What I Saw and How I lied

By: Judy Blundell~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - Samantha Lepore P.2


There is a number of reasons to pick this book up.


1947 Palm Beach


Main Characters

  1. Evie Spooner: she is the narrator as we navigate the choppy waters in What I Saw and How I Lied, and as such, we get to know her very well. When the novel opens up, Evie is a pretty nondescript teenage girl; she's still coming into her own in the world. But we get to see her grow up and develop her own personality—and ideas—through the events in the book, and it's quite a journey.
  2. Peter Coleridge: is definitely a ladies' man, as is made clear when he shows up in Palm Beach and starts flirting shamelessly with Evie. He's movie star handsome, apparently rich, and really good at delivering smooth lines. Peter isn't all that he seems, though. First of all, he arrives in Palm Beach because he is trying to track down Joe Spooner; he wants Joe to give him his cut of the gold that they stole over in Europe during the WWII. And even though he's carrying on a semi-public flirtation with Evie, he's definitely carrying on a secret affair with Bev—one that only gets revealed after his untimely death.
  3. Bev Spooner (mother) : But being beautiful and desired isn't always fun and games… sometimes it can get you into a lot of trouble. Bev's beauty gets her into trouble when it attracts Peter, and leads her to carry out an illicit affair. All of this ends when Peter dies in a hurricane"You couldn't stop looking at her. She was a knockout. The way she held a cigarette, the way she danced in the kitchen, the way she could make supper with a cocktail glass in one hand—that was movie star glamour. You could almost forget she was just a housewife from Queens." says Evie.
  4. Joe Spooner (stepfather) :all-American, provides for the family, and accepts Evie as though she's his very own daughter. She tells us:

If I could choose a father, I would have chosen someone exactly like Joe. I fell for him, same as her. I was a pushover. I dressed up when he was coming. I laughed at his jokes and made sure we had beer in the fridge, even if we had to do without milk to buy it. (pg.9 p.3)

He isn't all good though.


underlined = happened in history

supportive charaters

  1. Arlene Grayson: When the Spooners first see her, they're all taken by just how elegant and fancy she looks, even though she isn't exactly a naturally beautiful woman.She wasn't beautiful—Mom had her beat by a mile—but she was the kind of woman who made heads turn
  2. Mr. Grayson: a slick, successful businessman who Joe immediately befriends when they arrive at the hotel in Palm Beach
  3. Wally: A teenage bellhop at the hotel, who pretty much follows Evie everywhere, trying to ask her out. Evie is too busy chasing after Peter Coleridge to give Wally the time of day, and she only uses him when she wants to practice being attractive so that Peter will see her as grown-up and alluring. Even at the end, Evie uses Wally—and his affection for her—to her advantage by telling the judge that he took advantage of her so that his testimony would be discredited.
  4. Grandma Glad:For someone whose name includes the word glad, Grandma Glad is not someone who is ever happy at all. She's a dour old woman who has never fully accepted Bev or Evie into her life; in her eyes, Joe made a huge mistake by marrying Bev. She has always seen Bev as a tramp that can't be trusted, and the whole Peter Coleridge debacle just confirms to her that Bev and Evie are good-for-nothings
  5. Peter Coleridge father: Peter Coleridge's father is only seen briefly, in the courtroom at the trial, and he never once speaks in the whole book. But he is the one person in the book who seems to see through Evie's guilt and pain as she lies about her relationship with Peter, and he's the person who is suffering the most from his son's death, so Evie feels a horrible connection to him in the courtroom as well.
  6. Mr Markel: The hotel manager at the hotel may seem like a very minor character in What I Saw and How I Lied, but he plays a huge part in shaping Evie's view of the world as an unfair, cold place. When she watches him kick the Graysons out of the hotel for being Jewish, she realizes that there are still many injustices in the world that we all have to work to combat. The war isn't over yet—if anything, it's only just begun.

  7. At the beginning, Margie is Evie's best friend for life. They've known each other ever since they were both little kids, and Margie always stands up for Evie, even when it means picking on other girls (which, isn't necessarily the same thing as standing up for someone, but

    after everything that happens in Palm Beach, Evie comes home changed and can no longer be friends with Margie—she can't just sit around and gossip about crushes while ignoring the fact that Margie picks on some girls because they're Jewish. She doesn't want to be a part of that dynamic anymore, so Evie ends the friendship.

1947 hurricane in palm beach

Wednesday, Sep. 17th 1947 at 9pm

Palm Beach, FL, United States

Palm Beach, FL

In What I Saw and How I Lied there is a hurricane. In this hurricane Peter dies. It was important to the story because secrets were reveled. The climax of the story would have never been reached if not for this hurricane. It was a real part of history. It hit winds of 155 mph. The hurricane was just south of palm beach. The 1947 hurricane was probably largest that ever impacted palm beach. It was a category 5 hurricane. In essence this historical event was a big part of What I Saw an How I Lied. Works Cited

"Palm Beach Has Long History of Weathering Hurricanes." Palm Beach Has Long History of Weathering Hurricanes. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2015.

"Timeline - Hurricane." Timeline - Hurricane. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2015.


"the air tasted like a nickel."(p.9)

This simile compares the taste of the air to the taste of a nickel.


“Loss. That's what it was, a hole I could never fill. It would be bottomless.”(p.291)

this quote is comparing the feeling of loss to a hole not being able to be filled.


"stopped at the candy store for chocolate cigarettes to practice smoking." (p.12)

The candy cigarette symbolizes growing older and being free.


"I'm starved" (p.27)

Joe wasn't really starved


relief~a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress.
Much to my relief my parents were alive.
clutched~grasp or seize (something) tightly or eagerly.
I clutched the candy cigarette.
petticoat~ a woman's light, loose undergarment hanging from the shoulders or the waist, worn under a skirt or dress.
I slipped on my petticoat to go to the dance
promotion~ the action of raising someone to a higher position or rank or the fact of being so raised.
I've received a promotion

refugee~ a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster

There was refuge from war