The Little Liar
Original title: La petite menteuse
A teenager has accused a man of raping her. He is sentenced to 10 years of prison. After three years, she recognizes that she has lied. Is it the right time for this truth to be said, when at last, violences against women are recognized? A powerful novel that questions the place of truth.
Truth never lies where expected
Lisa is fifteen years old.
She is a messy teenager, spontaneous and rebellious. As often at this age, Lisa changes mood, and becomes blue, if not dark. She is often on the verge of tears. Her teachers worry about her. She ends up confessing that a man abused her, several times. The suspicions fall on Marco, a worker who did works for a while at her parents’ house. Unemployed, drunk, sometimes violent: in first instance, he is sentenced to ten years in prison.
Alice is a lawyer.
After having attended Marco’s trial, where Lisa was defended by a Parisian famous lawyer chosen by her parents, Alice is surprised to receive a visit from this young woman. Alice is a discreet provincial lawyer, mother of two grown-up children that she raised alone. But Lisa has chosen her for the appeal, because she “prefers to be defended by a woman”. Alice takes up the case methodically and discovers the truth. Then begins for the lawyer the most perilous trial of her career: defending a victim who has lied.
A construction through mirrors.
This novel is a precision mechanism, where the story is unfolded right side up, then revisited in reverse before being enlightened by new elements at the hearing. The truth is never what we imagine it to be and we must always be wary of our innermost conviction. In the era of #MeToo, Pascale Robert-Diard tells the story of a woman who lies. When all institutions are decried for their indifference, she shows adults full of good intentions. And while literature abounds in devious or flamboyant criminal lawyers, La Petite Menteuse tells the story of how a provincial lawyer exercises a harsh profession with extreme finesse.