Wednesday, October 12, 2022

The Prequel Is As Good As The Original. Maybe Better.

How much did I like We Were Liars by E. Lockhart when I read it back in 2019, five years after it was published? I liked it so much that when I read that a prequel, Family of Liars, came out earlier this year, I
sought it out. 

These are books that it is difficult to talk about, because what is not known about them is what makes them so pleasurable to read. I tried to find a review of the most recent book, but I think the two I looked at gave away more than I want to. I can say that both books maintain the same atmosphere, and given that they were published, if not written, eight years apart that's no small task for the author to have accomplished. I will say that you should read the original book first and the prequel second. It's a prequel. Come on.

I can also safely say that I loved the family matriarch, Tipper Taft Sinclair. I suspect I wasn't supposed to. I don't think it says something disturbing about me that I like her but is an expression of how I function in our family. Tipper ran an annual lemon hunt in Family of Liars. I thought that was a fantastic idea, so when we were having a three-generation birthday lunch on my deck a few weeks ago, I ran an apple hunt, which is like a lemon hunt, but different. It wasn't as elaborate as Tipper's lemon hunt, but I didn't think to do it until the week before. 

Next year my apple hunt will be more Tipper-like.

How much did I like Family of Liars? I own a copy of We Were Liars and reread it, something I very, very rarely do. I mean rarely. The book was still intense and atmospheric with great narrative drive. But this time through I felt a bit about it the way I feel about Romeo and Juliet now that I'm an adult. Are these kids not all that bright?

But you have to read the book twice before you feel that way. The first time through, I didn't notice that. Give these books a read.


No comments: