Good Reads, Lifestyle

Good Reads Challenge Book Review: We Lie Here

What’s up “fam”..Welcome back to the blog.

“This time, though, I thought we’d finally agree on something for a change—that she would be just as happy as I was that I’d left.” –Rachel Howzell Hall

Hello friends, and how are you? I hope you’re doing well, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, focusing on your mental health, and giving yourself grace.

My reading challenge is looking good, and I’m two books ahead of schedule. (According to Good Reads). But I’m still behind on reviews by one. I’m hoping to crank out a few more this month, along with all the things.  (LOL)  I just finished another ARC audiobook, and I’m waiting for several others to be approved.  (I just got approved for two…whooo hoo!) So I’m excited.  Today my short review is …We Lie Here by Rachel Howzell Hall.

The Review

Title | We Lie Here
Author | Rachel Howzell Hall
Format | Audiobook [Audible]
Publisher | Brilliance Audio
Narrated by | Alaska Jackson
Pages/Hours | 9 hours, 55 minutes
Published  | July 2022
Genre |  Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Family Drama
GR Rating | 3.87
Purchase | Amazon


TV writer Yara Gibson’s hometown of Palmdale, California, isn’t her first choice for a vacation. But she’s back to host her parents’ twentieth-anniversary party and find the perfect family mementos for the celebration. Everything is going to plan until Yara receives a disturbing text: I have information that will change your life.

My Rating (4.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐)

This novel is a mystery crime-thriller, which is typical of this author, and I’ve only read one other title in her collection.
The novel centers around the family and the planning of an anniversary dinner. Yara [Ya-Ya for short], our protagonist and the eldest daughter, is planning this event for her parents (mainly her mother).
The impression that I get is that “B” (short for Barb or Barabara) is a headstrong Mom who puts her kids first (sorta).  Ya-Ya has a younger sister, Dominque, who is 19 and has just started college.

Quote from We Lie Here
“Every Summer, they arrived and talked loudly, and never kept private things private, and always spilled those secrets across the woods like cheap wine.”

The book is [mainly] about an award-winning scientist, Evelyn Caldwell, who paved the way with her groundbreaking research in her field. This is where the story begins because Evelyn is on her way to accepting an award, but you also get a sense of how uncomfortable she is at this event and that her husband is missing.

Evelyn and her husband, Nathan, are divorced, and it’s pretty clear that he’s with someone else, but everything has a bitter sting from this point. Science fiction, in my opinion, is usually long and daunting because you have to set the environment and create this world to give us backstory and context, which can take some time. This story was no different, as it details Evelyn’s background in her field, her mannerisms with her assistant, and how she treats her colleagues. The book goes back from the past through the present, her childhood, and her relationship with her parents, which played a big part in her adult life.

Quote from We Lie Here
“At sunset, the hills will turn blue before plunging into the darkest black, and the skies will come alive as shooting stars streak across that vast of nothingness.”

Ya-Ya has been plagued over the years with several chronic illnesses, such as allergies, asthma, anxiety, and depression. She also used to sleepwalk. Ya-Ya saw this as the main reason to move away from her parent’s house because she relates this to her many illnesses. The dryness of Palmdale and the fact that her mother constantly smokes (as well as her sister) even though Ya-Ya is asthmatic bothered me because wouldn’t any parent (family member) curb smoking, if only temporarily because their child (or sibling) had these issues. That was my first flag. (As there were many)

This book seems typical of a Howzell novel because there are family secrets and something that happened in the past, which leads to a murder in the present day, which results in more conflict. “We Lie Here” also has a similar ending to “These Toxic Things,” but with a different subplot, and I didn’t mind that.
We Lie Here was an audiobook book for me, and although the narrator’s voice was a little unbelievable in conjunction with the story, it’s something you get used to and wasn’t cringe-worthy.  It’s one of those stories that I thought I had it.  But when I put a piece together, the finished line was moved, and I was back to guessing.  There was something I figured out right off the bat and something that caught me entirely off guard.
This was a nice break from all my supernatural, paranormal wheelhouse of reading, and I love supporting my African American authors.

Good Read Challenge Progress

What Moves the Dead (read)
Leslie F*cking Jones (read)
The Cousins (read)
September House (read)
The Echo Wife (read)
Her Lost Soul (ARC)
The Black Girl Survives This One (ARC)
The Bad Ones (ARC)

For my full Good Reads Challenge list ..check out this post.  For all the other posted reviews, check my page.

Thanks so much for visiting the blog today.  Don’t forget to follow and subscribe, as I really appreciate the support. — Peace

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