Book 19 on my “March to 100 for 2019″—Alice Feeney: Sometimes I Lie—Through conversations around her, a coma patient tries to remember why she is injured.
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
Openings to a novel don’t get much stronger or clearer. In this case, it sums up the rest of the novel quite clearly.
Amber struggles to a level of alertness high enough to be aware of the people entering and leaving her room—her husband, sister, parents, and hospital staff—and hearing bits of their conversations. Unfortunately, she also drifts away and doesn’t hear enough to understand how she came to be in the hospital.
Her husband is one of the most persistent visitors, but Amber fears his presence. So do the police, who take him away for questioning about her injuries.
And does Amber lie. Coupled with her faulty memory, the lies add to create a terrific unreliable narrator set-up. And since we, as readers, have only Amber’s version of what happened, figuring out who to trust or not is quite challenging. To the very final pages, we struggle to understand the truth.
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