Study Guide

Harris Sinclair in We Were Liars

By E. Lockhart

Harris Sinclair

There's power-tripping, and then there's Harris Sinclair. This dude actually builds himself a house on a remote island, builds three more houses for his kids, and sits in his fortress manipulating everybody for his own amusement. Providing summer homes for your loved ones might seem like a beneficent thing to do, but Harris turns Beechwood into a cruel game.

You Can't All Have a Goose Statue

Harris's favorite pastime is promising something to one daughter, then turning around and promising it to another. He may be getting senile, but we think he knows exactly what he's doing. His daughter Bess is angling for Windemere, Penny and Cadence's house, and Cadence tells us, "he said Bess was a grasping wench and he had no intention of giving her my house. But later, Mirren told me he'd promised Windemere to Bess" (63.21). Yeah, that's not forgetfulness; that's gleefully being a jerk.

Important Life Lessons… Or Not

We'd like to think Harris changes his ways after the Clairmont fire, but he never seems to have any great epiphany. He might be sad about his grandchildren's deaths, but he's a Sinclair, so he doesn't say anything about it. Instead, he uses his money to build a new house and keep the truth about the Clairmont fire out of the paper. We're not sure he even suspects the truth—this is a man whose major life skill is using his money to create his preferred reality, after all.

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