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The Book of Lies
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The Book of Lies

3.0 of 5 stars 3.00  ·  rating details  ·  807 ratings  ·  172 reviews
Catherine Rozier is fifteen years old and a murderer. She desperately wants to explain what happened that stormy night on the cliffs by Clarence Batterie. But the adults around her - her mother, her teachers, even the Chief Constable - understand that some things are best kept hidden. Over a period of two weeks, scribbling frantically in her journal, Catherine recounts the ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 2011)
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The Book of Lies starts with a bang - 15-year-old Cathy's confession that she murdered her best friend, Nicolette - and, for the most part, the rest of the book manages to match up to its explosive opening. It's consistently readable, totally compelling and ends on a chilling note. The narrative is split, alternating between two first-person stories which are both set wholly on the island of Guernsey. Cathy, writing in 1985, tells her tale in the form of a journal, recording the background of he ...more
Catherine Rozier is wonderful - you might not like her, but her view of the world is vivid, funny and heart-breakingly sad by turn. She's a wonderfully unreliable narrator, and Mary Horlock gets under her skin incredibly well. Writing as a teenager isn't easy - she cracks it.

The alternating Uncle Charlie wartime narrative worked for me too - this isn't Potato Pie Guernsey, this is cruel and raw.

This is a really clever and well written book exploring issues like truth and guilt in a dark, funny
Our narrator is a teenage girl, Cat, who is a bit of a social outcast. She lives on the small island of Guernsey and her family has a of a checkered past due to the German occupation during WW II. Added to that is the fact that she is a little odd, overweight and has no confidence. She opens the book with a confession of murder.

The book alternates chapters between Cat’s first person narrative and historical evidence about, and or against, her family’s actions during the German Occupation. As we
Prior to reading this book, I really didn't know anything about the Channel Islands, Guernsey, or the German occupation of that area during WWII. This book gave a glimpse of that and the aftermath, as of the 80s when the main narrative was set. It's pretty bleak.

The book alternates between the diary-style writings of 15-year-old Catherine/Cathy/Cat Rozier and items from her late father's files: interviews he did with his older brother who was interned in a German concentration camp as a teenage
Jul 01, 2011 LG rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: summer readers
Unlike the teenage protagonist, I’ll be kind: none of the positive reviews on this site is a lie. It’s just that, as only one other reader has written, I never warmed up one degree to any of the characters. I did finish the book, but only out of the same sense of duty felt halfway through Smilla’s Sense of Snow, when I started counting down the page numbers.

Catherine Rozier – 15, drama queen, self-confessed murderer and our narrator – is as cold as what I imagine the Channel Islands to be. She d
Cleo Bannister
really enjoyed this book for so many reasons. It is well written set in 1985 mainly in the style of a teenage journal where Catherine Rozier tells the tale to her mother of what happened to Nicolette. This story is cleverly intersperced with the writings of her father Emile Rozier, a baby at the start of the occupation, who is obsessed with events during the Occupation of Guernsey by the Germans. Emile is trying to expose the truth of what happened within his own family during this time and he h ...more
The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock is written in chapters that alternate between the present with Catherine Rozier in 1984-5 and the past during the German occupation of Guernsey during WWII and her uncle Charles Rozier’s story. Like her uncle, Cat is a liar. Lies are often told to protect loved ones, to gain acceptance among peers, or to cover up bad behavior, and the lies told here are no different. Unreliable narrators are tricky in that readers can often get frustrated with the lies or become ...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
The Book of Lies provides fascinating insight into what it’s like living in both present day Guernsey and past, throughout the German Occupation (during World War II and also after the allies had won) and how the Channel Islands were perceived by other nations.

When I first picked up The Book of Lies, I thought it was young adult fiction because this is what I had seen others referring to it as, but then I noticed that the publisher was marketing it as adult fiction. Not that this makes any diff
The premise for this book was good and the author had clearly done her research into the history of Guernsey. I learned a lot about the island's past and this was a saving grace because to be honest I didn't enjoy too much of the rest of the book. I found the constant jumping back and forward in time to be confusing and a hinderance to the enjoyment of the book. Contrary to many other reviewers, I did like the voice of Cathy - yes, she was angsty, but so are most teenagers and I guess I'm used t ...more
From the opening page, when Catherine admits to the murder of her best friend, this book had me gripped. Catherine then goes on to explain the events that led up to her murdering her friend and these chapters alternate with those of her uncle who tells his story of life during the war in German occupied Guernsey.

I felt that Catherine’s voice rang very true throughout the novel. A highly intelligent yet lonely and naïve teenager. Much of what she said was simply repeating the mantra of her recent

The feral nature of adolescent girls and the vagaries of history...set on the Isle of Guernsey.

The lies told by the Rozier family during the Nazi Occupation in WWII resound down the years to impact on fifteen year old Cat Rozier

Cat the brain, the outcast, becomes fast friends with Nicolette, the new girl in town...The lovely and wild Nicolette. they become inseparable.....partying, drinking, hooking up with the local boys. All the while Nicolette alternates her friendship with taunts and bullyin
Well, The Book of Lies is one of my new favorites! It's funny because this book has been sitting on my shelf for nearly a year. I'm glad I finally cracked it open.

Such an emotional and exciting book. There are two story lines that alternate between chapters, one is the story of Cat which is set in the 80's and the other is of her father's family in the 40's. The point is that history repeats itself, and the execution was done brilliantly. The different story lines involve 1.) The Nazi occupation
This is barely a three star book. The author weaves a tale of a teenager who accidently murders her ex-best friend, now enemy AND the story of her father's account of her uncle who was sent to a German work camp in WWII. The jumping between stories was confusing for awhile but I eventually got the rythm of it and its purpose. I read this book as an e-book which led to some confusion for me. Throughout the book there were "foot notes" where if you clicked on them you went to the individual foot n ...more
Andy Szpuk
Drenched in a dramatic wave of teen-speak mingled with a patois developed during the war-time Nazi occupation of Guernsey, The Book of Lies drips truth through layers of deception.
15 year-old Cathy describes herself as ‘a murderer before she was born’, revealing this at the conclusion to the opening chapter in which she has confessed to the murder of Nicolette, her ex- best- friend, the girl-everyone-wants-to-know.
The language used by Mary Horlock plunges the reader into that skewed morality of
There was an interesting parallel between the lives of Charlie Rozier, a young Guernsey boy during the German occupation in WWII and Cat Rozier, his 15 year old niece figuring out her way through high school in 1985 Guernsey. I liked the way the author alternated the perspectives chapter by chapter, and was looking for the connected moments between Charlie's and Cat's experiences. Cat had an interesting voice and view during her rough time at school. One of my take aways is that the "mean girl" ...more
We learn from the very beginning that our narrator, Catherine, has killed someone, her former friend, Nicolette. Catherine leads us through the twists and turns that have resulted in Nic's death in this fascinating and slightly morbid first-hand account of her life as an adolescent girl on Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands between the UK and France.

Sprinkled between Catherine's narrative is the story of Guernsey's history during World War II, when it was occupied by the Nazis. This secondary
Metaxa Cunningham
"The Book of Lies" by Mary Horlock is certainly an interesting read. The protagonist, Cathy (aka),Cat is the epitome of a confused, angst suffering teenage girl with issues of abandonment and loneliness. Cat's tale takes place on the small island of Guernsey, once a place ravaged by German occupation in the Second World War. Though Guernsey has made great strides in recovering from that dark time, Cat cannot get passed the events that haunted her father and permeated his writings before his unti ...more
Mary Horlock’s The Book of Lies is an engaging and (dare I say it) sprightly story set on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel. The novel takes up the role of islanders under German occupation and the life of a chubby teenage girl who, early in her narrative, cops to murdering her best friend, Nic. Horlock tells her story with two first-person narrators, Cathy (the aforementioned teenage girl) and via a diary and other papers from the brother of Cathy’s father.

Cathy’s father, recently d
Karen morsecode
We talk about getting away and seeing the world, but we never do. We stay here making the same mistakes, over and over. (8)

The Book of Lies opens in late 1985 with 15-year-old Cat Rozier admitting that she's murdered her best friend, Nicolette. Her narrative then begins to chart the short history of Cat's tumultuous relationship with Nic. Cat's written confession is interspersed with pages of documents that Cat found in her late father's office. Those documents tell the story of Cat's uncle Char
I could not get into this one. Admittedly, I read it while traveling (and maintaining crazy work hours) but I did not care for it. The beginning starts strong the main character’s voice is distinct and hilarious, and completely believable for a fifteen year old. Despite the fact she killed someone (not a spoiler), Cat is funny and ironic and there were many chuckles and smirks to be had.

Interestingly, a large chunk of this novel involves Cat reading letters written by her father (transcriptions
This narrator is wonderful. With such gems as "I won't go into the details of how I know this, but I won the Inter-Island Junior Mastermind so, trust me, I'm rarely wrong"; " I was doing the world (or Guernsey) a favor . . . What I did was not an Abomination (excellent word)"; and " I'd only ever heard of whores in the Bible and Jackie Collins, so I got a bit excited" I got sucked in immediately and tore through the first 100 pages or so. I lost a bit of interest, though, as the timeline got som ...more
I found this to be a rather disappointing read. I couldn't help but compare it to the excellent "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" as both books look back at the German occupation of Guernsey during the war and the effects on the inhabitants. Unfortunately, this book has neither the style nor substance of the other. Told alternately from the point of view of a teenage girl and extracts from her father's writing about the war and the effect on his family, notably his brother, the ...more
Judy Mann
This book was completely incoherent. Completely. Every time I thought I MIGHT make it to the end of a sentence the author jams in another one of these ridiculous footnotes. Even the footnotes don't have any information. I swear- in some of them she WROTE "Blah..blah.."- IN THE FOOTNOTE. She - I don't know what she was doing.I really haven't a clue. And NOW let us talk about this Patois. I know about Patois because I'm from Quebec and in Quebec many people still speak Patois-only it's called JOUA ...more
The narrator, Cat, is a typically angsty teen living in Guernsey in the '80s. Well, typical except that she's just killed her best friend.

Cat's voice is so strong and well done. Horlock captured teen speak and the false confidence perfectly. It didn't feel overdone or hokey, but very true to life. I particularly like the unreliable narrator aspect and the occasional mistakes Cat makes (such as hoping someone catches "venerable disease.")

The book alternates from Cat's point of view to letters fro
Young Catherine (Cat) has a secret that she cannot share with anyone, and by keeping the secret to herself, she perpetuates a lie concerning the death of her late friend, Nicolette. So she begins to write the chronicle of events that led up to the tragedy, and in searching for answers as to why things transpired the way that they did, she intersperses her father's account of the German occupation of Guernsey, where she lives, and his brother's role, with her own confession. Lies abound in this t ...more
Definitely a good summer read ...and recommended for anyone looking for their next beach book. Parallel family secrets on the odd Channel Island of Guernsey weave together a teenage Mean Girls-type tale (only far more sinister) with a tragic World War Two story. The teenage parts maintains a lighter tone and I quite enjoyed the narrator's voice, her amusing footnotes and even her very teen misuse of phrases like "as per" and "vis-a-vis".
I honestly really thought that at the beginning this book was really boring. But the deeper I got, the more the story developed and the more the story got interesting. This book was about a girl named Katherine who lived on the island of Guernsey during the 1980. Her life was not at all easy with her friend Nicolette always pressuring her into becoming something she's not. She has to try so hard to be friends with her. But knowing Nicolette one day, she'll move on. And that's exactly what she di ...more
Kristen Boers
This one of those times where I can recognize how good a book is—how well written, how intricately plotted and developed—and still not be super into it. Cathy lives on the Channel Island of Guernsey, steeped in history but small and isolated. Cathy’s got a secret…as do her parents…as does her best friend. Cathy’s struggles with the present are interlaced with flashbacks to the German Occupation of Guernsey and the secrets of other islanders. The story of Guernsey and how it survived a five year ...more
Marie Barnes
I couldn't finish this one. Got a 150pgs into it and just wasn't into the characters or story at all so I abandoned it.
Overall, this book was OK. I'm giving it three stars, because the footnotes and the main character's observations are so clever and witty, and the writing is really good. Plus, I think a lot of people will love it; it just wasn't something I got caught up in.

Cat starts off as an articulate and admirable protagonist, but for someone so smart and observant, she had zero ability to eschew the petty bullshit of her peer group. I get that she had some insecurities, but I was just too impatient to enj
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