We Were Liars Summary and Book Review 

Last updated on March 30, 2023 by

First published in 2014, American author, E. Lockhart wrote the gripping novel “We Were Liars“. It is an intriguing novel as it exposes the secrets of a wealthy and privileged family, the Sinclair. Through the eyes of protagonist Cadence Sinclair Eastman, you will be taken on a journey of self-discovery. She will try to uncover the truth behind her family’s secrets and the accident that caused her memory loss. So, start reading this We Were Liars summary and analysis of the characters. Also, find out how the story can be deeply moving with all the complexities of family, love, and loss.

We Were Liars Summary Guide

We Were Liars Plot Summary

Each summer, the Sinclair family gathers on their private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Wherein, Cadence spends her time with her cousins, Johnny and Mirren. She also gets along with a family friend named Gat, who she is secretly in love with. Eventually, they call their group “the Liars”. They spend their summers swimming, playing games, and exploring the island. However, she suffers a mysterious accident that causes her to lose her memory during her fifteenth summer on the island. With that, she spends the next two years recovering and trying to recall what happened to her. When she returns to the island, she discovers that her family is hiding secrets from her. As We Were Liars book summary progresses, you can see Cadence delving deeper into her family’s past. 

we were liars summary
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 Later, the truth and mystery about what happened slowly begin to unravel. She discovers that her grandfather, Harris Sinclair, manipulated and controlled his family, leading to a tragic and devastating event. Additionally, she also finds out that her love for Gat has a connection to the family’s secrets. It also played a significant role in her memory loss.

As Cadence struggles to come to terms with the truth, she realizes that the Liars were not just a group of friends, but a coping mechanism for the pain and trauma they all experienced. In the end, Cadence comes to a realization about the importance of family and the power of forgiveness.

For this reason, Cadence struggles to come to terms with the truth. She realizes that the Liars were not just a group of friends. Nevertheless, it is a coping mechanism for the pain and trauma they all experienced. In the end, Cadence comes to a realization about the importance of family and the power of forgiveness.

Character Analysis

 In this we were liars summary, you will see how the desire for power and control will lead to downfall. Before that, you need to know how each character played a significant role in the novel. 

we were liars characters
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1. Cadence Sinclair Eastman

She is the narrator and the protagonist of the novel. Also, she is the heiress of his grandfather Harris Sinclair. In the book, she is well-described as an intelligent, artistic, and compassionate individual. On the other hand, she struggles with amnesia after a traumatic incident during her summer on the family’s private island.

2. Gat Patil

He is Cadence’s love interest and the nephew of the Sinclair family’s caretaker. Besides, he is clever, politically aware, and passionate about social justice. Furthermore, he challenges the Sinclair family’s privileged worldview and becomes a source of support for Cadence.

3. Johnny Sinclair

Johnny is Cadence’s cousin and the eldest of the Sinclair grandchildren. He is ambitious, competitive, and ruthless. Also, he will stop at nothing to maintain the family’s wealth and reputation. Johnny is a complicated character, struggling with his responsibilities to his family and his own desires.

4. Mirren Sinclair

Mirren is Cadence’s cousin and the youngest of the Sinclair grandchildren. She is a sensitive and artistic soul, who often finds herself caught between the conflicts of the Sinclair family. Mirren’s kindness and empathy make her a lovable and sympathetic character.

5. The Sinclair Family

They are a wealthy and privileged clan with deep roots in the Northeastern United States. They are obsessed with maintaining their wealth and status. Further, they are willing to manipulate and betray each other to do so.


The story is full of twists and turns that keep the reader engaged until the very end. With a surprising and heartbreaking revelation that changes everything we thought we knew about the characters and their relationships.  In addition to the We Were Liars synopsis, here are some themes explored in this book:

we were liars themes
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Identity and Self-Discovery

The protagonist, Cadence, goes through a journey of self-discovery as she tries to piece together her past. The story also unfolds the idea of the pressure to conform to societal expectations and break free. Moreover, the novel explores the idea that memories can be subjective and unreliable.

Privilege and Wealth

The book explores the privileges that come with being born into a wealthy family. The Sinclair family is portrayed as an affluent and influential family that is accustomed to living a luxurious lifestyle. However, the novel also highlights the pressure and expectations that come with such privilege.

Family Secrets

The dark history of the Sinclair family is slowly revealed throughout the story. The novel depicts the impact of these secrets on the family and the lengths they will go to protect them.

Love and Betrayal

The novel examines the complex relationships between the characters, as they navigate love, betrayal, and loyalty. It shows how love can be both fulfilling and destructive, and that betrayal can have far-reaching consequences.


To sum up, We Were Liars is a haunting and beautifully written novel that may wonder readers of its plot twist. It shows the power of love and the importance of facing the truth, no matter how painful it may be. With that, it is a constant reminder that our actions have consequences and move forward with our lives. We hope that this We Were Liars summary helps you to unlock the mysteries that this novel has. Further, follow GitMind for more must-read book that comes with a summary, analysis, and mind map.

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Posted by: on to Tips and Resources. Last updated on March 30, 2023

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