Title : Sometimes I Lie
Genre : Psychological Thriller/ Mystery
Author: Alice Feeney
Publisher : HQ/HarperCollins
Date of Publication : March 13th 2017
Number of Pages : 279
My Rating : 4 out of 5
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
- I’m in a coma.
- My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
- Sometimes I lie.
This is the opening of Alice Feeney’s debut novel, Sometimes I Lie. Amber is in a coma, unable to move any part of her body. She was in an accident whose details she does not remember.
As she lies in a hospital bed, she hears everything that is happening around her and tries to tie together the fragments to figure out what happened to her.
I have always wanted to read this book but I’m only now getting round to doing so. I saw a lot of people discussing it online and the views presented made me want to read it.
This is a gripping thriller that I really loved. The author tells the story using Amber’s experience as she lies in hospital, flashbacks to the days leading up to her accident, and diary entries from her childhood.
At first, she appears to be a sympathetic character and I started off feeling sorry for her. But that is only because I had not paid enough attention to the “Sometimes I lie” bit at the beginning.
As the story progresses, it becomes quite clear that Amber is anything but a sympathetic character.
Ultimately, I started having many questions. What really happened before the coma? What of her childhood? Does her husband Paul really not love her anymore? What is the role of the sister/best friend Claire, in all this? And the mysterious Edward who appears in the story to leave a distressing and shocking footprint?
I liked Alice Feeney’s writing style. Amber is likeable and sincere, until she is not. I empathized with her as the victim of serious wrongdoing, then discovered that perhaps that may not be so. She is such an unreliable narrator.
I must say that I was very confused. As I went along, I had to undo all the impressions I had in my head about all these characters, most especially Amber.
In any case, since Amber is a self declared liar and no other point of view is presented to help us discern what is really happening, how do we know what part of the narrative is true and what part is not? This is the point of the story, I guess……..
By the end, I was still not sure what was going on. I felt a strong inclination to re-read the book and try and garner new facts from hints that I may have missed. Like the significance of the colour red and the events as set out in the diaries, use of the name Taylor, among others.
Amber is shown as clearly having an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She has to check everything 3 times. We later see that she also suffers from anxiety and the OCD developed as a result of that. This story is full of twists and turns and I kept wondering what would come next.
I have seen many people speculate about a lot of aspects of the book, especially the final twist. For me, I was totally sure that this was a case of someone who had a Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID) and was heavily medicated in a mental institute!
It would make sense (to me anyway) if these characters (or at the very least Amber and Claire) are all the same person, especially as the lines are so blurred between Amber/ Claire/Taylor – and it’s not even clear who the villain in this story is! Or maybe I have just been reading too many books with DID characters recently!
I loved the suspense and mystery in this riveting psychological thriller and rate it 4 out of 5. It would have been a 5 if it didn’t confuse me so much! I recommend that you pick it up today, if you love psychological thrillers full of twists and turns.
You will enjoy trying to figure out what is going on. If you have read it, let me know whether you were as confused as I was!