cover image Family of Liars

Family of Liars

E. Lockhart. Delacorte, $19.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-593-48585-9

Lockhart returns for another look behind the privileged Sinclair family’s gleaming facade in this absorbing prequel to 2014’s We Were Liars. Centered on the original Liars’ mothers as teens in 1987, the story is narrated by Carrie, the eldest of the three surviving Sinclair sisters, in response to a request for details about “the absolute worst thing you ever did, back then.” The bulk of the action unfurls on and around Beechwood, the wealthy family’s private island off the Massachusetts coast. Though the rest of her family seems to have moved on, 17-year-old Carrie still grieves for her youngest sister, Rosemary, who drowned the previous summer at age 10. Numbing herself with prescription codeine and filched sleeping tablets, Carrie finds comfort in visits from Rosemary’s palpable, talkative ghost. When the siblings’ uncle and cousin show up with surprise guests—three charismatic teen boys—Carrie is swept into a romance with one of them, dishy but careless Lawrence “Pfeff” Pfefferman. In the weeks that follow, she learns several ugly family secrets as events stress-test the sisters’ bonds. Lush language and a setting full of breezy glamor provide an easy entry point into this layered, atmospherically tense exploration of jealousy, love, and family loyalty. Characters read as white. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elizabeth Kaplan, Elizabeth Kaplan Literary. (May)