This is a summary based on my understanding of the novel. Please also note that this summary contains spoilers. You may want to read the entire book first before proceeding
Amber Reynolds is in a coma – she can’t remember what happened. She can’t move, can’t open her eyes, but she can hear her surroundings. Her husband, Paul and her sister, Claire are her visitors.
Amber worked as a personal assistant for Madeline Frost (this was revealed later on, Amber narrated the events as though she is Madeline’s competitor). She got Madeline fired, she planned this out, Claire told her to do this.
Amber thought Paul is cheating on her. She’s overthinking. She found a lacy underwear on his closet – it was not her size. When Paul went away and the underwear was gone, she also went out on her own to ease her mind. She met up with her Ex, Edward.
She just bumped into Edward one day, she sent him an email. Then they decided to meet up. They had drinks and had dinner. Edward was suggesting a hook up, Amber was surprised because she didn’t want to cheat on Paul.
While on a lunch at work, after she got Madeline fired, Edward saw her. Edward admitted that he purposely went there to see her. Not wanting to deal with her colleagues, she went to a bar with Edward. She only ordered lemonade because she suspects she is pregnant. She hasn’t told anyone about that suspicion.
The next thing she knew, she was lying naked on an unfamiliar bed. Edward has drugged her. She noticed the room – it was messy but there were photos of her everywhere. There were old and recent photos – Edward has been stalking her. While he is still in the shower, she ran away. When she got home, she noticed her keys aren’t in her bag, so she had to ring the doorbell. Paul let her in and they talked.
Paul revealed that he’s got a book deal coming soon, and he has to travel. Amber told him that she can go with him since she already quit work.. She also felt bad for thinking that Paul was cheating, the undies were for her after all. It’s a Christmas Gift and Paul took it back to the store to replace them.
The accident happened during Christmas. Amber and Paul went over to Claire’s house to have dinner. Their dinner was normal, but when Amber and Paul went home, he revealed that he and Claire talked. Claire asked why Paul suddenly gave Amber a diary – and he mentioned that he found her old diaries. Paul even quoted “two peas in a pod” . Paul also mentioned to Claire that they’ll be traveling for Paul’s books. To Paul’s surprise, Amber freaked out.
Amber stormed out of the house, yelled at Paul, and took Paul’s car so she could go back to Claire’s house. Amber assured that Paul didn’t read the diary, and asked Claire not to hurt him. Claire wouldn’t believe her. They got into a short argument, and Amber ended up bleeding. Claire got angry when she realized that Amber is pregnant and she never told her.
Claire took the keys to Paul’s car and drove Amber to the hospital. She drove so fast. They were talking while driving.. then Amber suddenly stopped, then Amber flew out of the car. This led her to coma, and she lost her daughter.
While in coma, Amber realized that Edward is keeping her captive. He is a night porter. She thought he was a Doctor. He was studying to be a doctor when they broke up. (Claire previously revealed that she wrote some letters so Edward would stop bothering Amber. Edward thought the letters were really from Amber, so right now he is still so angry at her for ruining his career).
When Amber was able to wake up and gain control of her body – Edward went to her room and raped her. She pretended to still be in coma. What Edward did was soon discovered by Paul because he set up a hidden camera. Edward was never caught but Amber assumed Claire took care of him.
Amber was able to wake up, her first words were “i love you” to Paul. She also talked to Claire, and she apologized. Amber was able to forgive eventually..
But still, Amber had something planned out. Months after surviving being in coma, she cooked a meal for Claire and her husband. The twins were staying with Amber and Paul that time. After poisoining Claire and her husband, she set their house on fire. She then went to Madeline’s house, wrote an incriminating letter, then placed the empy fuel cans in her house.
As the twin’s godmother, she gets to take care of them.
Madeline is facing trial for burning Claire’s house down.
Amber is feeling herself again. She is taking care of the twins. She is having a great relationship with her husband. In fact, they are on a vacation when she received something from the past – a bracelet with her Date of Birth engraved on it. It was also Claire’s date of birth. The bracelet was delivered along with the wine they ordered from room service, so she has no idea who it was from…
Revelation from the diaries:
It was Claire who wrote owned the diary – and Amber isn’t really her sister. They were friends as kids. When Claire was about to move, Amber stayed over at their house for the last time so they could bond. However, that was also the night that Claire burned their house down to kill her own parents.
Claire packed her bags and saved Amber. Claire ended up being adopted by Amber’s parents. Although they were friends, Amber wasn’t happy about this.. she is aware of how dangerous Claire is. Amber is still traumatized from what Claire did.. but they eventually made got along once again, no matter how toxic. Amber has always been following Claire’s orders.
Also, what Claire did to her own birth parents were detailed in her diary, but she wrote Taylor (Amber) made me do it..
Madeline Frost is Claire’s godmother who refused to adopt her and also took ownership of what remains of the house that she burned down.
Extra note – some things I am confused about by the end of the book.
- If Claire is dead and Edward is assumed dead as well.. who gave her back the bracelet?
- What’s the relevance of the girl in a pink dress?
The End of Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney