I Love It When You Lie by Kristen Bird
3/14/23; 352 pages
I Love It When You Lie by Kristen Bird is a highly recommended domestic drama which is strong on character development and Southern small town ethos.
The three William sisters are gathering together in Willow Gap, Alabama, in the Appalachian foothills, to bury their grandmother, Pearl Williams. Tara, the oldest is married to the local Southern Baptist pastor. June is a nurse and has married a doctor. Clementine, the youngest, is still in college and is having an affair with her professor. Stephanie, a Northerner, is married to Walker, their brother, and Willow Gap’s mayor. The three sisters have learned some lessons from their grandmother. Stephanie has learned there family secrets and where the dirt is buried. They are all attending the funeral, but one of the men attending will also go missing before the funeral is over.
This is more of a character driven novel and study of the four women, secrets they have, and one man who will disappear before the weekend is through. Readers know right at the start that someone is dead, beyond their grandmother. Chapters alternate between the voices of the four women and each of them have a very unique voice and personality. The narrative is told in reverse chronology and each chapter provides more information about and development of the sisters.
These four women are portrayed as fully realized, singular individuals with their own concerns, secrets, and lives. They are all rooted in the customs and traditions, as well as revenge, of Southern women all handed down through the generations. As Stephanie says, "Justice would be great, but revenge is so much sweeter." The real question is which man deserves justice, because a case for revenge by the women can be made for each of them.
The writing is quite good and will hold your attention throughout. The enjoyment is found in the strong, well-developed characters and the tension found in the gradual revelation of what is really going on in this atmospheric character-driven thriller.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of MIRA Books.