When Evie's stepfather Joe Spooner, a soldier who has recently returned home after fighting in World War II, takes Evie and her mom on vacation to Palm Beach, Florida, Evie is so excited that she hardly thinks anything at all of Joe's strange behavior. When they get to Florida though, Evie's family befriends the Graysons, wealthy hotel owners, and Evie meets the mysterious and charming Peter Coleridge. Peter is wealthy, young, and served with Joe. Evie falls head over heels in love. But with her new romance comes some strange secrets—secrets that affect the way she thinks and views her life, and threaten to tear her life apart if they come to light.
What I Saw and How I Lied is a gripping, galvanizing read that perfectly portrays one girl's struggles and insecurities amidst the post-war anxieties and hopes and the United States, and the glamour of the 1940's. Evie's character is intensely likable, and readers will be able to identify with her dreams, her crushes, and her impatience at being stifled by her beautiful and alluring mother. Blundell's writing is excellent; it is tight and descriptive, but moves briskly, making What I Saw and How I Lied very readable.
Blundell also introduces topics that were not spoken of as freely in the 1940's as they are now in a sensitive, yet straightforward, manner. Evie's reactions are believable as she comes to realize many things about the circumstances and relationships she is surrounded by, and though her actions may not always be admirable or true, one can't help but admire her for her sense and bravery. As for the setting of the novel, it is apparent that it is very well researched and flows seamlessly with the plot, making it an easy book for even reluctant readers to get through. Blundell has created a smart and thought-provoking read full of keen insights, mystery, first love, and a good dose of reality.
Cover Comments: I like the dark cover--it's very fitting, and the model partly in shadow is very catching. Also, the dramatic lipstick and the GORGEOUS hair and the font of the title are all very 1940's--this is such an excellent cover!