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"The Liar's Room" by Simon Lelic: A Book Review

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When books are the only means to escape, what else is there to do, but read? Reading is a passion and will forever be a means to escape.

Cover art for "The Liar's Room" by Simon Lelic.

Cover art for "The Liar's Room" by Simon Lelic.

Quick Summary

Book Title : The Liar's Room

Author : Simon Lelic

Page Length : 346 pages

Susanna has undergone traumatic events that left her running from her old life to hide in the new one she created with her daughter. What she didn't realize was the past had a way of creeping back into your life. When Adam, a new client she would counsel, enters her office, Susanna can't help be think he looks familiar. What she didn't know was how he knew all about her old life. How everything she had gone through affected her and strayed hidden from everyone around her. Now he may have her daughter and unless she does what he asks, she may never see her again.

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The Review (Warning: May Contain Spoliers)

The book grabbed my attention within the first couple of pages. After all, when a counselor starts the story out, you can't help but wonder what kind of trouble there might be in the next few pages. However, I had never expected the story to revolve around Susanna, who councils others. As it turned out, to watch her struggle with her past and the reason she is doing this in the first place was truly amazing. The Liar's Room had so many twists, turns, and conflicted emotions that it was hard to not get wrapped up in the story at all. It was exceptionally true when Susanna's daughter's life's was at risk.

When you meet Adam, the antagonist, you can't help but wonder if he is familiar, as Susanna leaves you to believe, because he did something that she longs to forget or was in a situation that had caused her to run and start fresh. But as the story unfolds, you want to hate and feel sorry for him. As well as, root for Susanna but also find some of the things she had felt or thought to be distasteful and even disgusting. With everything she kept hidden from her new friends and her daughter, you can't help but wonder if you would do the same in her situation. Especially when it all comes back to her very own son.

At first, it seemed that maybe her son might have just been acting out or choosing to rebel due to being a teenager. It was the thoughts and the way his parents responded to such actions that really drives me into deep reflection. The way they ignored and paid less attention to him than I think a parent should made me want to hate them with a passion. Though I can see it from their perspective, I still find it hard to believe that a parent would not take a more proactive role in their child's life than what they did. I can't really say that I agreed with how they went about their lives as parents, no matter what their parents may have done to them.

It doesn't just stop at their lack of involvement. It confused me why knowing the kinds of games their son and his friends play, why they wouldn't look closer at what was going on. "Games" like If you could kill someone how would you do it? The idea of my own child playing games like that makes me question how I would handle it. I know I would be furious and worried about the people she hung out with, so why didn't Susanna? Why would she accept her husband's "Boys will be boys" statement and not try to investigate the people her son hung around? Or better yet, let him be on his own so much? These ideas and actions leave me at a loss for words.

It wasn't just the lack of parenting skills that left me at a loss of words. It was how when Susanna says how she feel about everything that my mind went into overload. Yes, I agreed with a lot of the things she felt, but I couldn't help her lack of action, pushing, questioning, and just parenting made her part of the problem. I must have sat there for an hour after reading it trying to wrap my head around the whole book. It definitely kept my mind whirling. I had to read it a second time, wondering if maybe I missed something and thus felt the way I did. However, even the second read-through made me want to shake the woman. Then to hide everything in herself to keep her daughter from such ridicule and just hide away from the problems, I just found I couldn't stand her. I can't say if I was her I wouldn't have done what she did, but I can say I don't think I would have allowed it to get so messy that hiding was the only thing I could do to keep my own child safe.

This psychological thriller definitely is the best one I have read in a while. It was done perfectly. Everything kept you wondering, wanting more, on the edge of your seat. It was short, yes, but it was so thought-provoking and intense, that you want to read it several times to make sure nothing went amiss. I enjoyed it very much and that is why The Liar's Room by Simon Lelic gets 5 stars. With the plot twists, the ability to draw you in and change your own way of thinking about things just long enough to make you feel one way or another and change in just a few paragraphs make you wonder why you ever felt the way before. Definitely a must-read if you like psychological thrillers.

Want It Yourself?

The Liar's Room hasn't been released just yet, but I can promise you when it does I can give you a link. I was able to be a part of the select few who got to read it first from Penguin Books First to Read program. I did see that Amazon will have it for sale for $9.99. I am not sure if that price will change based on the copy you get (like e-book, paperback, or hardback), but I am fairly certain you can preorder it and be able to have a good book to start off your annual reading challenge. I hope you do pick it up and get as much enjoyment as I did out of it.

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