Source- Review copy provided author
Publication date- 5th Nov 2012
Synopsis- What happens when the past catches up to the present and the truth surfaces? Three women, roommates back in college, find their lives forever altered when one of them feels compelled to confess the secret sin of their past.
And whose truth is it?
‘The Truth About Us’ weaves the past and the present in a page-turner that explores the shifting quality of truth, and the cost of secrets.
Review- I read the synopsis for The Truth About Us when the author approached me for a review and at first glance I thought it would be a contemporary women’s novel- light and easy to read. I was actually going to decline, but decided to have a quick look over other reviews and was instantly intrigued by the number of readers who were surprised by the depth of this story and how it didn’t turn out to be what they had expected. I’m glad I took the chance on this indie book! The Truth About Us, isn’t your average women’s fiction novel, rather it explores in depth; relationships, secrets, trust and friendship that evolves among three friends. It also examines the effects of very serious subjects such as childhood sexual abuse, rape, infidelity and religion.
Grace, Erica and Jude are college friends who have gone their separate ways in adulthood. The chapters alternate between the view point of each of the three characters, with Grace being told in the first person. Her story is mostly retrospective, outlining the events that led up until the present moment. Erica is overwhelmed by her current circumstances after discovering her husband’s infidelity and then Jude drops the bombshell that she intends to reveal the secret they had buried sixteen years ago. Jude has ‘found Jesus’ and seems to be on a one way path to finding truth, even if it means betraying her friends and making their past public.
All three characters were very well developed, I felt most connected to Erica but I really felt for Grace. What a horrible, degrading experience she had and it tainted her ability to form a relationship with a man in her adult life. Erica was probably the easiest to connect with as she’s in a difficult situation, she wants to maintain the relationship with her husband, wants to keep her friend’s secret but the solid foundation she built for herself and her family is slowly starting to fall apart.
Jude was the most difficult to like, particularly because of her religious obsession in which she preached openly and at times insensitively. Despite her awful childhood experiences, I just couldn’t connect with the adult she became. She was so desperate to be accepted and loved and yet she lacked the insight about her early experiences and the impact on her as an adult. Inevitably she falls in love with a man, a pastor and incites an unequal relationship where she hopes to be fulfilled but is predictably disappointed. Even though she wanted to make the secret public, her presentation throughout the book actually made me question her sanity at times which I found uncomfortable because I didn’t know whether I was mixing that up with her religious fanatics. In the end, I just pitied her and I was disappointed in how her story was resolved.
The Truth About Us is a fascinating examination of three women from different walks of life and how one tragic evening strengthens their bond and ultimately drives them apart. It’s slow-building suspense incited fear in me that their secret would be revealed (which in itself poses an ethical dilemma!) and there’s a twist at the end that I didn’t expect once the secret was uncovered. I recommend this story, particularly for readers who enjoy suspense, complex characters and the exploration of topical issues.
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