One of Us is Lying

by

Karen McManus

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Nate’s Mother / Mrs. Macauley Character Analysis

Nate’s mother is a bipolar addict who struggled with substance abuse and mental illness throughout Nate’s childhood before abandoning him and his father several years ago. She returns from Oregon when she hears that Nate is part of a murder investigation, having since turned her life around. She promises Nate that she is going to stick around and show up for him at long last, but he has been hurt so many times before that he’s reluctant to believe her.

Nate’s Mother / Mrs. Macauley Quotes in One of Us is Lying

The One of Us is Lying quotes below are all either spoken by Nate’s Mother / Mrs. Macauley or refer to Nate’s Mother / Mrs. Macauley. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Stereotypes and Unlikely Connections Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of One of Us is Lying published in 2017.
Chapter 19 Quotes

Another long silence descends while I try to gather my thoughts. I should be angrier, probably. I should demand proof of his trustworthiness, even though I have no idea what that would look like. I should ask lots of pointed questions designed to ferret out whatever other lies he’s told me.

But the thing is, I do believe him. I won’t pretend I know Nate inside and out after a few weeks, but I know what it's like to tell yourself a lie so often that it becomes the truth. I did it, and I haven’t had to muddle through life almost completely on my own.

And I’ve never thought he had it in him to kill Simon.

Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 21 Quotes

It’s a mundane, innocuous conversation compared to yesterday’s lunch, when we caught up on my police visit, Nate's mother, and the fact that Addy got called to the station separately to answer questions about the missing EpiPens again. Yesterday we were murder suspects with complicated personal lives, but today we're just being girls.

Page Number: 237
Explanation and Analysis:
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Nate’s Mother / Mrs. Macauley Character Timeline in One of Us is Lying

The timeline below shows where the character Nate’s Mother / Mrs. Macauley appears in One of Us is Lying. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Stereotypes and Unlikely Connections Theme Icon
Bronwyn tells Nate that she’s sorry to hear about his mother , who died in a car accident a little while ago. Nate doesn’t want to... (full context)
Chapter 4
Stereotypes and Unlikely Connections Theme Icon
Gossip, Secrets, and Lies Theme Icon
Millennial Problems Theme Icon
...living off a settlement he won when he sustained an accident at his roofing job. Nate’s bipolar mother is not actually dead—that’s just what he tells people. In reality, she abandoned their family... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...door—Nate worries briefly that it is a reporter, but a closer look reveals that it’s Nate’s mother . (full context)
Chapter 18
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Wisdom of the Youth Theme Icon
The narrative switches to Bronwyn’s point of view. Just seconds after Nate recognizes his mother at the front door, Maeve pulls up; Bronwyn hurriedly gets into Maeve’s car. When Maeve... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Gossip, Secrets, and Lies Theme Icon
Wisdom of the Youth Theme Icon
Monday afternoon, Nate listens to his mother and father talking in the next room while wondering what he can say to Bronwyn... (full context)
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Wisdom of the Youth Theme Icon
Nate’s mother apologizes for having left Nate with his father—she admits that she hoped he’d step up... (full context)
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Gossip, Secrets, and Lies Theme Icon
...on the couch, and she asks him why he never told her the truth about his mother(full context)
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Nate resignedly states that the lie about his mother was easier than facing the truth—not to mention the fact that he half-believed it, sure... (full context)
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Gossip, Secrets, and Lies Theme Icon
After a while, Bronwyn starts to get tired. Nate switches the subject, telling Bronwyn that his mother thought Bronwyn was his girlfriend earlier when she saw them together. Bronwyn asks if that... (full context)
Chapter 20
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The narrative switches to Nate’s perspective; he is eating a meal with his mother at a local diner, and things between them are awkward and tense. His mother tries... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Wisdom of the Youth Theme Icon
...about nail polish—an “innocuous” conversation compared to yesterday’s topic, when they discussed Bronwyn’s police visit, Nate’s mother , and the fact that Addy was called down to the station to answer even... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Millennial Problems Theme Icon
...Four to get together and compare notes. Addy fills Cooper in on the fact that Nate’s mom is alive after all, and that Bronwyn left a threatening comment on an old post... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Wisdom of the Youth Theme Icon
...outright, unloading Nate’s “heart-wrenching” stories from his childhood. Eli agrees to meet with Bronwyn and Nate’s mom at ten the next morning; Bronwyn hangs up, grabs her parents’ car keys, and asks... (full context)
Stereotypes and Unlikely Connections Theme Icon
Gossip, Secrets, and Lies Theme Icon
Wisdom of the Youth Theme Icon
Millennial Problems Theme Icon
...blowing up with texts, calls, and other social media notifications, but she ignores them all. Nate’s mother is not at the station, and so the girls get back in the car—Maeve drives... (full context)
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Wisdom of the Youth Theme Icon
Millennial Problems Theme Icon
...her mother, but insists that Nate is innocent—and that she needs to work on connecting Mrs. Macauley and Eli. Bronwyn’s mother agrees to let Bronwyn do whatever it is she needs to... (full context)
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...phone buzzes—it’s Bronwyn. She tells him that she’s trying to set up a meeting between Nate’s mom and Eli Kleinfelter, and wants to know if Cooper ever talked to Luis about the... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Sunday morning, Bronwyn arrives at the Until Proven offices with her mother and Mrs. Macauley . The office is busy, under-furnished, and understaffed; Eli quickly explains that though he can’t... (full context)
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Mrs. Macauley continues: the police obtained a warrant to search Nate’s house Saturday morning, and in Nate’s... (full context)
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As he reviews what Mrs. Macauley has just told him, Eli realizes that he has to take on the case, even... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...is in her room with Maeve and Addy, working on the case. After she texted Mrs. Macauley a link to the About This post she, Addy, and Cooper had flagged as odd—and... (full context)
Chapter 30
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As Nate heads out of the facility, he finds his mother and Bronwyn waiting for him. Bronwyn throws her arms around Nate, and for a moment,... (full context)
Epilogue: Three Months Later
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...up for a moment, and Nate reveals that while his father is back in rehab, his mother is still sober and living in Bayview, taking care of him. Nate admits that he... (full context)