Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Truth According to Us - Book Review

I read The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows while on vacation in July. I really wanted to tell everyone about it but a couple of things happened. First, it became August and my life became crazy, busy trying to get the kids ready to go back to school. Second, my computer started giving me fits. Every time I started working on a project, the computer would turn off. Just like that. Power down. So, I pretty much stepped away from the computer and blogged very little. Fortunately, my birthday came and I got a new computer. It's a shiny iMac and I'm seriously in love. I'm still in those early stages of romance where I haven't figured everything out but I'm learning. I think we're going to have a beautiful relationship.

Now, the kids have gone back to school; I'm armed with this fabulous computer and I'm ready to share about all the books again. Starting with The Truth According to Us.

Annie Barrows was part of the team that brought us the adorable The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society a few years back. Oh, I loved that book. So obviously, I was anxious to read The Truth According to Us. I took it with me on our family road trip to the Oregon coast. Settled into the back seat of the 15-passenger van and let it take me right through the boring drive across Nevada.

It's the hot summer of 1938 and twelve-year-old Willa is curious about all the people she's always known. Now old enough to catch snippets of adult conversation, she starts to wonder about what her father Felix really does when he travels out of town on business. She wonders if her aunt Jottie has ever been in love and she's especially suspect of Miss Layla Beck who has just arrived in Macedonia, West Virginia to write the history of the city for the WPA. Layla is boarding in Jottie's house and sparks are already flying between the beautiful stranger and Felix.

As Layla researches the history of the town, she also seeks to discover the secrets and how Felix's family has fallen from its once prominent place. Layla and Willa's separate hunts for the truth come together to change the outcomes for everyone involved.

This novel is like sitting on a rocking chair with a cold drink on a hot, sticky summer evening. The fireflies are about and the neighbors and family gather around. And someone starts to share a memory. Someone interrupts. That's not the way they remembered it. Possibly they argue for a bit. Probably it's already too hot to let the disagreement get too heated. They settle back into their individual rockers and agree to disagree.

The Truth According to Us is filled with fabulous characters so real, you're sure you saw them sitting on the porch last time you drove through town. The action never peaks or builds like a thriller but the plot slowly meanders throughout the summer as Willa lets you get another taste of that golden and confusing time between childhood and adulthood. Barrow captures the essence of Macedonia and the town becomes a character in its own right--holding tight to its citizens' secrets and never really allowing anyone to forget.

I loved this book. With all my heart.

The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows is published by The Dial Press and released in June 2015.

**I received a complimentary copy of The Truth According to Us. No compensation was received. All opinion are my own.**

1 comment:

Des said...

I really enjoy your thoughtful reviews and appreciate when you give a heads up on language or sensitive content. I've gone through your archives and have a great list of books to be read!! Thanks again!