When Evie’s father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe’s company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him . . . until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two.
As she begins to realize that almost everything she believed to be a truth was really a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between her loyalty to her parents and her feelings for the man she loves. Someone will have to be betrayed. The question is . . . who?
True, this is a young adult novel, but the story’s time frame – post World War II – transcends genre lines with its sense of nostalgia and intrigue. What I Saw and How I Lied could easily be a black and white noir film, and it played itself out that way in my head as I read.
What I enjoyed most about this one was the complexity; several mysteries thread throughout the plot, weaving together, filling out the gaps in the larger mystery at hand. A larger mystery that remains unsolved at the novel’s conclusion. The reader is given plenty to form their own opinion, and that’s really appealing; this aspect of the book actually takes you inside the pages where you get to play detective, piecing together the clues, hearing the testimonies. I thought about this one for quite some time after I put it down.
And to top it off, there are some really intriguing characters in What I Saw. Evie, especially, captures your attention; she’s an innocent girl at the start, and the reader gets to see how events turn her into a more jaded, stronger version of herself.
All in all, a really nice, quick mystery with plenty of atmosphere to go around.