Written By: Annie Barrows
Published By: The Dial Press
Read: May 23-30, 2015
You can buy this book here.
Evoking the same small town charm with the same great eye for character, the co-author of Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society finds her own voice in this debut novel about a young debutante working for the Federal Writer’s Project whose arrival in Macedonia, West Virginia changes the course of history for a prominent family who has been sitting on a secret for decades. The Romeyn family is a fixture in the town, their identity tied to its knotty history. Layla enters their lives and lights a match to the family veneer and a truth comes to light that will change each of their lives forever.
The Truth According to Us is set in West Virginia in the summer of 1938. The point of view switches between three of the main characters;
Willa, a twelve year old girl who is dead set on knowing everything and in her search to do so breaks the protective shell that is childhood.
I wish we were like everybody else. I get real tired of lying.
Layla, a woman from a wealthy family who is sent to Macedonia to write a brief history of the small town. As she researches the town’s history she finds that everyone has their own version of the past and the truth just depends on who is telling it.
There is a fine line between history and gossip.
Jottie, the glue that holds the Romeyn family together. As Layla starts to unearth an old family secret Jottie has to decide who she is and what she wants in life.
Everything that was to heave itself free of its foundations over the course of the summer began to rattle lightly on the morning of the parade.
I adored the characterization in this novel. The characters were real, full of both hope and sadness. As the POV changed it was easy to get into the mindset of each of the main characters. The writing flowed smoothly and I enjoyed the chapters that were in letter format.
That being said, this was just an okay book. The book took me more than a week to read, which is rare. The book was slow. It took me a while to get into it. This story just isn’t in a hurry to be told.
2015 Reading Challenge- a book by an author you have never read before
Recommended for Fans of: Historical Fiction
Suggested to Read Next: The Little Paris Bookshop