed. Allegations, investigation, and a trial. The what ifs.
What a fabulous story— highly relatable to the events which surround us today. Even though fictional, unfortunately, it is all too real for many women who experience sexual assault at the hands of famous figures such as politicians and celebrities. The victims often are viewed in a negative light; therefore they remain silent.
An avid fan of the author, for years—her books continually land on my top books of the year. Unique and compelling, her stories possess a common thread. Thought-provoking, she writes of powerful bonds of friendships, family, and betrayal.
Paula’s writing is superb! The dual timelines and alternating perspectives keep the reader engrossed in the lives of the two young women at different ages. From college years to the present, the author gives a glimpse of the gap and how words and actions have consequences resulting in hurt and resentment. A convincing look at lies and how they come back to haunt (no matter the age).
From teenagers to young women with families of their own to their true selves. In addition to the topic of friendship, a strong focus on daughter/father and daughter/mother relationships.
Highly charged topics: enjoyed how she tied female friendship, sexual assault, political scandal and moral complexities together in one dynamic story. HERE WE LIE is an ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions (Reader’s Guide Included).
An added bonus—a insightful Q&A with the author! Highly recommend. A "read-in-one-sitting" kind of book.
A special thank you to the author for the lovely print copy and Park Row and NetGalley for the digital advanced reading copy.
Links for previous books
The Drowning Girls Top Books of 2016
The Fragile World Top Books of 2014
"DeBoard does a wonderful job creating her realistic and flawed characters, giving even secondary characters a rich backstory and a haunting sense of intrigue. This story particularly resonates now, in the throes of the #MeToo movement."-Booklist
"With this story of two very different young women, DeBoard portrays the lies that people tell to find acceptance and the terrible acts that powerful people casually commit... While the rape looms in the future as a foregone conclusion, DeBoard only slowly reveals the details, so the final revelations are all the more powerful." –Publishers Weekly
"With each chapter shifting perspective between Lauren and Megan, DeBoard lets each woman's story reflect and distort the other's, deftly angling the mirror of truth... A wrenching tale of broken friendship and shattered dreams." –Kirkus Reviews
"A nuanced and complex look at the long-standing consequences of privilege and toxic masculinity. At its heart, Here We Lie examines the seemingly unbreakable bonds of both friendship and family, and the lengths one will go to take care of their own. Compulsively readable!"-Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year
"With Here We Lie, Paula Treick de Board spins a mesmerizing tale of two former best friends and one shocking secret. Suspenseful and evocative, with pitch-perfect prose and pacing, Here We Lie is a story that resonates long after the last word. An engrossing read." -Kimberly Belle, bestselling author of The Marriage Lie
From her riveting first chapter, DeBoard casts a line back in time and reels an unlikely college friendship ever closer to the novel's inevitable conclusion. An absorbing exploration of how we attain personal power and the consequences of wielding it." -Kathryn Craft, award-winning author of The Far End of Happy and The Art of Falling
"Set against a backdrop of college life, politics, and sexual assault, Paul Treick DeBoard explores the exquisite joy of discovering the perfect friendship--then the acute pain of disentangling when that friendship sours. Here We Lie takes you a remarkable journey of two girls who learn, together and alone, to decide who they will ultimately be-it is at once observant, devastating, and thoroughly satisfying."-Emily Carpenter, author of The Weight of Lies and Burying the Honeysuckle Girls
About the Author
Paula is a reader, writer, drinker of strong coffee and an all-around slave to public education. She wrote her first novel when she was nine years old, in the back seat of an orange 1977 Chevy Caprice station wagon with wood paneling. It was exactly as good as you might expect a novel written by a nine-year-old to be. In the intervening years, Paula majored in English, taught junior high and high school English and earned an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Southern Maine. These days, she splits her time between teaching (at the University of California, Merced), chatting about writing whenever she has a chance, and staring at a laptop screen for uninterrupted hours. Her novels include The Drowning Girls, The Fragile World and The Mourning Hours. Her heart—and her remaining spare time—belongs to Will and their four-legged brood. Read More