Monday, August 3, 2015

We Were Liars

Some people go to the spa to de-stress. I, on one hand, like to go in literature heaven. 

My week was very exciting, interesting and crazy -- short of being a heart-attack inducing kind. We were running on adrenaline beating a deadline and we all went around the world looking for someone, a team, an individual who can resolve an issue for us. We've touched based with colleagues from all available time zones. It was heady. It was toxic. 

But, oh boy, it felt good. We were on a high. I was thriving in it. But in between those moments is a trough... at this point, I need a good read to stabilize my world. Make everything upright again. 

So, I selected from my iBooks shelf the book, We Were Liars by e. lockhart. I didn't know what to expect. It didn't look extraordinary but I started reading anyway. 

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

The first few chapters made we wonder if it was worth pursuing. There was much rambling. I thought all along that it was just one of those young adult novels that glorify teenage angst. 

Something though compelled me to turn the pages. Each page is painfully heartbreaking. Inner conflict must be the most troubling of all conflicts. And when you're young where and whom do you anchor? 

It's a story of a privileged teenage girl who lost a memory of her entire summer. She comes from a family of old money and trust funds. Of relations that pin their future on the will from their patriarch's fortune. 

She suffers from debilitating migraines and headaches while she strives hard to reconstruct the events leading to her ailment. But it's elusive. She has selective amnesia. She weaved through daily life occurences and memories. She grasps at shreds and snatches of conversations to understand what had happened to her and the family. What has happened that affected her entire extended family's existence. 

The reveal in the end was not what I expected. I kept on thinking she's going to get better and be well. Instead, in the end I cried with her. 

That summer in her desire to teach her family a lesson about how temporary possessions are; that in an instant it can be gone so your happiness and future should not be pinned on them. In a night of youthful brazeness, she and her cousins committed arson. 

Tragically, it turned out fatal. The people they sought to punish for being materialistic lost more than the antiques, fine arts and collectibles. Young, promising lives were lost because of one single act -- the arrogance of the young, its devastating destructiveness. 

And so I wept with Cadence. 

Beautiful, beautiful story. 

What was on your night table this week? Or at your reading corner?