In her upcoming YA novel, Family of Liars, E. Lockhart revisits Beechwood, the Sinclair family’s private island off the Massachusetts coast, the setting of her bestselling 2014 psychological mystery, We Were Liars. Delacorte has announced a 500,000-copy first printing for the novel, which is due on May 3, 2022. Senior v-p and publisher Beverly Horowitz, who will edit the book, acquired world rights to Family of Liars from Elizabeth Kaplan at the Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency. The novel will be released simultaneously in the U.K. by Hot Key Books, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, and in Australia and New Zealand by Allen & Unwin.

Family of Liars takes place 27 years prior to the original story and spotlights the Liars’ mothers, who spend a pivotal summer on Beechwood as teenagers. When tragedy upends what was meant to be a time of fun, laughter, and first love, the bonds of family are tested, revealing who will crack under the pressure, and who will forever uphold the Sinclair family’s rules, keeping secrets no matter what the damage.

“The idea for Family of Liars came in seven years after the publication of We Were Liars, and I was, of course, thrilled to see Emily return to Beechwood Island and the Sinclairs,” Horowitz said of the author in a statement. “Readers are going to discover themes that are evocative of We Were Liars, but with a different and fresh approach. Intense summer friendships, fraught romance, and unspeakable truths—and lies—are at the center of the new book, and I am so excited for fans of the first story to finally get their hands on it, and for readers new to Lockhart’s work to discover her unique talent for crafting complex stories that stick with you long after you’ve finished reading.”

Fans of Lockhart (whose previous YA novels also include The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and Genuine Fraud) fueled her decision to explore further the privileged if flawed lives of the Sinclairs. “Reader response to We Were Liars has been incredible and moving,” she explained. “With Family of Liars, I wanted to create an emotional catharsis and leave my audience shaken—but I knew I needed to do it in a very different way than I had in the first book. I hope I’ve delivered an experience that will be surprising and new, while still returning people to the beauty and horror of Beechwood Island.”

We Were Liars, a backlist staple, recently got a sales boost from the rise in book videos on TikTok; videos for the book using the #wewereliars hashtag have been viewed more than 68 million times.

Family of Liars by E. Lockhart. Delacorte, $19.99 May 2022 ISBN 978-0-593-48585-9