What I Saw And How I Lied

What I Saw And How I Lied - Judy Blundell "What I Saw and How I Lied" is an account of a fifteen year old girl who has to come to terms with some startling realities in the latter part of the 1940s. She ultimately has to pick up the pieces and find a way to choose between what she's asked to do, what she wants to do, and what it means to do the right thing. I am under the impression that the ultimate meaning behind these three ideals are what gave it its "National Book Award" distinction. Atmospherically, it's very well drawn, and the book is beautifully written. Accounts about showing prejudice in the time is also well done in areas. But some of the decisions, actions and conflict points could've had much better execution, because the end of the book reads with a very interesting conflict, but not a very good sense of progression and reflection.I'm more on middle ground about "What I Saw and How I Lied" rather than loving or hating it - which is more than likely what the reader may get out of the experience of this story. It can be a polarizing read depending on how you look at what it's trying to say and why the protagonist makes some of the decisions that she does.Evie Spooner is like many young teens in the aftermath of World War II - waiting for a loved one to return home from the war. Joe, her stepfather, proposes that the family take a trip down to Palm Beach after he returns from the War, albeit much later than some of his comrades. While in Palm Beach, Evie meets the charming, 23-year old Peter, who is an ex-GI and formerly surved under her father's tour. But soon after Evie begins having an intense, passionate relationship with Peter, things are not always what they seem, and it ultimately results in a tragedy that tears Evie apart, and makes her question everything she's known - her family, the society in which she's in, and ultimately her own self as she's called upon to lie about things she knows she shouldn't.I liked Evie's voice and found her easy to follow within the novel, and I could attribute that it was her voice that made me enjoy the work as much as I did. Blundell captures the spirit of the time and presents Evie as a character worth following. What I couldn't necessarily wrap my head around was how mangled the events surrounding the tragedy/mystery came across. Some parts of it were jarring, surprising even, but others read to me as if they couldn't have happened in the way they happened without some measurable repercussions. But I think I saw what Blundell wanted to do with these conflicts. Evie ultimately comes to terms that there were a lot of people who lied to her, that there are people she wants to protect and those she cares about even if some of them betrayed her or some hypocracy came about to make her question the values and actions of others. Ultimately, she's caught in this tangle, and the most rewarding thing is watching how she'll choose to move forward from the lies and live her life as best she can in the aftermath. That to me was worth noting, but it's a hard line to consider with some of the events that transpire.I do think this is a worthy enough read for people to look into, because it does give a hard lined lesson in the lies that people tell, but I wish that the links between those lines were better established.Overall score: 3/5