BookBrowse Reviews Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Beautiful Lies

A Novel

by Lisa Unger

Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger X
Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2006, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2006, 384 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


'Suspenseful, sensitive, sexy, subtle, the best nail-biter I have read for ages.' - Lee Child. 1st novel

From the book jacket: If Ridley Jones had slept ten minutes later or had taken the subway instead of waiting for a cab, she would still be living the beautiful lie she used to call her life. She would still be the privileged daughter of a doting father and a loving mother. Her life would still be perfect - with only the tiny cracks of an angry junkie for a brother and a charming drunk with shady underworld connections for an uncle to mar the otherwise flawless whole.  But that's not what happened. Instead, those inconsequential decisions lead her to perform a good deed that puts her in the right place at the right time to unleash a chain of events that brings a mysterious package to her door - a package which informs her that her entire world is a lie. Suddenly forced to question everything she knows about herself and her family, Ridley wanders into dark territory she never knew existed, where everyone in her life seems like a stranger. She has no idea who's on her side and who has something to hide - even, and maybe especially, her new lover, Jake, who appears to have secrets of his own.

Comment: New Yorker Ridley Jones is minding her own business when a random act of heroism brings her momentary fame as the woman who saved a toddler from being hit by a truck.  Soon after she receives a faded picture of a man, a woman and a young girl with a note that reads, "Are you my daughter?"  - and with that the life that she thought she knew starts to unravel. 

Both Publishers Weekly and Booklist give Beautiful Lies starred reviews with Booklist concluding, "Unger takes readers on a pulse-pounding ride through the Big Apple in this outstanding debut that will please both pace-obsessed thriller fans and those who want to savor the more subtle aspects of character development." 

Kirkus Reviews take a bit of a side-swipe by describing it as "cleverly handled suspense for chick-lit readers."  In response to this comment I've no doubt that Lisa Unger would broadly agree with Jennifer Weiner (author of books such as Goodnight Nobody) who recently said, "The chick-lit label is sexist, dismissive and comes with the built-in implication that what you've written is a piece of beach-trash fluff....On the other hand, I know that the term gives publishers and, more importantly, booksellers and readers, a quick and easy short-hand about books that feature smart, funny, struggling young protagonists".

This review was originally published in June 2006, and has been updated for the December 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    by Christy Lefteri
    In Christy Lefteri's sophomore novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, the author introduces readers to ...
  • Book Jacket: Marilou Is Everywhere
    Marilou Is Everywhere
    by Sarah Elaine Smith
    "The point is that at that moment in my life," writes the narrator of Sarah Elaine Smith's debut ...
  • Book Jacket: Let's Call It a Doomsday
    Let's Call It a Doomsday
    by Katie Henry
    However the world will end, Ellis Kimball is ready for it. Her obsessive stash of survivalist ...
  • Book Jacket: The Winemaker's Wife
    The Winemaker's Wife
    by Kristin Harmel
    Liv Kent's world is falling apart. After 12 years of marriage, her husband has decided he's done, ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Yale Needs Women
    by Anne Gardiner Perkins

    A tale of courage in the face of arrogance that remains eerily relevant on U.S. campuses today.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Secrets We Kept
    by Lara Prescott

    Reese Witherspoon's Sept Book Club Pick!
    "This is the rare page-turner with prose that’s as wily as its plot."—EW
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Today We Go Home
by Kelli Estes

Illuminating and deeply human, Today We Go Home shines a light on the brave military women of the past and present.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Chase Darkness with Me

How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

S S A C A Big S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.