I picked up ‘Lies You Wanted to Hear‘ just randomly. The synopsis doesn’t give you much details anyways. I thought it will be more in the lines of Gone Girl. Boy, was I surprised. I was surprised so much that I was up almost all night to finish this.
I am not going to spoil the story because it doesn’t deserve it. It needs to be read. It is very complex to form a concise and clear opinion of the events. It has the very harsh truths told in a way that hits you in the gut. Some where down the line we all relate to it one way or the other. Trust me, I never thought I would be reading a few things that I have gone through except may be through a different gender. But they are the truths nonetheless.
Here is a gist of the story. Lucy, confused and wanting to prove to herself that she is not her parents, tries to form a healthy relationship with Matt, even though she cannot let go of feisty and unreliable Griffin. She is so prone to commit adultery and mistakes and has no regrets whatsoever. She marries Matt and has two children, but she is still so lost and could never really get together and keep herself committed. Matt on the other hand loves her but doesn’t want to believe that he cannot have a life without her or that she will not love him in the long run. And he tries to be the responsible one among the relationship trying to balance things for her sake, making her feel worse of herself. Griffin, the one who wants Lucy just because he couldn’t find that one connection (even if physical) he finds with Lucy with anyone else. And that she is there for him always, irrespective of being married or having children. The way these three lives get intertwined and how the kids gets inbetween, how Lucy wants to prove that in spite of everything she is a good mother, how the divorce takes a toll on them, how the law tries to protect the mother’s right (even if she puts her child in danger), the pain of the father, the way the father wants to go against the whole world to protect his children if that would mean going missing with them….. Well if I go on I will reveal the end.
The book is in three parts. First part: How Lucy and Matt’s relationship happen along with Griffin in the picture till they get married. Second part: Where she is having trouble in their relationship as being a mother, her postpartum depression, her affair with Griffin, and her divorce with Matt and their differences with the custodial rights of their kids and Matt’s great plan. Third part: Where their individual lives (Matt and his kids, and Lucy alone with her boyfriend) meet again after a long long time.
In the end, it says that this is the first debut novel of a 67 year old author. It looks like a autobiography in parts. Its like too close to lot of truths we keep hearing or experiencing in life. Who is right, what is wrong, should we side with Lucy inspite of her wrong doings and her psychological issues because she tried to be a good mother or should we condemn Matt for not giving a chance to Lucy to prove herself and to take away the kids from her. Lot of questions does arise. Lucy says that it was easy for her to tell the lies that Matt wanted to hear right from the start of their relationship. Matt is stricken with that. But what did Lucy gain out of it. Why did she even go ahead with the lies. If she was convinced that her relationship with Matt is going to be a disaster why go on with it. Because she didn’t want to be the bad person there, just like Matt didn’t want to do anything to hurt Lucy. In the end, they ended up hurting one another along with the kids in between. But thankfully, even if it was a wrong thing to do, they had a good upbringing by Matt. When you are a mother, there is nothing like ‘wanting’ to be a good mother. You either are or you aren’t. You cannot try to correct your mistakes with the kids. You don’t get second chances. Its a life that you end up damaging. You can do whatever you want with your life or even with that of the the one person who is there with you as your partner. But not your kids. In that case, I would go with Matt. I might be wrong there, but that is the way my morality scale weighs. Lucy waits for all those years for her kids to come back, when she lost a lot of opportunity to make things right. Its not that Matt wasn’t in the wrong, but in the end I think just because he did good with kids he is OK and that is all that matters to me.
OK, I am getting a bit emotional here. But this is what this story does. It brings out a lot of questions and makes you feel a lot. There is no single right or wrong person here. This is no fairy tale. This is a story about some harsh and hard truths. This is a story about how biased people and the law can be with respect to a lot of things especially custody rights. I know a lot of people who have had issues with that. I have seen in courts here people trying to manipulate the kids outside, when their parents are fighting inside the court room on who will get their custody. I have seen parents cry their heart outs and kids trying to understand what happened to their nice little lives. Why do we keep telling the lies that others want to hear especially with a relationship that is meant for a life time and hurt everyone involved in it. Why is it difficult to hear and accept the truth? Because most of the time it hurts. But it is also the safest in the long run isn’t. I know and understand that it is not that straight forward, but we can always try.
2 thoughts on “Lies You Wanted To Hear – complex and tricky”
Must have been an exceptional novel to have affected you so deeply, KG.
It sure was Nav.