While I’ve not yet had the chance to hit that holiday gift stack that includesThe Night Olivia Fell, I jumped at the chance to get an early copy of Christina McDonald’s newest book Behind Every Lie and I really enjoyed it as much as I was expecting.
Eva Hansen goes from a celebratory dinner for her mother Katherine along with her brother Jacob to waking up in the hospital being told that her mother has been murdered. She’s been struck by lightning and due to the lightning strike she has no memory of how she was even out there to be struck, let alone what really happened to Kat all while police suspect her of committing the murder. The worst part for Eva, she wonders if they’re right and she could have possibly done this terrible thing. Eva’s history of a traumatic event that happened to her years prior that her mind has blocked all memories of make her feel broken and filled with constant doubt in herself.
Katherine- “Darling, I’m not entirely certain one can ever become unbroken, but I do know we can be strong and brave and broken and whole all at the same time. It’s called being human.”
That sentence really struck me, especially as a survivor of a terrible car accident with a traumatic brain injury that I have zero memory of. I really felt for Eva throughout the entire book, knowing how events can throw your life off balance in a variety of ways that still affect you years later.
The chapters alternate in being told from Eva and Kat’s point of view so we learn about both their pasts as well as Kat’s own secrets. We follow Eva to London as she searches for the truth about those secrets. It works very well being told the way it is and I enjoyed Kat’s perspective and motivation as well. I thought the author did a great job tying everything together and was pleasantly surprised by a few twists I did not see coming. She did a great job of making Eva feel like a friend you might know or even someone like yourself.
“I was too awake to go back to sleep, so I dinked around on my phone, checking e-mail and Instagram. I knew social media was like standing in front of a crowd screaming into a microphone: “Look at me! See how great I am! Be jealous of my life!” We had twenty-four hour access to the worst things happening in the world, and twenty-four hour access to other people’s apparently perfect lives. It was simultaneously disturbing and confusing, and yet I continued using it. Maybe something inside me needed to feel worthy of others approval. But weren’t we all like that?”
I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the author’s next book, looking forward to whatever she comes up with next.
*Many thanks to Gallery Books and BookishFirst for an ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”