To Go: 79
21. Why Men Lie — Linden MacIntyre
Why do men lie? Effie MacAskill Gillis, a self-sufficient woman of her time, is confident she knows. She learned the hard way — from a war-damaged father and a troubled brother who became a priest, from failed marriages and doomed relationships with weak and needy men. Men lie to satisfy the needs they never can articulate: for sex, for love, for reassurance.
Now at middle age, Effie is confident that she’s been immunized against the damage men can do. She enjoys a hard-won independence. She has the poise and the means to face the world alone.
But then a chance encounter on a subway platform changes everything. She runs into an old friend who seems, like her, to have matured beyond the insecurities of the past. He seems to have outgrown the need for telling lies, a quality that proves irresistible. On JC Campbell, a man born in her home of Cape Breton, who has travelled the world, Effie will gamble her emotional resources as she never has gambled before. And she will learn that men must lie, and that the consequences can be disastrous.
Hello! The review starts here!
So I’m actually about three days behind on this review. I finished it on Thursday but never did any kind of write-up because I had an exam the next day, so this fell to the wayside. Anywho…
Why Men Lie is one of those books I have a hard time talking articulately about, but all I know is that I really, really enjoyed it. I picked it up on Saturday night and ended up reading half of it in one go, and have been finishing off the rest of it while I was working (probably to the detriment of my job). And each time I started reading it, I had serious difficulty putting it down.
Until I finished it I wasn’t aware that Why Men Lie is actually the final book in a trilogy (the other two being The Long Stretch and The Bishop’s Man, both of which I plan to read this year), so throughout the book I was a little confused by the vagueness of Effie’s flashbacks. It was never stated explicitly what she had went through as a young girl, and I was left to guess — but turns out those details would have been in the first two books. Good news is that, even if you were to only read Why Men Lie, it works well as a stand-alone piece (if you’re willing to deal with some ambiguity).
Anyway, I really liked the characters (especially the mysterious JC Campbell), and was impressed at how very true-to-life Effie seemed. I’ve noticed that writing from the perspective of a female can be a male writer’s downfall, but it wasn’t the case here.
Why Men Lie is a must-read. But it would probably make more sense in the context of the trilogy. So read the other two as well. I know that’s what I’ll be doing!
Next book: Not sure yet.