Sunday, April 11, 2010

WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED by Judy Blundell

What started off as a slow read turned out to be a book I couldn't put down. The year is 1947 and 15 year-old Evie's stepdad Joe has returned from the war. Joe takes Evie and her mom Bev on their first vacation to Palm Beach Florida. It is late summer and the off season so there are not many people in their hotel. However they spend a lot of time with another couple, the Graysons, and Peter, a GI that knows Joe from the war. Evie believes she is in love with Peter. Joe agrees to go into business with Mr. Grayson. Mrs. Grayson disappears every day for a few hours. Bev takes golf lessons and spends a lot of time with Evie and Peter while Joe and Mr. Grayson are out. The Graysons are asked to leave Palm Beach on a sour note and Peter, Joe and Bev go on a boat ride just as a hurricane is blowing in and only two of them arrive back safely. There is a lot of historical fiction (see below.) There is also mystery, romance and tender moments between mother and daughter. However, we learn that not everything looks as we see it and the last part of the book was like putting pieces of a puzzle back together. Highly recommended for young adults and adults.

Spoiler alert:

I did not know that Jews were not allowed in Palm Beach when this story takes place. Instead they went to Miami. I found this fact shocking considering how many Jewish people I know that have moved or relocated to Palm Beach.

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