When we crack open a book, we’re at the mercy of the narrator to supply us with the details of this new world we’ve entered. Usually, they do a good job, and we assume we’re getting the “true” version of events. But occasionally we’re stuck with someone we can’t quite count on, who plays with the facts and lets emotion cloud their judgment. Lately, there’s been a plethora of these “unreliable narrator” books – so sharpen your minds, get ready to catch them in a lie and follow the sage X-Files advice to “trust no one.”
Silent Wife / A. S. A. Harrison
Released shortly after “Gone Girl ” and sharing many similarities (a toxic marriage, alternating points of view, characters who could use some Emily Post manners), Harrison’s novel fell a bit under the radar. But she was no copycat, spending nearly 10 years writing this searing psychological portrait of a relationship on the brink of collapse. Sadly, she passed away shortly after it was published, cutting short what would have undoubtedly been a successful literary career.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves / Karen Joy Fowler
For this title, the less you know, the better. After years of avoiding the past, Rosemary, an unmoored college student, finally begins to confront her dysfunctional upbringing. With her brother on the lam and her sister long since disappeared, flashbacks begin to fill in the blanks. Rosemary is caustic, funny and vulnerable, and her strategic withholding of facts creates surprises throughout. Domestic fiction at its best.
The Girl on the Train / Paula Hawkins
Incredibly popular, Hawkins’ novel has taken the bestseller list by storm and is scheduled to be released as a movie this October. Will you like the characters? No. Will you be able to put down the book? Absolutely not. After waking up from a blackout covered in bruises, struggling alcoholic Rachel Watson thinks only about getting her life back together. When she finds out that Megan Hipwell, a perfect wife she has long admired, disappeared that same night, Rachel becomes convinced she saw something. Twists and turns ensue.
We Were Liars / E. Lockhart
A clever YA read, Lockhart’s book will appeal to adolescents and adults – anyone looking for a “one-sitting” page-turner. Each summer, the wealthy Sinclair family gathers on their private island off the coast of Massachusetts where teen protagonist Cadence revels in the company of her sophisticated cousins. But this summer, Cadence is in recovery, suffering debilitating headaches and bouts of amnesia after a mysterious accident. As she struggles to piece together what happened, readers will be surprised by each reveal.