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what lies between us book coverReviewed by Bethany Kelly

After reading the synopsis for What Lies Between Us by Nayomi Munaweera, I was intrigued. I was also very interested to learn why the word “lies” is emphasized on the cover, and by the end of the book, I had my answer.

This novel tells the tale of a young Sri Lankan girl growing up in a seemingly loving family and living in a gorgeous home. However, we quickly realize that this paradise she lives in isn’t what it seems.

After a horrific turn of events, the girl and her mother must move to America, where she grows up into a troubled young woman.

What Lies Between Us follows this young girl through adulthood and through situations that shape and mold her into someone completely unrecognizable by the end of the novel.

The first few pages of the book reveal to the reader that something isn’t quite right with the narrator, and as a lover of unreliable narrators, I was hooked.

As we keep reading, we continue to see things through the eyes of the main character, and while we begin to emotionally invest in her well-being, we aren’t told her name until the very end of the novel. I thought that the decision to withhold that information until we know everything was an amazing choice; one that I would never have the guts to do in my own writing.

One thing I will say that bothered me about this book was that it seemed to slow down to a snail’s pace in some areas of the book; however, the other, more intriguing, parts of the novel make it worth it to read through to the end. I predicted the ending of the book after about 2/3 of the way through. However, it didn’t cause me to want to stop reading because not only did I want to see if I was right, but I also wanted to know all of the details surrounding the situation.

Munaweera writes a haunting tale, and although there were some slow parts that took me a while (and some motivation) to get through, I don’t regret reading it.


Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking. Check out her website at www.bckwritingcorner.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.