Monday, August 10, 2009

The Lie- Fredrica Wagman

It is the 1950’s,a simpler time they say, and 17 year old Ramona Smollens has just lost her angry, indifferent father, when she meets Solomon Columbus in the park. They sit on a bench, smoking and talking, talking and talking, as it begins to pour, they still sit, clothes plastered with rain, talking as if they had always known each other. They soon marry, but Ramona has issues, having learned everything she knows about love from the movies. She is unprepared for married life, eventually cracking under the labels she puts on herself, and the suspicions which are driving her mad.

Her selfish, self centered mother, Trixie, is no help or comfort, even as she lies dying. Ramona laments, “She knew how to make rice pudding, but she wouldn’t teach me”. Trixie points out that indifference is the opposite of love, not hate, as so many people think. In some respects, she reminds me of mothers I have known from that era (doing the best they can), but I found myself really angry at her character.

Ramona's paranoia, and crumbling self esteem lead to a terrible conclusion.

A haunting and fascinating look at a time when so much was unspoken, and taboo,when sex, love, marriage and hurts were not discussed openly. In this case, a simpler time was not a better time.

Wagman is a fine writer and brings the story to life, with her wonderful, dramatic style.

I received this book from Julie Harabedian at FSB Associates. Thank you Julie!


  1. this sounds great.

  2. Wait!
    You can't learn everything about life from movies?? That explains so much..... ;-)

  3. This book seems like it might be a nice change of pace for me. thanks for the post