Review for “Lies She Told”

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Synopsis:  A struggling author is working on her next novel.

 

Liza Cole used to be a successful author, but her last few books have not been well-received.  Her marriage is equally miserable, with her husband being obsessed with finding his missing friend and neglecting her.  Add the fact her struggles with infertility.  Poor Liza has a ton on her plate.  But her friend/editor gives her a chance to write another book.  He gives her a month to write it and send it out to the world.  Liza is up to the challenge.  How will everything turn out?

Our main character, Liza, was certainly interesting. She was very intelligent, ambitious, strong…and unpredictable. I morbidly enjoyed her story.  She gave new meaning to the term ‘unreliable narrator’.  The main character in Liza’s novel, Beth, can be described as her ‘mirror image’ in a lot of ways. Both women are unhappily married to emotionally distant men. And neither of them are ready to give up on these marriages. Both women are close to their moms.   Fertility issues, with different results.  They each deal with attractive men with accents whose names begins with the letter “T”.   Clearly, Liza gave Beth a daughter because she herself is desperate to have a family of her own.  Both women become darker and unpredictable as the story goes on.

Lies She Told kind of reminded me of the movie Nocturnal Animals.  The movie featured an author that tells a story within the story.  Kind of like…..this book. At first blush, the women seemed different enough.  But as the story goes on, despite the different fonts, it gets harder and harder to tell Liza and Beth apart.  It also feels like they’re the same person.  Trying to untangle this web gets harder and harder, but also more entertaining.  I just had to know what would happen next.  And what happened next was quite shocking.  Cate Holahan is an amazing writer, and I hope she writes more books in the future.  I’m sure she will.

The novel was kind of confusing to me at first, especially the end.  I still have no idea how to process everything that I read.  It was quick and enjoyable, but my overthinking mind may be turning molehills into mountains.  Plus, I didn’t entirely get Liza.  I guess that was the point.

Despite those slight issues, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Lies She Told.  It was fun, interesting and unpredictable with some surprising twists.  I look forward to reading more books from the author, Cate Holahan.  I’d give it a 8.5 out of 10.  You can find it at your local bookstore.

 

 

 

 

HTGAWM: Thoughts on the Season Opener

These are just some notes about the start of season 4.  It wasn’t exactly great, to be honest.  But there were some interesting moments……

1.  The scene be Annalise and Desmond is pretty cute. There was nice chemistry, as there should be.   I liked Desmond, who was played Viola Davis’ real-life husband, Julius Tennon.  But I don’t expect Desmond to be around for long.  

2.  How can Laurel keep a straight face around her father?  The man is diabolical! How could he do that to his own child? Plus, how does she know that he’s involved in Wes’ murder?!  That was quite a shock!

3.  Those Keating brats were so annoying!  Ever since Sam died, they’ve been begging and pleading to be free of her.  Even if the opposite is actually true.  Her life would be (slightly) better if she hadn’t let these kids into her life.  Or if they actually did what she did what she said.   Well, anyways.  I don’t get why they were so upset.  They should’ve been happy.  Well, Connor was.  I guess nothing Annalise does will ever be good enough for those spoiled, entitled brats.

4.  I was surprised when she fired Bonnie, though.  But then again, look what happened in season 3B.  There were moments where I actually thought she wanted Annalise to stay in jail.

5.  I was even more surprised when Bonnie went for an interview with Annalise’s enemy, D.A. John Denver.  You know how much Annalise means to Bonnie.

6.  The void Wes left was very much there.  It just doesn’t feel the same without him.  Watching this week’s episode just made me miss him more.  ūüėü
Maybe the season will get better……

“The Sinner”: Finally Some Answers

It’s been one mind-bending puzzle after the next for the past few weeks. ¬†Now we finally have answers to some of the questions eating away at us. ¬†And a few unexpected twists. ¬†Cora finally starts to remember what happened on that horrible night.

 

  1. ¬†It was Phoebe’s birthday. ¬†The birthday girl begged her older sister to take her out. ¬†Like always, Cora obliged. ¬†Phoebe finally got to experience things for herself instead of living vicariously through Cora.
  2. J.D.’s an asshole, but you knew that already. ¬†Didn’t you?
  3. God, Maddie is/was so weak! ¬†That’s how J.D. likes his women. ¬†Gag!
  4. Frankie isn’t the man in the mask, like I suspected earlier. ¬†It wouldn’t make sense for him to be. ¬†Both Phoebe and Cora saw him earlier that night. ¬†It would make no sense for him to wear a mask. He seemed to actually be a good guy. ¬†Phoebe gave her virginity to him that night. ¬†It was one of the last things she did. ¬†She likely died from a combination of a weak heart, lymphoma, drugs and alcohol. ¬†Maybe her body couldn’t take it.
  5. Frankie still felt guilty for what happened to Phoebe all those years ago. ¬†He recognized Cora because she was in the room with him. ¬†Plus, he clearly knew that Cora and Phoebe were sisters. ¬†So he let her kill him because he couldn’t handle the guilt anymore.
  6. Maddie and Phoebe are not the same person. ¬†Well, not in actuality. ¬†But somehow, Cora replaced Phoebe with Maddie in her mind to make her memories less painful. ¬†She either repressed her memories to the nth degree…..
  7. …..or someone wanted to make sure that she couldn’t remember what happened that night. ¬†Possibly a doctor in a creepy mask. ¬†They pumped Cora full of memory-erasing drugs and held her captive. ¬†They had to make sure she would forget. ¬†We still don’t know who the other players are. ¬†Clearly, J.D. was one of them.
  8. Cora isn’t a pathological liar, like earlier suspected. ¬†She is an unreliable narrator because her memories are. ¬†She remember things in pieces. Things that happened but not to her. ¬†The story of her being run over by a car and losing her baby, for example. ¬†It happened, but to Maddie instead. ¬†I really feel sorry for Cora, and I hope she gets out of jail.

 

It’s a relief to finally have answers, but there are still so many questions.

  1. ¬†Who was the man in the mask? ¬†Was there even a man in the mask or just another ‘replacement’ in Cora’s head?
  2. Will Cora finally be released from jail? ¬†Maybe she won’t, but…..
  3. Where is Maddie?  Is she even alive?
  4. Who was the woman in the woods? ¬†It doesn’t make sense for it to be Phoebe because her parents loved her and hated Cora. ¬†But they’re crazy, so….
  5. What will happen to Cora, Mason and their son?
  6. Who are the other players?  Have we met them before?
  7. DO any of Ambrose’s….proclivities have anything to do with this? ¬†Is it further proof that he’s damaged too?
  8. What clues will we find out next week?

 

The Sinner - Season 1

Poor Cora…..

So this past episode of The Sinner was…..something, huh?

 

I feel sorry for Cora. ¬†We know she killed Frankie in full view of dozens of witnesses. ¬† Nobody can deny that, We know that she isn’t some cold-blooded murderer. ¬†But with each episode, we’re actually surprised she hasn’t killed anyone sooner! ¬†It seems like everyone in her life has abused her, insulted her, manipulated her or just make her feel so bad about herself. ¬†Everyone except Mason and Ambrose, of course. It’s like the incident was a horrible, yet convenient outlet for all the rage she’s been building up inside her. ¬†Is Frankie even involved in the country club incident?

 

At least one problem was solved–the death of J.D. ¬†I never liked or trusted that man. ¬†I don’t know if we were supposed to. ¬†I think he was involved still, but his role was small. ¬†At the end of last week’s episode, I was scared for Cora and their son. ¬†I kept thinking, “Please don’t do it, Mason! ¬†Think about Laine.” ¬†So Mason didn’t kill J.D. ¬†Any number of people could have. ¬†It was probably another victim’s family member who did it. ¬†Or one of his drug clients. ¬†Mason is understandably sad. ¬†He wants to help Cora, but doesn’t know how. ¬†I don’t think he’s involved anymore. ¬†I’ll be shocked if he is.

What proved to be most shocking was Phoebe.  We know that Mama Crazy was abusive and their father was pretty much worthless.  Now Phoebe is an abuser too?!  That scene was too much, so I skipped ahead.  No wonder Cora wanted to leave!  Her whole family is crazy.  Who could blame her?

After a relatively uneventful episode, we finally got somewhere.  Ambrose took Cora to the creepy country club to see if she could remember what happened.  The first trip yielded no result.  They went back at a later date, to what looked like a guest house or a shed.  Cora finally started to remember.

 

Then the end credits rolled.  Just great.

 

The Sinner - Season 1

 

 

“The Sinner” Theories

the-sinner-ban1What gets you out of a slump? ¬†One of the things is a new show. ¬†An amazing new show called “The Sinner”. ¬†In it, Cora Tannetti (played by Jessica Biel) is a seemingly normal woman who commits a very abnormal and brutal murder in full view of dozens of people. ¬†What made her snap? Cora’s loved ones are shocked, and so is Cora. Nothing in her history would suggest she would do such a thing. ¬†But then again, we don’t know a lot of her history, do we?

As time goes on, we learn some things about Cora. ¬†One of them is that she is a habitual liar, which makes her unreliable. ¬†It’s so hard to figure things out. ¬†At the end of each episode, we’re left with more questions than answers. ¬†It seems like anything could happen. ¬†And that’s what makes it so thrilling.

Here are some of my thoughts…..

  1. ¬†Maddie. ¬†The victim’s girlfriend looked a lot like her. ¬†It’s possible that Maddie was attacked in the past, and Cora saved her. ¬†In the moments building up to the stabbing, Cora mistakes the couple’s normal affection for assault. ¬†Then that song comes on. ¬†So she protects the girlfriend the way she (possibly) protected Maddie all those years ago. ¬†Maybe the beach incident wasn’t the first time she’s killed…..
  2. Frankie, the victim. ¬†Despite what we initially believe, Cora did know Frankie. It’s one of the many lies she’s told. ¬† ¬†Maybe Frankie did something to hurt her in the past. ¬†Seeing him again triggered all of the bad memories, and Cora acted accordingly.
  3. Mommie Not-so-Dearest. ¬† Cora did not have a happy childhood. ¬†She was abused by her mother and possibly her father. Her mother belongs in an insane asylum. ¬†Clearly, Cora is still haunted by her mother and the abuse. ¬†I completely understood why she lied about her parents. ¬†I would too. Is Mommie Not-so-Dearest behind the repressed memories of Cora’s? ¬†Was Frankie just a convenient target for the rage she felt towards her mother?
  4. What about Mason? ¬†Cora’s husband seems like a great guy who really loves her. ¬†But then we see him with the cop. ¬†We learn that they had sex at one point. ¬†Did it happen while he was married to Cora? ¬†Did he ever hurt her? ¬†Is he just pulling off a brilliant “Man of the Year” act when he’s really an abuser? ¬†Or is he as innocent as he seems? ¬†Who knows……
  5. ¬† J.D. ¬†From what we’ve seen, J.D. is a dirtbag acquaintance from Cora’s past. ¬†He was there with her and Maddie in the bar that night. ¬†And the three of them were together at the house. ¬†What happened in that house? ¬†Right now, J.D. seems like the most viable suspect. ¬†But it’s usually not that simple…..
  6. ¬†Cora Doesn’t Wanna Go Home. ¬†Detective Ambrose really seems to care about Cora. ¬†This is a cut-and-dry case. ¬†Most detectives would stop there, but not Ambrose. ¬†He really wants to help Cora win this case and go home. ¬†But why? And why doesn’t Cora want to see her family again?
  7. The Man in the Mask. ¬†Towards the end of episode three, we meet a man in a big, creepy mask. ¬†From the looks of it, he has dark eyes. ¬†I think he’s one of Cora’s tormentors. ¬†But who is he? ¬†For some reason, Mason popped up in my head. ¬†Then Frankie. ¬†But it could be neither or either of them.
  8. That Song!  Something awful happened to Cora.  That song was playing in the background.  Frankie looked familiar to Cora on the beach.  Then the song plays, and it triggered the memory of the attack.  Which led Cora to kill Frankie, a possible source of her pain.

 

The Sinner - Season 1

 

But these are just thoughts.  What do you think?

 

We’ll find out over the next few weeks…….

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