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Lies You Wanted to Hear

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  3,861 Ratings  ·  603 Reviews
Alone in an empty house, Lucy tries to imagine the lives of her two young children. They have been gone for seven years, and she is tormented by the role she played in that heartbreaking loss. You can hardly see a glimpse of the sexy, edgy woman she used to be. Back then, she was a magnet for men like Matt, who loved her beyond reason, and Griffin, who wouldn't let go but ...more
Paperback, 404 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published January 1st 2013)
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“How long do I have to wait till I can be as sad as you are?”

This book started off a bit slow for me and I had a hard time bonding with Lucy and Matt at first. About a third of the way into the book, though, the story really took off for me.

Lies You Wanted to Hear is about the the damage that can be caused when love is on an uneven scale in a relationship. I moved from pity to sadness to anger to sympathy and back again throughout the story. Both characters were unapologetically imperfect and
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
The publisher has requested that I not post a full review too far in advance of the book's publication. Therefore, I'll just mention a couple of important things:

1) If you're planning to read this novel, don't read any detailed reviews. The only thing that kept me wanting to continue reading was the fact that I had no idea what was coming. Any hint of that ahead of time would have ruined it for me.

2) Parts 1 and 2 were well-written but sort of ho-hum domestic fiction for me. It took me a while
Jul 26, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
This book is much better than Gone Girl in my mind - Gone Girl you can't empathize with the characters - they do despicable things. These characters make decisions. Not mistakes - they make choices. their choices define who they are. And they have to live with them. And if you can put yourself in their shoes - the book makes you wonder if you'd make those same decisions. or if you've made bad decisions in your life - would you make them again? Especially in relationships - sometimes we know some ...more
Sep 09, 2013 Jenni rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
Lies You Wanted to Hear is a well paced, well styled, and engaging debut novel by James Whitfield Thomson. A lot of discussion has taken place regarding the author, who at age 67, has made quite an entrance onto the literary scene.

In Lies, Thomson showcases the rocky relationship between Matt and Lucy from courtship through its eventual unraveling. Lucy is depicted as wholly selfish and troubled while Matt's character is more nuanced. The decisions that each of them make wound not only each oth
Jul 31, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it
4.0 out of 5 stars - The lies you tell yourself are the ones that hurt you the most...

This is another tale of love-gone-wrong -- a fairly common theme for the story of a modern tragedy. But it's not what happened to Lucy and Matt that makes this novel hard to put down, but WHY it happened.

Lucy and Matt meet on a blind date set up by Lucy's best friend, Jill. Lucy's on the rebound, but barely, after a long and heartbreaking romantic thrill ride that ended with Griffin just walking away. She's def
Nov 17, 2013 Cheryl rated it it was ok
Back when Lucy was younger, she had two men falling for her. The bad boy, Griffin, and the good guy, Matthew. If Lucy had only thought with her heart then she would have picked Griffin. If she had picked with her attraction then she would have picked Griffin. Yes, Lucy loved Griffin but Griffin was not one to settle down even for Lucy. So Lucy chose Matthew.

Years later Lucy is divorced. Lucy had two children but they are also gone. Now Lucy is faced with the past and the lies she told to get to
Diane S ☔
Jul 22, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it liked it
Relationships built on lies, betrayals and secrecy very seldom turn out well and so this proved in the marriage of Matt and Lucy. Going into a relationship with very different reasons, Matt and Lucy are at a disadvantage from the get go, the reader knows this but of course in the novel they do not. Tiny cracks, widen and get deeper as the reader reads their story.

This is a grim, at times depressing viewpoint of marriage. It is, however, a truthful one for some and maybe a warning for others. Ve
Jul 04, 2013 esw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As soon as you meet Matt and Lucy you feel as if you've known them forever.It's amazing one can so easily be in Matt's head in one chapter, then in Lucy's in the next. You're so eager to learn what each is going to do that you keep turning the pages. As their actions take them toward irreversible damage to their marriage and their lives you inevitably choose the side of one or the other.Then... you wonder if you were right. You'll want your friends to read this book, so you can discuss it with t ...more
Nov 21, 2013 Kathy rated it really liked it
The story of a marriage between two remarkably dislikable people. Great character building and believable story line made the book a compelling read.

Lucy is in love with unreliable Griffin when she meets Matt on a blind date. Matt is instantly head over heels, for this sexy, edgy woman. He enfolds Lucy in his care and she allows it. Less than bowled over by Matt, she sees that he is nevertheless a good catch, the kind of man she SHOULD want, so she goes along.

Two kids later, the relationship s
Nov 12, 2013 Melanie rated it did not like it
After reading the description, I thought I would enjoy this book, but I just couldn't get into it. Matt and Lucy are boring and selfish characters, and I have a hard time believing that their children could forgive them so easily once the truth of their situation was revealed. I found myself skipping through paragraphs to get to the point. There were a lot of unnecessary details that were not relevant to the rest of the story or characters. ( Do we really need 3 pages to describe dinner?) The on ...more
Judy Collins
James Whitfield Thomson’s gripping psychological debut novel, THE LIES YOU WANTED TO HEAR, is one of complex and troubled characters, where your loyalties for these two, switch back and forth more than a tennis match.

Set in the late 70s in Boston, Matt, a copy is set up by his colleague’s wife on a blind date with her oldest friend from college, Lucy. Lucy who likes to live life on the edge, from a well to do family, obsessed with her former (future) lover and bad boy, Griffin.

In earlier days
Dec 21, 2013 Laurel-Rain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What if the lies you told and the choices you made have come back to haunt you? What if the losses are so much greater than you could ever have imagined?

Lucy Thornhill was an edgy young woman, always looking for love in all the wrong places. After the disappointment of a lover who could not commit, finding Matt Drobyshev, who was so reliable and responsible, felt like a magical gift. It would not be long, however, before they each realized that the relationship was built on a series of little wh
Oct 27, 2013 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I applaud the author's first book. We need more noteworthy books to read. Genius writing, the chapter sequencing was unique and easy to read The characters fell into place and the author made you care about them all! The twists and turns were so delicious, I couldn't put it down... The author I hope will write many more books...And the Title tells it all!

I received this free book from Goodreads First Reads!

I predict a best seller!
Nov 22, 2013 Zeena rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Very tragic story with characters that I hated back and forth. They are parents and not once did they think of the children, they only ever thought of themselves. I understand why Matt did what he did but what did it solve/prove?
Nicely written and easy to read.
Nov 14, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
I finished Lies You Wanted to Hear in two days. Once you start, it really is hard to put down. The story of a marriage between Lucy and Matt, twists and turns down a never-ending road of pain. The chapters alternate between characters and while I was reading it I thought, boy this book will be a great book club book because there is so much to discuss. There is no good guy in this but you can certainly see how it all happens. Reading their thoughts was enlightening and stopped me from judging th ...more
Readerly Magazine
Nov 10, 2013 Readerly Magazine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: november-2013
Even good people make can make extraordinarily hurtful and mean-spirited choices that irrevocably impact lives forever. Lies You Wanted to Hear is a powerful novel about choices: terrible choices that seemingly good people make. Impossible to put down, this is the book club read of the year!
Nov 05, 2013 Heidi rated it liked it
Three and a half stars: A book with a troubled relationship that will make you think.

Lucy is trying to make her marriage work, but her heart isn't fully committed. Lucy can't get over Griffin, the sexy rascal she met right after college. Lucy and Griffin carried on a torrid affair full of ups and downs, steamy sex, infidelity and excitement. Yet, the wild, careless Griffin refused to be faithful. Even though Lucy and Griffin fought constantly and she knew he was cheating, she couldn't resist the
Nov 05, 2013 Ivyd rated it really liked it
3.75 stars
LIES YOU WANTED TO HEAR tells the story of Matt, Lucy and their failed marriage. Eventually thanks to the skewed family court system and what he considers Lucy’s negligent parenting Matt feels driven to desperate measures to ensure his children’s safety.

LIES YOU WANTED TO HEAR is told in alternating POV’s making it explicitly clear what motivates each character. I really appreciated this as Matt and Lucy’s story progressed.
Griffin is the man Lucy had been dating when first we meet he
Nov 10, 2013 Patty rated it really liked it
Lies You Wanted To Hear
James Whitfield Thomson


This book is about Lucy, Griffin and Matt and what their relationships did to them.

My thoughts after reading this book...

This book has affected me in rather strange ways. At first I loved all of the characters but by the time I finished the book I strongly disliked them. But let me just quickly share the basics. Lucy is privileged, has a unique family and loves a man named Griffin. She meets him accidentally, after college, and remain
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

"The lies you wanted to hear were the easiest ones to tell" pg384

Lies you Wanted to Hear is a compelling story of love and betrayal, of a marriage destroyed by the secrets we keep from one another and the lies we tell ourselves.

When Matt meets Lucy on a blind date he knows she is the 'one', she is beautiful, bright and sexy, "everything a guy could want", but Lucy is wary, Matt, a strait laced police officer, is completely different from her on again-off again lover Griffin who she can't seem to
Oct 30, 2013 Kandace rated it liked it
Matt loved Lucy from the moment they met. Lucy convinced herself that she loved Matt too. But relationships, and families, can't be built on lies...even the ones we want to hear.

High Points
I loved the structure. The back and forth between Lucy and Matt really built a very lovely and complex point counter point. It was perfect for setting up the dynamics of a very complicated relationship.

Low Points
The supporting cast. Griffin, Amanda, Thorny. Jill. They all felt flat, one-dimensional.

Cathy B
Nov 26, 2013 Cathy B rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-twice
I REALLY enjoyed this book! I was drawn right in and just kept turning the pages to see what happened! I thought the way the book was written, in alternating voices between Matt and Lucy, was probably one of the best things about the book. It kept the story moving forward, but you got to go inside the head of the person who was telling their side of the story without missing a beat. LOVED the ending too. I would highly recommend, even though the subject matter might sound like it would be depres ...more
Apr 22, 2014 Kelli rated it liked it
So many books are now told from different character's points of view that it no longer feels fresh, however this style worked perfectly for this story. The reader was almost looking into the minds of Matt and Lucy, hearing how they processed different situations and rationalized their choices and behavior. I was impressed with the author's handling of postpartum depression and some other decidedly female aspects of the story...I'm ever impressed when I'm reading a woman's point of view and it so ...more
Gail Moore
Oct 30, 2013 Gail Moore rated it it was amazing
The more I read Lies, the more I got hooked, until I couldn't put it down. As the characters and the issues grew more complex, I found myself challenged as to what is fair and what is not. As the story progressed, Thomson's even-handed treatment of the two main characters compelled me to reexamine my allegiances, and that always makes for a good read.
Aug 02, 2013 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
I was completely blown away by this tale. I know these characters. AND, I cared. I felt for / with them. I was engaged from the get-go. Well done. Well done.

I am a now officially a fan of Mr. Thomson.
Jessica (booneybear)
The entire time I was reading this book, I thought I was reading 'We Were Liars'. They have almost identical covers. Boy was I all kinds of confused.
Nov 10, 2013 Doreen rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
This is a family drama about a marriage gone wrong. Matt and Lucy meet and fall in love (Matt much more so than Lucy), marry, and have two children. The marriage is never the strongest but things really start to unravel when Griffin, a bad boy from Lucy’s past, reappears. Soon afterwards Matt makes a decision regarding the welfare of his children, a decision that has dramatic and long-lasting consequences.

The novel is narrated by both protagonists in first person point of view (alternating chap
Mina De Caro (Mina's Bookshelf)
5 very bright stars.

The lies we want to hear are [...] Read my full review on MINA'S BOOKSHELF

Lucy and Matt's story is a dramatic spectacle of human suffering, as introspective and realistic as Ingmar Bergman's cinematographic masterpiece Scenes From A Marriage (1973), as heart-shuttering and iconic as Avery Corman's Kramer vs. Kramer (1977), as tragically romantic as W. Somerset Vaugham's The Painted Veil (1925). The human drama of unrequited love seem
The CurvyJones
Oct 07, 2013 The CurvyJones rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}
Jul 06, 2013 I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat} rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
It's been months since I read Lies You Wanted to Hear and I am still thinking about this book. I loved this book, and still can't believe how good it was.

As a parent, I was enraptured by the premise of Lies You Wanted to Hear. The idea of losing my daughter is unthinkable. I was ready to completely side with Lucy when I started the book. What I found so incredible, though, was that the way Thomson writes both Lucy and Matt made me understand and empathize with both of them. I really couldn't say
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James Whitfield Thomson grew up on the North Side of Pittsburgh and attended Harvard College on scholarship. After graduation he served three years in the Navy as navigator of a supply ship off the coast of Vietnam. Jim earned a Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, writing his dissertation on the detective novelist Raymond Chandler. Following a brief stint teaching literatu ...more
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“The lies you wanted to hear were the easiest ones to tell.” 6 likes
“The older I get, the more I realize the answer to most questions is: All of the above.” 3 likes
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