The Good Lie is a dark, haunting, compelling story of a broken family. While each member of the family might have their own story to tell, their own version of events, readers get Lizzie Aimes' story. Since Lizzie, at times, questions her interpretation of her family's MESS, it's only natural for readers to entertain a doubt or two as well. Lizzie, when we first meet her, is quite charming. Readers see her preparing for prom with her best friend, Posie. Her younger brother, Mikey, is hanging around. There is some teasing, some laughing. Things seemed so good, so normal. Lizzie's "big" problem is Jason. She really, really, really is falling for Jason, a boy who does not share her value system. In other words, he does not want a girlfriend. He wants lots of casual partners to hook up with. He would LOVE for Lizzie to be one of them. He would LOVE for Posie to be one of them. Lizzie is smart enough to know that feeling the way she does, Jason is just trouble. To be near him, to watch him with other girls, is painful and awkward because she wants it to be her, and, not be her at the same time. Jason, of course, knows that Lizzie has a tender spot for him.
That was her "big problem" before. She returns home from prom to a different situation entirely. Her mom is gone. She's left her husband and her two children. She has admitted that she's having an affair and is in love with another man. This is the catalyst for the BIG, BIG, BIG mess that follows.
Lizzie witnesses her family crumble. She sees her father change, in some ways very dramatically change. She sees the stress on her brother. She feels it herself. But it is her worry--her deep, deep worry for him--that leads Lizzie to ultimately make a life-changing decision.
Throughout the novel, their is a focus on justice, on doing the right thing even if its hard. That is what makes The Good Lie so thought-provoking in a way. Does Lizzie do the right thing? Do the ends justify the means? Can doing something morally wrong ever be the right thing to do? In other words, is there such a thing as A GOOD LIE. There are no easy questions to these questions.
The Good Lie definitely has adult situations in it, it is not a book for younger readers.
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews