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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 486

We Were Liars is a 2014 critically acclaimed contemporary Young Adult novel written by American author Emily Jenkins, who is known for often using her pen name, E. Lockhart. It gained positive reviews and even won several awards. It tells the story of an extremely rich teenage girl named Cady, who desperately tries to remember what has happened during her fifteenth summer on her family’s private island.

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The novel is written with a light, quirky, almost messy language—typical of a young girl’s behavior and struggle to remember and overcome a traumatic experience, as the narrator is Cadence herself. The chapters are short, and the plot flows similarly to a Shakespearean tragedy. The main protagonist is the narrator, Cadence Sinclair Eastman, a seventeen-year-old girl who comes from a wealthy family that is portrayed as the most perfect and flawless family in the area. Among other things, the Sinclairs own a private island named Beechwood that has four vacation homes for all the members of the family. The summer when Cadence is fifteen, she and her cousins (Mirren and Johnny), and Johnny’s friend, Gat (whom Cady falls in love with), go swimming one night, and after that, Cady can’t remember anything.

From that point on, the novel focuses on her amnesia, her daily struggles to remember the events that took place on that night, and the physical and psychological changes she went through after her accident. Her family won’t tell her anything; they explain how they want Cadence to remember on her own. However, in reality, they are afraid of losing the inheritance promised by the oldest Sinclair, Harris (Cady’s grandfather), who is the main antagonist of the story.

Two years after the accident, Cadence decides to go back to the summer house to finally figure out what happened. Finally, we learn that...

(The entire section contains 486 words.)

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