The Lie by Fredrica Wagman is a story set in the 1950’s about a young woman named Ramona who is obsessed with the famous actress and sex symbol, Rita Hayworth.
Ramona comes from an abusive home and shortly after her father’s death, she meets and marries a man she doesn’t truly love in an attempt at a new life. Ramona finds her married life plagued by suspicions of infidelity and is constantly haunted by low self esteem as she compares herself to Rita Hayworth and always comes up short.
I found the plot and message of this book unique and intriguing but its execution was frustrating as the author took great liberties with the use of ellipses and em-dashes.
By the end of the short, (214 page), novel, I understood why the writing was frantic and at times repetitive, since the book is written from Ramona’s perspective and mentally, she’s kind of losing it, but I would have enjoyed the book more had the writing style been revised.
Over all, I think readers will relate to Ramona as her problem is replayed in today’s culture of celebrity worship and the consequent self esteem issues many women face.