Seven Lies was recommended to me by a very good friend of mine. She owns a bookshop and reads more books than anyone I know, so I’ll read anything she suggests.
Seven Lies is a story told through the eyes of Jane Black, widow to Jonathan, best friend to Marnie, and sister to Emma. Briefly, it’s about Jane telling her first lie to Marnie, and how that one lie spirals into more lies… seven in total.
It took me a really long time to get into this book, and even then, I wasn’t that impressed. I’m beginning to think this is why it was recommended to me – just so I could dispute it.
I often struggle with ‘voice’ – how the author chooses to tell a story is what makes or breaks it for me.
The concept of Seven Lies, well, I enjoyed that… but the voice, I didn’t care for.
The author chose to write to the reader, often talking directly to ‘you’ – and you don’t find out who ‘you’ are until very close to the end.
This was my biggest pet peeve about the story, but I do have others. I didn’t like being talked to in the story. Things like “You’re asking the wrong question. What you should be asking is…” leave me thinking, I didn’t ask anything at all.
I could sort of get past that… sort of.
I told myself that maybe the character was talking to her therapist in the room, and I was meant to be the therapist. Okay, this was unlikely, but as the reader, it was what I needed to believe in order to keep reading.
The Trouble is with the Voice of Seven Lies
The way the author spoke to ‘me’ directly wasn’t so often that I needed to put the book down, so I continued to read, albeit, slowly.
The more I read, the more I disliked the characters, never mind the voice. Jane is unlikeable. She clearly idolizes Marnie and in her eyes, Marnie can do no wrong, and no one is deserving of her.
But Marnie is far from perfect, and most times, I don’t even see her as a good friend to Jane.
Jane is clearly in need of help. She’s mentally and emotionally abused from almost everyone in her life, and she doesn’t recognize it. She never acknowledges this and doesn’t seem to understand that she isn’t treated well… by anyone.
Perhaps this, above all else, is the reason I didn’t like the book. I could get past the voice, even though I disliked it. But the characters lack of awareness or concern for each other, and the fact that there are no likeable people in the novel, is why I would not recommend Seven Lies.
On the plus side, I thought the author did a fine job. It was well written, and well edited, I just didn’t care for the story.
If you’ve read Seven Lies, I’d love to hear your opinion in the Facebook group!