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Sometimes I Lie: A Novel

Sometimes I Lie: A Novel

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Sometimes I Lie: A Novel

4/5 (139 évaluations)
350 pages
5 heures
Mar 13, 2018


Written by Scribd Editors

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:

  1. I'm in a coma.
  2. My husband doesn't love me anymore.
  3. Sometimes I lie.

While in her coma, Amber is fully aware of everyone around her. She can hear, but she can't move, speak, or open her eyes. Amber can't remember what happened to her that led to her coma, but she's suspicious that her husband had something to do with it.

In this psychological thriller, Amber uncovers the mystery of what happened in flashes between her time in the hospital, the week before the incident, and the contents of her childhood diaries. Readers follow Amber's journey to discover breadcrumbs that lead to the truth. But what is the truth, really?

Alice Feeny's Sometimes I Lie is a New York Times bestseller. It's perfect for fans of The Woman in the Window and An Anonymous Girl.

Mar 13, 2018

À propos de l'auteur

ALICE FEENEY is a writer and journalist. She spent fifteen years with BBC News where she worked as a reporter, news editor, arts and entertainment producer, and One O'Clock news producer. Alice has lived in London and Sydney and has now settled in the Surrey countryside, where she lives with her husband and dog. His & Hers is her third novel, after Sometimes I Lie and I Know Who You Are.

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Sometimes I Lie - Alice Feeney



Boxing Day, December 2016

I’ve always delighted in the free fall between sleep and wakefulness. Those precious few semiconscious seconds before you open your eyes, when you catch yourself believing that your dreams might just be your reality. A moment of intense pleasure or pain, before your senses reboot and inform you who and where and what you are. For now, for just a second longer, I’m enjoying the self-medicated delusion that permits me to imagine that I could be anyone, I could be anywhere, I could be loved.

I sense the light behind my eyelids and my attention is drawn to the platinum band on my finger. It feels heavier than it used to, as though it is weighing me down. A sheet is pulled over my body. It smells unfamiliar and I consider the possibility that I’m in a hotel. Any memory of what I dreamt evaporates. I try to hold on, try to be someone and stay somewhere I am not, but I can’t. I am only ever me and I am here, where I already know I do not wish to be. My limbs ache and I’m so very tired; I don’t want to open my eyes, until I remember that I can’t.

Panic spreads through me like a blast of icy cold air. I can’t recall where this is or how I got here, but I know who I am. My name is Amber Reynolds. I am thirty-five years old. I’m married to Paul. I repeat these three things in my head, holding on to them tightly, as though they might save me, but I’m mindful that some part of the story is lost, the last few pages ripped out. When the memories are as complete as I can manage, I bury them until they are quiet enough inside my head to allow me to think, to feel, to try to make sense of it all. One memory refuses to comply, fighting its way to the surface, but I don’t want to believe it.

The sound of a machine breaks into my consciousness, stealing my last few fragments of hope and leaving me with nothing except the unwanted knowledge that I am in a hospital. The sterilized stench of the place makes me want to gag. I hate hospitals. They are the home of death and regrets that missed their slots, not somewhere I would ever choose to visit, let alone stay.

There were people here before, strangers, I remember that now. They used a word I chose not to hear. I recall lots of fuss, raised voices, and fear, not just my own. I struggle to unearth more, but my mind fails me. Something very bad has happened, but I cannot remember what or when.

Why isn’t he here?

It can be dangerous to ask a question when you already know the answer.

He does not love me.

I bookmark that thought.

I hear a door open. Footsteps, then the silence returns but it’s spoiled, no longer pure. I can smell stale cigarette smoke, the sound of pen scratching paper to my right. Someone coughs to my left and I realize there are two of them. Strangers in the dark. I feel colder than before and so terribly small. I have never known a terror like the one that takes hold of me now.

I wish someone would say something.

Who is she? asks a woman’s voice.

No idea. Poor love, what a mess, replies another woman.

I wish they’d said nothing at all. I start to scream.

My name is Amber Reynolds! I’m a radio presenter! Why don’t you know who I am?

I shout the same sentences over and over, but they ignore me, because on the outside I am silent. On the outside, I am nobody and I have no name.

I want to see the me they have seen. I want to sit up, reach out and touch them. I want to feel something again. Anything. Anyone. I want to ask a thousand questions. I think I want to know the answers. They used the word from before too, the one I don’t want to hear.

The women leave, closing the door behind them, but the word stays behind, so that we are alone together and I am no longer able to ignore it. I can’t open my eyes. I can’t move. I can’t speak. The word bubbles to the surface, popping on impact, and I know it to be true.



One week earlier—Monday, December 19, 2016

I tiptoe downstairs in the early-morning darkness, careful not to wake him. Everything is where it ought to be and yet I’m sure something is missing. I pull on my heavy winter coat to combat the cold and walk through to the kitchen to begin my routine. I start with the back door and repeatedly turn the handle until I’m sure it is locked:

Up, down. Up, down. Up, down.

Next, I stand in front of the large range oven with my arms bent at the elbows, as though I am about to conduct the impressive orchestra of gas hobs. My fingers form the familiar shape: the index and middle finger finding the thumb on each hand. I whisper quietly to myself, while visually checking that all of the knobs and dials are switched off. I do a complete sweep three times, my fingernails clicking together to create a Morse code that only I can decipher. Once satisfied that everything is safe and secure, I go to leave the kitchen, lingering briefly in the doorway, wondering if today is a day when I might need to turn back and begin the whole routine again. It isn’t.

I creep across creaking floorboards into the hall, pick up my bag, and check the contents. Phone. Wallet. Keys. I close it, open it, then check again. Phone. Wallet. Keys. I check a third time on my way to the front door. I stop for a moment and am shocked to see the woman inside the mirror staring back at me. I have the face of someone who might have been pretty once—I barely recognize her now. A mixed palette of light and dark. Long black lashes frame my large green eyes. Sad shadows have settled beneath them, thick brown eyebrows above. My skin is a pale canvas stretched over my cheekbones. My hair is so brown it’s almost black, and lazy straight strands rest on my shoulders for lack of a better idea. I brush it roughly with my fingers before scraping it back into a ponytail, securing the hair off my face with a band from my wrist. My lips part as though I am going to say something, but only air escapes my mouth. A face for radio stares back.

I remember the time and remind myself that the train won’t wait for me. I haven’t said good-bye, but I don’t suppose it matters. I switch off the light and leave the house, checking three times that the front door is locked before marching down the moonlit garden path.

It’s early, but I’m already late. Madeline will be in the office by now, the newspapers will have been read, raped of any good stories. The producers will have picked through the paper carcasses, before being barked at and bullied into getting her the best interviews for this morning’s show. Taxis will be on their way to pick up and spit out overly excited and underprepared guests. Every morning is different and yet has become completely routine. It’s been six months since I joined the Coffee Morning team and things are not going according to plan. A lot of people would think I have a dream job, but nightmares are dreams too.

I briefly stop to buy coffee for myself and a colleague in the foyer, then climb the stone steps to the fifth floor. I don’t like lifts. I fix a smile on my face before stepping into the office and reminding myself that this is what I do best: change to suit the people around me. I can do Amber the friend or Amber the wife, but right now it’s time for "Amber from Coffee Morning." I can play all the parts life has cast me in, I know all my lines; I’ve been rehearsing for a very long time.

The sun has barely risen but as predicted, the small, predominately female team has already assembled. Three fresh-faced producers, powered by caffeine and ambition, sit hunched over their desks. Surrounded by piles of books, old scripts, and empty mugs, they tap away on their keyboards as though their cats’ lives depend on it. In the far corner, I can see the glow of Madeline’s lamp in her own private office. I sit down at my desk and switch on the computer, returning the warm smiles and greetings from the others. People are not mirrors—they don’t see you how you see yourself.

Madeline has gone through three personal assistants this year. Nobody lasts very long before she discards them. I don’t want my own office and I don’t need a PA, I like sitting out here with everyone else. The seat next to mine is empty. It’s unusual for Jo not to be here by now and I worry that something might be wrong. I look down at the spare coffee getting cold, then talk myself into taking it to Madeline’s office. Call it a peace offering.

I stop in the open doorway like a vampire waiting to be invited in. Her office is laughably small, literally a converted store cupboard, because she refuses to sit with the rest of the team. There are framed photos of Madeline with celebrities squeezed onto every inch of the fake walls, and a small shelf of awards behind her desk. She doesn’t look up. I observe the ugly short hair, gray roots making themselves known beneath the black spikes. Her chins rest on top of each other, while the rest of her rolled flesh is thankfully hidden beneath the baggy black clothes. The desk lamp shines on the keyboard, over which Madeline’s ring-adorned fingers hover. I know she can see me.

I thought you might need this, I say, disappointed with the simplicity of the words given how long it took me to find them.

Put it on the desk, she replies, her eyes not leaving the screen.

You’re welcome.

A small fan heater splutters away in the corner and the burnt-scented warmth snakes up around my legs, holding me in place. I find myself staring at the mole on her cheek. My eyes do that sometimes: focus on a person’s imperfections, momentarily forgetting that they can see me seeing the things they’d rather I didn’t.

Did you have a nice weekend? I venture.

I’m not ready to talk to people yet, she says. I leave her to it.

Back at my desk, I scan through the pile of post that has gathered since Friday: a couple of ghastly-looking novels that I will never read, some fan mail, and an invite to a charity gala that catches my eye. I sip my coffee and daydream about what I might wear and whom I would take along if I went. I should do more charity work, really, I just never seem to have the time. Madeline is the face of Crisis Child as well as the voice of Coffee Morning. I’ve always found her close relationship with the country’s biggest children’s charity slightly strange, given that she hates children and never had any of her own. She never even married. She’s completely alone in life but never lonely.

Once I’ve sorted the post, I read through the briefing notes for this morning’s program. It’s always useful to have a bit of background knowledge before the show. I can’t find my red pen, so I head for the stationery cupboard.

It’s been restocked.

I glance over my shoulder and then back at the neatly piled shelves of supplies. I grab a handful of Post-it notes, then I take a few red pens, pushing them into my pockets. I keep taking them until they are all gone and the box is empty. I leave the other colors behind. Nobody looks up as I walk back to my desk. They don’t see me empty everything into my drawer and lock it.

Just as I’m starting to worry that my only friend here isn’t making an appearance today, Jo walks in and smiles at me. She’s dressed the same as always, in blue denim jeans and a white top, like she can’t move on from the nineties. The boots she says she hates are worn down at the heel and her blond hair is damp from the rain. She sits at the desk next to mine, opposite the rest of the producers.

Sorry I’m late, she whispers. Nobody apart from me notices.

The last to arrive is Matthew, the editor of the program. This is not unusual. His skinny chinos are straining at the seams, worn low to accommodate the bulge around his middle. They’re slightly too short for his long legs, revealing colorful socks above his brown, shiny shoes. He heads straight to his tidy desk by the window without saying hello. Why a team of women who produce a show for women is managed by a man is beyond my comprehension. But then Matthew took a chance and gave me this job when my predecessor abruptly left, so I suppose I should be grateful.

Matthew, can you step into my office now that you’re here? says Madeline from across the room.

And he thought his morning couldn’t get any worse, Jo whispers. Are we still on for drinks after work?

I nod, relieved that she isn’t going to disappear straight after the show again.

We watch Matthew grab his briefing notes and hurry into Madeline’s office, his flamboyant coat still flapping at his sides as though it wishes it could fly. Moments later he storms back out, looking red-faced and flustered.

We better go through to the studio, says Jo, interrupting my thoughts. It seems like a good plan given we’re on in ten minutes.

I’ll see if Her Majesty is ready, I reply, pleased to see that I’ve made Jo smile. I catch Matthew’s eye as he raises a neatly arched eyebrow in my direction. I should not have said that out loud.

As the clock counts down to the top of the hour, everyone moves into place. Madeline and I make our way to the studio to resume our familiar positions on a darkened center stage. We are observed through an enormous glass window from the safety of the gallery, like two very different animals mistakenly placed in the same enclosure. Jo and the rest of the producers sit in the gallery. It is bright and loud, with a million different-colored buttons that look terribly complicated given the simplicity of what we actually do: talk to people and pretend to enjoy it. In contrast, the studio is dimly lit and uncomfortably silent. There is just a table, some chairs, and a couple of microphones. Madeline and I sit in the gloom, quietly ignoring each other, waiting for the on-air light to go red and the first act to begin.

"Good morning, and welcome to Monday’s edition of Coffee Morning. I’m Madeline Frost. A little later on today’s show, we’ll be joined by best-selling author E. B. Knight, but before that, we’ll be discussing the rising number of female breadwinners, and for today’s phone-in, we’re inviting you to get in touch on the subject of imaginary friends. Did you have one as a child? Perhaps you still do.…"

The familiar sound of her on-air voice calms me and I switch to autopilot, waiting for my turn to say something. I wonder if Paul is awake yet. He hasn’t been himself lately—staying up late in his writing shed, coming to bed just before I get up, or not at all. He likes to call the shed a cabin. I like to call things what they are.

We spent an evening with E. B. Knight once, when Paul’s first novel took off. That was over five years ago now, not long after we first met. I was a TV reporter at the time. Local news, nothing fancy. But seeing yourself on-screen does force you to make an effort with your appearance, unlike radio. I was slim then, I didn’t know how to cook—I didn’t have anyone to cook for before Paul and rarely made an effort just for myself. Besides, I was too busy working. I mostly did pieces about potholes or the theft of lead from church roofs, but one day, serendipity decided to intervene. Our showbiz reporter got sick and I was sent to interview some hotshot new author instead of her. I hadn’t even read his book. I was hungover and resented having to do someone else’s job for them, but that all changed when he walked in the room.

Paul’s publisher had hired a suite at the Ritz for the interview. It felt like a stage and I felt like an actress who hadn’t learned her lines. I remember feeling out of my depth, but when he sat down in the chair opposite me, I realized he was more nervous than I was. It was his first television interview and I somehow managed to put him at ease. When he asked for my card afterwards I didn’t really think anything of it, but my cameraman took great pleasure in commenting on our chemistry all the way back to the car. I felt like a schoolgirl when he called that night. We talked and it was easy, as though we already knew each other. He said he had to go to a book awards ceremony the week after and didn’t have a date. He wondered if I might be free. I was. We sat at the same table as E. B. Knight for the ceremony. It was like having dinner with a legend and a very memorable first date. She was charming, clever, and witty. I’ve been looking forward to seeing her again ever since I knew they had booked her as a guest.

Good to see you, I say, as the producer brings her into the studio.

Nice to meet you too, she replies, taking her seat. Not a flicker of recognition; how easy I am to forget.

Her trademark white bob frames her petite eighty-year-old face. She’s immaculate. Even her wrinkles are neatly arranged. She looks soft around the edges, but her mind is sharp and fast. Her cheeks are pink with blusher and her blue eyes are wise and watchful, darting around the studio before fixing on their target. She smiles warmly at Madeline as though she is meeting a hero. Guests do that sometimes. It doesn’t bother me, not really.

After the show, we all shuffle into the meeting room for the debrief. We sit, waiting for Madeline, the room falling silent when she finally arrives. Matthew begins talking through the stories, what worked well, what didn’t. Madeline’s face isn’t happy. Her mouth contorts so that it looks like she’s unwrapping toffees with her arse. The rest of us keep quiet and I allow my mind to wander once more.

Twinkle twinkle little star.

Madeline interjects with a frown.

How I wonder what you are.

She tuts, rolls her eyes.

Up above the world so high.

When Madeline has run out of unspoken criticisms, the team stands and begins to file out.

Like a diamond in the sky.

Amber, can I have a word? says Matthew, dragging me from my daydream. Judging by his tone, I don’t have a choice. He closes the meeting room door and I sit back down, searching his face for clues. As usual, he is impossible to read, void of emotion; his mother could have just died and you’d never know. He takes a biscuit from the plate we leave out for the guests and gestures for me to do the same. I shake my head. When Matthew wants to make a point he always seems to take the scenic route. He tries to smile at me but soon tires from the effort and takes a bite of his biscuit instead. A couple of crumbs make themselves at home on his thin lips, which frequently part and snap shut, making him look like a goldfish, as he struggles to find the right words.

So, I could make small talk, ask how you are, pretend that I care, that sort of thing, or I can come straight to the point, he says. A knot of dread ties itself in my stomach.

Go on, I say, wishing that he wouldn’t.

How are things now with you and Madeline? he asks, taking another bite.

Same as always, she hates me, I reply too soon. My turn to wear the fake smile now, the label still attached so I can return it when I’m done.

Yes, she does, and that’s a problem, says Matthew. I shouldn’t be surprised by this and yet I am. I know she didn’t make your life easy when you first joined the team, but it’s been hard for her too, adjusting to having you around. This tension between the two of you, it doesn’t seem to be improving. You might think people don’t pick up on it, but they do. The two of you having good chemistry is really important for the show and the rest of the team. He stares at me, waiting for a response I don’t know how to give. Do you think you might be able to work on your relationship with her?

Well, I suppose I can try.…

Good. I didn’t realize quite how unhappy the situation was making her until today. She’s delivered a bit of an ultimatum. He pauses, then clears his throat before carrying on. She wants me to replace you.

I wait for him to say more but he doesn’t. His words hang in the space between us while I try to make sense of them.

Are you firing me?

No! he protests, but his face gives a different response while he considers what to say next. His hands come to meet each other in front of his chest, palms facing, just the fingertips touching, like a skin-colored steeple or a halfhearted prayer. Well, not yet. I’m giving you until the New Year to turn this around. I’m sorry that all this has come about just before Christmas, Amber. He uncrosses his long legs, as though it’s an effort, before his body retreats as far back from me as his chair will allow. His mouth reacts by twisting itself out of shape, as though he’s just tasted something deeply unpleasant while he waits for my response. I don’t know what to say to him. Sometimes I think it’s best to say nothing at all—silence cannot be misquoted. "You’re great, we love you, but you have to understand that Madeline is Coffee Morning, she’s been presenting it for twenty years. I’m sorry, but if I have to choose between the two of you, my hands are tied."


Boxing Day, December 2016

I try to picture my surroundings. I’m not on a ward, it’s too quiet for that. I’m not in a mortuary; I can feel myself breathing, a slight pain in my chest each time my lungs inflate with oxygen and effort. The only thing I can hear is the muffled sound of a machine beeping dispassionately close by. It’s oddly comforting—my only company in an invisible universe. I start to count the beeps, collecting them inside my head, fearful they might end and unsure what that would mean.

I conclude that I am in a private room. I picture myself confined within my clinical cell, time slowly dripping down the four walls, forming puddles of dirty sludge that will slowly rise up to drown me. Until then, I am existing in an infinite space where delusion is married to reality. That is all I am doing right now, existing and waiting. For what, I do not know. I’ve been returned to my factory settings as a human being, rather than a human doing. Beyond the invisible walls, life goes on, but I am still, silent, and contained.

The physical pain is real and demanding to be felt. I wonder how badly I am injured. A viselike grip tightens around my skull, throbbing in time with my heartbeat. I begin to assess my body from top to bottom, searching in vain for an explanatory self-diagnosis. My mouth is being held open, I can feel a foreign object sandwiched between my lips, my teeth, pushing past my tongue and sliding down my throat. My body seems strangely unfamiliar, as though it might belong to someone else, but everything is accounted for, all the way down to my feet and toes. I can feel all ten of them and it brings such a sense of relief. I am all here in body and mind, I just need someone to switch me back on.

I wonder what I look like, whether someone has brushed my hair or cleaned my face. I’m not a vain person. I would rather be heard but not seen, preferably not noticed at all. I’m nothing special, I’m not like her. I’m more of a shadow, really. A dirty little smudge.

Although I am frightened, some primal instinct tells me that I will get through this. I will be okay, because I have to be. And because I always am.

I hear a door open and the sound of footsteps coming toward the bed. I can see the shadows of movement shuffling behind my veiled vision. There are two of them. I smell their cheap perfume and hairspray. They are talking, but I can’t quite make out the words, not yet. For now it is just noise, like a foreign film with no subtitles. One of them takes my left arm from beneath the sheet. It is a curious sensation, like when you pretend your limbs are floppy as a child. I flinch internally at the feel of her fingertips on my skin. I do not like to be touched by strangers. I do not like to be touched by anyone, not even him, not anymore.

She wraps something around my upper left arm and I conclude it is a tourniquet as it tightens on my flesh. She gently puts my arm back down and walks around to the other side. The second nurse—I presume that’s who they are—stands at the end of my bed. I hear the sound of paper being manipulated by inquisitive fingers and I imagine that she is either reading a novel or my hospital file down there. The sounds sharpen

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Ce que les gens pensent de Sometimes I Lie

139 évaluations / 55 Avis
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  • (4/5)
    This novel is a thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved seeing the world through the ears of comatose Amber, aware of her own memories and the voices in the hospital, although no one there knew that she could hear what was going on. Her thoughts were drugged and jumbled, making her the perfect unreliable narrator character.One thing I thought was missing in the book: I wish there were more to explain how a beloved daughter is suddenly unloved after developing OCD and becoming withdrawn. I wish that the author gave us more clues about that - my guess would be that it was not really the case, but a misconception on Amber's part.What I ddisliked about the book was the whole "sometimes I lie" thing. (Yes, I know that's the title of the book - perhaps it shouldn't have been.) It was truly overdone. Many of the twists and turns in the plot, especially when Paul finds the diaries, were shocking but believable, making me rethink everything that went before. At that point, I liked the book very much until Feeney pushed the "sometimes I lie" too far in the end. When the first page in the diary is burned, I couldn't be bothered with the rethinking everything again. My reaction was just WTF, this is overkill. The final straw was the bracelet at the very end. It didn't make any sense and was just too much trouble to try and figure it out. I wish Alice Feeney had left well enough alone after the final house fire and the snapshot of the beach vacation. It would have been a much more satisfying ending.
  • (4/5)
    This book begins with Amber gradually coming to consciousness from a coma in the hospital. She can't open her eyes or move any part of her body, but she can hear what's going on around her. After hearing snippets of conversation in her hospital room and as memories gradually emerge, she begins to piece together the events of the past few weeks. The story itself is told from three perspectives/points in time: present day in the hospital, the period a few weeks prior, and a further flashback from diary entries in childhood. It's a psychological thriller that keeps the reader guessing.This originally reminded me a lot of Ruth Ware's In a Dark, Dark Wood, which I read fairly recently. Both books center on unreliable, rather unlikable main characters who wake up in a hospital trying to remember the events leading up to their hospitalization, both with a feeling of something sinister having happened. Be prepared for some confusion when reading this, as it is a mind bender. Lots of twists and turns, with an even more confusing ending. I was left scratching my head and wondering what I just read. This was maybe more compounded having read it on audio. It's definitely one of those books where you want to flip back and re-read in order to try to clarify what's going on. In fact, it's also one of those books where you want to go back and read the whole thing again after reading the ending, as it will likely change your whole perspective. I read this for book club, which was fortunate, since we were able to discuss the plot and the ending. This novel messes with your head a bit, but that's what makes it good.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. There were several twists that came out during the book, one I expected but the other I did not. I do not want to go into detail so that I do not spoil the book for anyone but people just aren't who they seem. The main character Amber wakes up in the hospital. She is fully aware of everything around her but she is in a coma and cant speak or move. The book jumps around in time between Amber's hospital bed and the past weeks/months until we learn exactly what happened to her. I recommend this book and look forward to reading others by this author.

    I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for a review but this in no way influenced my thoughts.
  • (4/5)
    In the description of this book, Amber is in a coma, her husband doesn't love her and sometimes she lies. Amber believes that her husband has something to do with her being in the hospital. I started out reading this book and I really didn't like it. I didn't like Amber, I didn't like her sister Claire. I hated their parents. The only two people I liked were Matthew, her producer and Jo, her best friend. Neither of these characters had big parts. Then about half way through, this book turned around. I still didn't like the characters, but more was happening and it held my interest. This book is written in 3 different timelines. The first is the childhood diary, written between 1991 - 1992. This gives enough of the background, as the story goes on, to understand the writers childhood, her fears, her anger and her hurt. The 2nd timeline is December 2016 - 1 week before the accident. As this unfolds, we can see what the events were leading up to the accident. Then the 3rd and final timeline starts the day Amber realizes she is in a coma. She can hear things, she can feel things but she cannot communicate. She has dreams, she has memories, she has fears. A few readers have questioned if they has missed the "twist". There seem to be a few twists in this storyline. NO SPOILERS - the biggest one for me happens when the diaries are discovered by Paul, (Amber's husband). I had to re-read that section a few times to grasp what was really happening. The very end seemed to be left open. A bit of a cliffhanger perhaps.I found myself wondering, "where are the lies?". I also wondered why she appeared to have OCD, that didn't seem to be addressed. There were parts of the story that seemed unfinished or I had forgotten about them until I got close to the end, THEN they were all answered. Overall - 4*s since I found myself hating the characters, I had a hard time getting into the story. But I am glad that I stuck with it.
  • (3/5)
    This was another psychological thriller with an unreliable narrator and a cast of unlikable characters. The story itself was interesting, but it is always frustrating with a narrator that isn't trustworthy. "I didn't recognize the voice..." Yes you did! Don't tell us you didn't!

    The twist at the end was interesting, although it did all wrap up with more questions than answers. Personally I like books that wrap up and the ends are tied. When I can't figure out why something happened or a loose end that was left hanging, it bothers me in books like this. I guess, for me, it's just tough when you don't know who to root for because none of the characters were being honest and likable.
  • (5/5)
    Wowzers more twists and turns than a fairground helter skelter! Amber is in a coma in hospital but is aware of everything that is going on around her.But how did she get there, what's going on?Every time I thought I had it worked out something new came up, which blew my theory sky high! People came into the story as one thing and left as quite another, who is alright and who is rotten to the core?The twists are fantastic and this is such a good read.
  • (5/5)
    The story opens on Boxing Day 2016. Amber Reynolds works out that she is in hospital, unable to open her eyes or move. Something very bad has happened and she cannot remember what or when. Two nurses come into the room to look at her and from their conversation Amber works out that she is in a coma.The story leaps from one time frame to another: first of all back to events one week earlier, then back to present time, then to 1991 when Amber began to write a diary. In 1991 Amber was almost ten, and beginning at a new school. Her Nana has recently died, and her parents argue a lot. A month later at school Amber is sitting next to Taylor who is exactly the same age as her, and they become friends.The story flits from one time frame to another, and gradually a picture builds of Amber's life over the last 25 years, and then she begins to remember the most recent events that have resulted in her being in a coma.This became one of those books that I really wanted to race through. I thought initially that a single voice was telling the story, but now I am not so sure. It is one of those books that could probably do with a second reading.For those thinking of using the book with a reading group there are some searching questions at end for discussion.
  • (2/5)
    Sigh. I hate to give this review, but......it just seemed like another of the same. So similar and predictable to many like it being published lately. Now granted, I didn’t guess the exact particulars but the overall formula was just tired. Maybe I read too much, but I keep hoping will surprise me like “Gone Girl” did.
  • (4/5)
    When I read the opening lines,My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:1. I’m in a coma.2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.3. Sometimes I lie,I wondered if this psychological thriller would be the equal to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. After reading the book, I would say, "Yes!"Our protagonist is speaking these words in our opening scene while lying in a coma in a hospital bed. Although Amber is conscious of events around her, she isn't able to open her eyes, move, or interact with her surroundings. Although we quickly learn that she was an automobile accident victim, we don't know why or how. As Amber's memory gradually improves, we learn about events leading up to the accident. Additionally, we learn more about Amber through a 9-year-old perspective's diary which are introduced periodically through the book.The majority of visits she receives in her hospital room are from her husband and sister Claire. Although her sister and her were "like two peas in a pod" growing up, Amber perceives herself as inferior when compared to her sister, who Amber claims was their favorite.After reading the above opener, I found myself reading the novel with a skeptical eye trying to discern truth from fiction. As in Gone Girl, I encountered a jaw-dropping surprise about two-thirds into the book. I would highly recommend this debut offering from this author.
  • (2/5)
    Upfront disclaimer: I don't seem to hold the majority opinion. While the reviews are positive overall, this type of story is right in my honeypot, and I had this on hold through my library since it was released and was anticipating getting sucked into it. Too bad it didn't play out that way. It turned out to be an overhyped, ham-handed stinker - bananas, but not in a fun way.What's good: the 123 teaser on the first page.What's not so good: everything else.Three observations without spoilers: 1) Apparently there's a hornet's nest of psychopaths operating independently out there - there are at least 3 if not more represented in this book alone. That's not psychological suspense, that's zero probability.2) There's a sexual assault on a person who is in a highly vulnerable state. It's completely gratuitous. In fact, the entire subplot/character is just like a big WTH because it's all so bizarre and unnecessary.3) The ending is supposed to rock your world. It didn't rock mine. Not because it wasn't a twist but because - by that time - I was hoping for a nihilist natural disaster that would wipe out all the characters, because there wasn't a single one I cared anything about. Or, at least for my memory to be wiped.Needless to say, I don't recommend this one.
  • (4/5)
    I love unreliable narrators.So the idea of a story in which the main character openly announces, 'Sometimes I lie', well, I was hooked almost before I read the rest of the blurb.This is Alice Feeney's debut novel and, yes, for fans of psychological thrillers, it is absolutely as good as it promises.What's it about?Amber Reynolds is in a coma. As she lies helpless in her hospital bed, she tries to remember the Accident which placed her there, and work out why there is so much tension between her husband, herself and her sister. Just what was happening in her life before she ended up here?So far, standard current psychological thriller stuff, but. The way it's executed. Oh my.What's it like?Chilling. Relentless. Compelling.The reader is privy to three time periods: Now, Then and Before. Although the three time periods are distinct, they interweave to form an increasingly disturbing story.'Now' focuses our attention on Amber-in-a-coma and includes a deeply unpleasant scene when she is at her most vulnerable. (Feeney has started that although this was the most difficult scene to write, she felt it was very important to include it. It may be a little too disturbing for some readers.) As Amber gradually pieces together what has happened to her, we must surely sympathise with her.'Then' explores the events of the days leading up to Christmas Day and Amber's accident. This is where we see Amber's lies firsthand, but her motivations take time to crystallise and clarify.'People say there's nothing like a mother's love, take that away and you'll find there is nothing like a daughter's hate.'Finally, 'Before' tells the story of a friendship between two young girls and is written as diary entries. Although these might seem fairly innocent at first, ultimately they prove to be the most explosive and at the root of everything that came later.Who do you trust?I LOVED reading this book; it was one of those which kept me reading deep into the night, long after the baby had settled in her own bed and any sensible mother would be trying to get some sleep.'I tread carefully over a carpet of lies, trying not to disturb them.'The twists and turns are amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed them all - until the final pages. I just don't understand the final twist. At all. Having thought about it a little, I've decided to simply disregard it as just one twist too many and I continue to hold the overall story in an extremely high regard. (If you've read this and have any insights into how the ending works, please do let me know!)There is one particularly chilling twist that I definitely did not see coming and I quickly reread a few chapters to help me view events in a different way. It worked beautifully.Final thoughtsI thoroughly enjoyed reading this (as did Ali Land, author of the completely fabulous 'Good Me, Bad Me', so there's another great recommendation there,) and heartily recommend it to fellow psychological thriller fans.Dark, disturbing, twisty and terrifying, you will love this book.
  • (5/5)
    I absolutely loved this book! It was about a woman who gets in a car accident and is in a coma. It switches between present day and in the past. Lots and lots of lies, twists and turns which makes it a great read I couldn't put down! The ending was superb!
  • (5/5)
    Holy camoly didn’t see that one coming. So my fellow librarian brought this one over to me after he processed it for circulation and said I read the first page and think it’s totally your kind of book. Boy he was right. Read it in one day because I just couldn’t put it down. I didn’t see the twists coming and that ending...😳😳. 5🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟for sure. Totally enjoyed this.
  • (5/5)
    Twists and turns that make you almost try to catch your breath to keep up with them---really "fun" to read---fun because you have no idea if you can like any of the characters who keep twisting!!!
  • (5/5)
    I recieved this as an ARC from flatiron books. This is a must read book for those who love psychological thrillers!!! Alice Feeny takes you on a journey with Amber Reynolds who knows 3 things: 1. I am in a coma. 2. My husband doesn't love me anymore. 3. Sometimes I lie. Her journey completely messes with your mind. Just when you think you know where the plots going you realize you have no idea. The twist & turns are so unexpected it's brilliant. I loved this book from start to finish. I am now officially an Alice Feeney fan and look forward to reading more mind blowing books from her in the future.
  • (4/5)
    I'm not sure I like these thrillers that have a central female character who is extremely vindictive and lies without conscience and then goes happily off into the sunset at the end of the book. Gone Girl was the first as far as I am aware but that spawned a whole industry of writing female revenge plots. So why did I read this book? Well, it is addictive to see just how far a writer will go.Amber Reynolds wakes up in hospital just after Christmas 2016 still in a coma but aware of her surroundings. She just can't remember what happened to put her in the hospital or what happened in the hours before. She thinks maybe her husband, Paul, or her sister, Claire, had something to do with it. Or perhaps both of them. They both spend time in her hospital room but they don't know that she can hear them. Slowly Amber starts to remember events and she realizes there is someone else who is a threat. There are flashbacks to the week before Christmas and there are also diary excerpts from 1991. Amber and her sister Claire are close now but also have rivalry engendered in part because Claire was the favored daughter. As these reminiscences unfold the reader always has to remember the title of the book because some things are not as they first appear. This is a very quick read and it seems to be very popular judging by the number of holds for it in my library system. So I will return it to the library and try to find a book where I like the female characters better.
  • (4/5)
    People say there's nothing like a mother's love -- take that away and you'll find there is nothing like a daughter's hate.Quite the page-turner! Although I wasn't surprised by all its twists (and there are a few), Sometimes I Lie is a master class in how to use unreliable narration to the fullest.4 starsRead this book if you liked In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware or Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. Sometimes I Lie's use of a diary is reminiscent of Gone Girl, but twists the expectation a different way.If you were to strip us all down to our purest intentions, the lowest common denominator would always be wanting to be listened to, needing to be heard above the noise of modern life.People think that good and bad are opposites but they're wrong, they're just a mirror image of each other in broken glass.
  • (4/5)
    I loved this book. Can’t wait for another to read.
  • (5/5)
    O.M.G. I could not put this book down. "Sometimes I Lie" is a whopper of a psychological thriller from first-time novelist Alice Feeney.The book starts with Amber Reynolds waking up in a hospital unable to move or even open her eyes. As the reader, we journey with Amber as she struggles to remember how she got there. The book switches among three different perspectives: Amber's thoughts as she lies helpless in the hospital, one week earlier with events leading up to the incident that put her in the hospital, and entries in a childhood diary.I love novels like this, where the reader is just as lost as the protagonist, figuring out the puzzle along with her. In some novels the other perspectives give the reader a leg up on the protagonist, but not in this case. In this case, we are exactly where Amber is in our level of cluelessness. The childhood diaries appear to give background, but it is unclear to the reader how it fits into the big picture until - BAM! - one sentence about 3/4 of the way into the book shows you exactly how it fits in. Holy moly. It's as if at the start of the book a train is approaching slowly, gaining just a little bit of ground as it gets closer, and it picks up speed as the book moves along, and when that one sentence comes, the train all of a sudden smashes into you when you had no idea it had gotten that close to you. I froze after reading that sentence and flipped back to skim sections I'd already read because I couldn't believe it. I can't say more without spoiling the book.It's not a spoiler to say that the book has quite a twist (a couple of twists, actually) at the end. I am confident that no reader will be able to anticipate the ending. It was so diabolically good.It's been a long time since I've been so gobsmacked by a book. Well played, Ms. Feeney. I very much look forward to reading your next novel.
  • (5/5)
    We first meet Amber in the hospital where she is in a coma. However, we must delve into her story, both past and present, to understand how and why she is in this situation. While this proved to be a fascinating tale, all of a sudden the story took a new turn, something I never expected. This is definitely one of those rare can't put down thrillers that leave you surprised and not wanting it to end. I can't wait for this author to pen another tale!
  • (3/5)
    SOMETIMES I LIE isn't a bad book (although it does irritate me that so many book titles contain the "lie" word lately). But this book is overrated.Amber is in a coma, although she can hear what others around her are saying. First she feels one way, then she gradually remembers more and more.Claire, Amber's sister, seems fine, then not fine, then good, then bad, etc. And so it goes with all the characters in this book, including Amber. Also, most of the characters, including Amber, are unlikable.Told In "Before," "Now," and "After" chapters, including diary entries, SOMETIMES I LIE should have you confused about everyone in it. But it is not unputdownable. If you've heard that it is, lower your expectations.
  • (5/5)
    Amber is in a coma and doesn't remember what happened. The story switches back and forth between NOW and THEN. The book captures you from the beginning and you hear the narrative from Amber but you don't know what or who to believe. Many twists later, you learn what happened. The ending slaps you in the face and leaves you speechless. Very cleverly written and it will leave you wondering what Alice Feeney will write about next. Don't miss this one!
  • (5/5)
    Through all the twists and turns of this novel, I had a hard time putting it down. I don't read a great deal of suspense, but this book was certainly worth the time. Amber is in a coma but knows what is going on around her. Things are not all as they seem, whether it's what she hears and knows to the back story. The chapters take place in 3 different time periods: now, then, and before. I had to put the book down a couple of times to take in what I had read. Well written!
  • (4/5)
    This is a twisted and perverse book. It is meant to confuse you early on, but things begin to become clear as you work your way through the book. If you enjoy a read that keeps you asking questions and turning pages, this will probably be right up your alley.
  • (4/5)
    Actual rating: 3.75 Stars

    My Takeaway

    "Lies can seem true when told often enough."
    Alice Feeney, Sometimes I Lie

    Sometimes I Lie was a fast-paced roller coaster ride! This is not a book you want to read at a lax pace. I read it in one sitting and was at times soooo confused and yes, I have a ton of questions! Without spoiling the plot, I can let you know the main characters, Claire and Amber are unreliable narrators. From my experience, unreliable narrators can be a pain in the butt because one never knows who to trust or believe. Oh, and Feeney is a sharp writer (sneaky sneaky woman) so pay attention!! I did find some parts of the story to be kind of blah, but the gist of the thriller sticks. This is Feeney's first novel and I wonder if she's writing a sequel to this thriller. . . if she's not and her intention was to leave me wondering and pondering, she succeeded. 'Cause girlfriend I need answers!

    A huge thanks to Flatiron Books for graciously sending me an arc of this sneaky, twisty thriller! (Send me more, please!) :-)
  • (3/5)
    Meh. I just couldn't get into this one. It's never good when you find yourself irritated with the main character more than feeling sympathy for her.
  • (4/5)
    In this psychological suspense novel you get the ultimate in unreliable narrators in Amber Reynolds. Amber is in a coma and unable to move or communicate after a car crash. The book covers, and alternates among, three time periods: Amber's childhood recollections, the weeks immediately preceding the accident and her current hospital stay. In 1992 Amber was 10 or 11 and kept a diary, mostly about her relationships with her parents and her best friend Taylor. Before the accident Amber was dealing with the impending loss of her job as a radio presenter and the reappearance of an old boyfriend. Now Amber is locked in her own mind trying to remember what happened to her and why as she listens to the conversations of her husband Paul and sister Claire. You should believe nothing. The plot is not just about lying, but also insanity, stalking, workplace sabotage, rape, murder and various nasty acts, none of which should be disclosed in a book review. I almost stopped reading several times because the plot wasn't progressing very quickly and I just wanted to get to the "big twist" and get it over with. However, it did keep me reasonably engaged, particularly in the last 25%, and it turns out that there are quite a few twists. I expect that this book will be popular. That being said, I hope that the torrent of psychological thrillers tapers off soon because it seems like they are all just variations on the same plot. This is the second book I've read this week in which a wife rushes off into the night, has a car crash and winds up in the hospital with temporary amnesia. They both also had two women pitted against each other. It's my third book in a month in which someone is creepily trespassing into a home. In two of those books it's while the homeowners are present. The blurbs keep making me hope that there will be something different but I am usually disappointed. Maybe I just read too much.I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
  • (5/5)
    Interesting. Tricky tricky little thing the author did there. Reminded me a bit of I Let You Go especially when I had to rethink everything I had read.I have no idea what to make of the ending and after reading questions posted regarding the book, I see I'm not alone. Did I miss something there? Either way, I really liked the book. I will not attempt to review this because I don't want to ruin anything for anyone else. Go in blind, like I did, it was worth it but sometimes I lie.... If you haven't read it, DON'T read my spoiler....[If they are trying to lead me to believe that Edward is still alive, then how did he get the bracelet? Claire gave the bracelet to Amber and then took it back when she left so how would he have ended up with it?]
  • (5/5)
    My Review of "Sometimes I Lie" by Alice FeeneyWOW! Kudos to Alice Feeney , Author of "Sometimes I Lie", for the riveting, captivating, intense Psychological Thriller. The timeline of the story deals with mostly the present and the past, and leaves one wondering about the future. Alice Feeney describes her characters as complex and complicated. Some are pathological, and even the narration is told in possibly  unreliable voices.  Amber Reynolds is in a coma in a hospital and tells you three things from the get-go."1.I'm in a coma". 2. My husband doesn't love me anymore. 3. Sometimes I lie."The author goes to the past, and brings in diaries of  younger lives, and as we are in the present, we are with Amber as she hears the voices around her, not being able to do anything. How did she get here? Who's was she with? Why did this happen?As the story progresses, so does the intensity. All of the characters seem to have secrets, and seem to be suspect. There are many twists and turns, and what you think, is questionable. From the beginning to the end, there is tremendous anxiety and tension.Of course, at the end, I will just say, I said "OMG!!!!!"  I would highly recommend this book for readers who enjoy a face paced exciting, thrilling, psychological mystery that is hauntingly very  engrossing. I received this Advanced Reading ARC for my honest review.
  • (4/5)
    Interesting book that is very suspenseful. It can get a little confusing, especially in the last fourth of the book.The Television rights have been bought by Legendary Entertainment. Can't wait to see the tv movie because I still have questions.