Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley

Lies We Tell OurselvesLies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley for this free ARC.

Lies We Tell Ourselves is set in 1959 Virginia. Sarah Dunbar is a black teenage girl and is one of the first to enrol at Jefferson High – a predominantly white school. Linda Harrison on the other hand has been brought up to believe that different races should be kept separate. Surely they seem like the most unlikeliest of friends?

This was such an inspirational book. It captures perfectly the discrimination that black people endured in the 1950’s. Not only that but it deals with the way LGBT individuals were presented at the time.

Sarah and Linda were great characters. I loved Sarah, her determination and courage was really inspiring. She was such a caring individual and looked out for everyone (especially her younger sister Ruth). I loved Linda’s character too, but for different reasons – I loved the way Talley crafted her. Her development as a character was so smooth, and I applaud Talley for this.

Lies We Tell Ourselves is told from alternating POVs, meaning that we get to see things from both Linda’s and Sarah’s perspectives. It was interesting to see the ways in which the girls viewed the ongoing situation and the transition they went through in the book.

I’m no history expert, however it is clear that this novel pays great attention to detail in its context. It’s evident that a lot of effort and time went into researching the Civil Rights Movement.

I want to recommend this book to everyone. Despite it being set in the 1950’s it still has a relevant message for today. This book will make you angry, it will make you cry, but it will also make you smile.


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