Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Review: The Truth According to Us
I was very excited to read this book. I adored the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Book Society (like many other readers), which was written by Annie Barrows and her aunt. My son is also a big fan of her books for children, so I was excited to see what she would do with an adult novel. There was a lot to love in this story. I adored the strong and fascinating female characters - Layla is learning to be a grownup fast as she goes from a pampered debutante to a woman who has a real job and must navigate life without the protection of her senator father and Willa is at a crossroads in her life where she is still seen as a child but is starting to understand some very adult things. Jottie might be my favorite character of all. She has spent her entire adult life grieving the loss of her childhood love and putting her family above her own desires. But that might be about to change.
Ms. Barrows does a great job of placing the reader firmly in the 1930s. Macedonia was a proud Southern town that has been beat down by the Great Depression. Now people are doing what they must to ensure that their families are alright. My two issues with this book were the length and interestingly, the way that the male characters were portrayed. I think this story would have benefited from some prudent editing to make it shorter. There were long stretches where it just felt like nothing was happening. The characterization of Felix, his brother, and some of the other male characters left me scratching my head. I understand that Felix especially is supposed to be enigmatic but I had trouble understanding their choices at some points in the story. That being said, I enjoyed this story of strong women learning to speak up for themselves and finally choosing to put themselves first.
The Truth According To Us
By Annie Barrows
The Dial Press June 2015
Read via Netgalley