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Isabel Luna, an anthropologist studying the funeral rites of indigenous tribes in Guatemala, is mistaken for dead after a boat accident that disfigures another foreign woman. As Isabel ponders her mortality in an abundantly italicized journal, her grief-stricken daughter back home in Spain re-examines her alleged family history in her own journal. The parallel diaries suggest the unreliability of the stories (and legends) that get passed from generation to generation. Lies is not a quick, easy read. However, if you accept its raindrop-down-a-window pace, with paragraphs that extend for pages and veer from philosophical to factual to poignant between each punctuation mark, the painstaking journey is worth the trouble. B