This week, I finished up the Lying Game by Ruth Ware. I have to say, I was super excited about this book. I really enjoyed The Woman In Cabin 10 and when I saw that the bookstore had her book displayed up front, I figured I would pick it up.
“I need you.”
Those are the only words our main character Isa gets in a text from Kate, an old friend from school that she hasn’t talked to in years. The lack of context behind the text draws you in immediately. You ask yourself, “Why would someone that you hardly talk to message you at 3:30 in the morning?”
Immediately Isa and her new baby Freya are on a train heading to where Kate lives at the Mill. Once there, she meets her other two friends from school and enjoys a brief moment of seeing one another so grown up. Kate is the outsider of the town for some unknown reason, Fatima has turned her life around and become a successful doctor and devout Muslim. Then there is Thea who for some reason she isn’t doing well in life and it has something to do with a secret these women have been holding on to for years.
After a brief explanation of who these four women are, Kate announces that she has signed them all up to go to a dinner at their old school. You find out soon enough that going to the dinner is a distraction from the real reason these women have come together. They all hold a deep dark secret that threatens to surface and reveal a mysterious death that happened while they were back in school.
“A lie can outlast any truth.”
― Ruth Ware, The Lying Game
Even though all of the women are together and talking like it is no big deal, you hear the worry in Isa’s narrative that their past has come back to haunt them. But you don’t know the who, what, where, when, or why about it. It isn’t until well into the book that you figure out what these women did so many years ago. It seems to take forever to get to that point.
Thea seems out of place and a pointless character. She hardly says anything, isn’t in many scenes and doesn’t seem to have a good relationship with any of the girls. The whole time I am hoping that she will interject and become an important part of the story but that never seems to happen.
They go to their school’s reunion and finally, finally you hear part of their haunting past from an old classmate. Even then, the plot doesn’t make you feel like that is the whole story.
Once they feel like things have calmed down, Isa returns to her husband and the story gets a bit off track at that point. The constant talk about her baby gets old real quick. The whole reason for the baby is that it gives her a different perspective on the past. But the baby, gee whiz… she talks so much about the baby that makes her clearly a helicopter mother. You can see why there are issues in her family, but I found it to be irrelevant to the whole story.
Ware brings it back to the group of women and from there the excitement I felt at the beginning of the book comes back to an ending that made me feel a bit lost. But it was an ending nonetheless.
I love Ware’s writing style and her descriptions. Her explanation of what these girls went through makes you feel sympathy for all of them. What you think you know, you actually don’t. Ware makes you go back and forth about who the antagonist really is. At one point I felt the book was too predictable. It seemed like any murder mystery and it was solved early on in the book.
It’s not that I hated the book. It definitely had its exciting parts and dull parts. The way that everything slowly comes out makes it worth continuing to read. At the same time, it gets a bit dull. There are a lot of mixed reviews out there, so I definitely recommend giving it a try. It very well might work for you!