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Throat-tightening anger

Liar Liar

Herman van de Wijdeven

On the morning of her birthday, Charlie discovers her father has left, without any explanation or goodbyes. She is furious. Not so much with her father as with her mother, who must surely have driven him away. At school Charlie is annoyed by Kat, who bullies her, and after a bit by her friend Liv, too, who thinks the world of her own father. When she discovers her father’s real situation, Charlie turns her anger on him. Her gran is the only person who can sometimes make a dent in her armour, but there are things even she has not said. Everyone’s lying, Charlie thinks, and she decides to do the same.

Filmic scenes, vivid images and cleverly suggestive dialogue ****

‘Liar Liar’ crackles with anger, and Herman van de Wijdeven gives shape to it brilliantly. Between the lines lie immense sadness and the painful inability of the characters to have a proper talk with each other. The strong dialogue and the apt images make the unexpressed hurt they each have inside them tangible throughout the story. Charlie is a keen observer with a black sense of humour, and ‘Liar Liar’ is a razor-sharp portrait of a girl who knows she is being overlooked.

Stimulating and valuable. Van de Wijdeven compels our admiration with his expressive writing style
Cast-iron dialogues. Charlie’s anger is authentic and breath-taking