I stumbled upon this post over at A Literary Life and I love the idea of it so I thought I’d play along because I do love me some quotes.
The Basics: The Friday 56 is a hosted by Freda’s Voice. Each week, you choose a book quote from page 56 to discuss.
- Grab a book, any book.
- Turn to page 56 (or 56% in an eReader).
- Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil anything) that pulls your attention.
- Post it!
On hand for me today is The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager.
Back of the Book: Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.
Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.
Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.
“You’re not going to cry are you?” Vivian said. “All newbies cry their first night. It’s so fucking predictable.”
Okay, admittedly, this is not really the best page in the book to be picking a quote from, but this will work.
I don’t know if “enjoy” is the right word to use here, but I definitely connect to the 15 Years Ago chapters in this book where the main character, Emma, is 13 years old and going away to camp for the first time.
She’s not rich like the other girls. She’s late the first day. And she gets stuck bunking in a cabin with girls three years old than her. Emma feels out of place and awkward, watching these girls who, despite the closeness in age, appear to be grown women who swear casually and have had sex.
Emma is a lot like me at that age. I felt so out of place all of the time because I had no interest in growing up as quickly as everyone else did. My mother didn’t have a lot of money, and she worked 12 hour days most of the time to keep mine and my sister’s needs met.
I was definitely a late bloomer physically, so I looked like a chubby cherub compared to the other girls my age. I still liked to play with Barbies and watch cartoons, where as I had a friend who was giving blow jobs at recess and became known as the school slut, because kids are the worst.
Once I was asked if I knew what the lyrics to Alanis Morissette’s song You Oughta Know meant when she asks, “would she go down on you in a theatre?” My friend said, do you even know what that means? I said no. And everyone laughed at me.
So, there is definitely a visceral aspect for me in reading these flashback chapters. I connect with the awe Emma is in when she meets Vivian, 16-years-old and so comfortable dropping an F-bomb, for the first time. And I think the quote really sums up that first meeting really well; the juxtaposition of Emma’s age and how she sees Vivian, vs. Vivian’s age and how she sees Emma.
And yes, I most definitely would have cried.
Stay safe. Be kind. But, take no shit.
Later, Booknerds ✌️🔪