Book recommendation: Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitfield Thomsen

I first saw the summary for Lies You Wanted to Hear a few months ago. I was intrigued – what had happened to this woman’s children? Why was she having to imagine their lives instead of watch them grow up? But, as intrigued as I was, I didn’t have the chance to read the novel until just recently.

I’ll admit, I found the novel a bit slow in the beginning. But, once it picked up, I was hooked.

Lies You Wanted to Hear switches between the point of view of each Lucy and Matt. The novel tells the tale of their relationship, right from when they first meet. I liked following their relationship; I wanted to see where it would go and whether it would end happily, though the novel’s summary had me fairly certain the novel wasn’t going to result in a completely happy ending.

I won’t tell you what happened here, though, because I don’t want to ruin the novel for you. There’s definitely a mysterious element to it, and I believe that going into that with too much information will leave a reader somewhat unsatisfied with the novel. So I’ll give you the Goodreads summary at the end of this recommendation, as usual, but I’m not going to get into the specifics of the plot here.

But I will tell you that, as gripping as the plot of this novel was, my favourite element of Lies You Wanted to Hear was the characterization. Lucy and Matt were both so well developed. I sympathized with them, while also (at times) wanting to knock them on the head and get them to listen to some common sense. They were both good people, and they were both bad people. All in all, they were human, and I kind of loved them for that.

Goodreads summary

A deeply moving, beautifully-written picture of how the smallest crack in a relationship slowly, over decades, becomes a canyon too wide to bridge.

When Lucy meets Matt on a blind date, Matt is instantly hooked; he sees Lucy as the fun, sexy, and wickedly smart girl of his dreams. Although she’s still getting over an old lover, Lucy is won over by Matt’s sweet, thoughtful nature. But 20 years later, alone in an empty house trying to imagine the lives of her two young children, Lucy comes to realize that the little lies you tell can create more damage than the truth you’re hiding.

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