What I Saw and How I Lied may take place in a ritzy Palm Beach resort, but the historical backdrop is anything but fun and dandy. The story takes place directly following WWII after Evie's stepfather Joe gets back from the war, and there is still a lot of tension and baggage that the characters are carrying around.
Joe doesn't want to talk about the war, and yet he runs into an old acquaintance named Peter Coleridge at the resort, so that's not really gonna work out for him. Plus the Spooner family befriends the Graysons, a sophisticated Jewish couple who happen to be carrying their own wounds from the war. Everywhere you turn in this book, the war is over—but only technically.
Questions About Warfare
Why doesn't Joe ever want to talk about the war?
What changes for Evie and her mother after Joe gets back from the war? What doesn't?
How does the war affect people like the Graysons?
Chew on This
Even though the war has already passed, Evie's family and all the other characters—including the Graysons—are just now processing the effects of the war.
When Joe comes back from the war, he refuses to talk about it and acts like it never happened—but despite his best efforts, the war has still affected him and his actions haunt him.