Saturday, August 1, 2015


The Truth According to UsThe Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading too many thrillers this summer, The Truth According to Us was a wonderful respite. I found it charming and readable although I have to agree with other reviewers that it's a bit longer than necessary.

THE STORY:  When she refuses to marry her father's choice for a husband,  wealthy Layla Beck is banished to the fictional town of Macedonia, W.Va. where she must write a history for the W.P.A. (Federal Writers' Project). Renting a room from the Romeyns, she finds a different way of life and discovers a talent for writing. But there are secrets that threaten to destroy the family she has come to love.

WHAT I THOUGHT: What a perfect book to read during the summer! The author creates the Southern small town of our imaginations, filled with people we could sit on a front porch with drinking lemonade and fanning away the heat.

The Romeyn family has secrets going back many years. The reader is introduced to clues and suspicions through the curiosity of twelve-year-old Willa, her Aunt Jottie's reminiscences, and letters written to and from Layla Beck, the outsider. All the characters are well-drawn. The writing is evocative and the message about the harm secrets can inflict is incisive.

FIRST SENTENCE: "In 1938, the year I was twelve, my hometown of Macedonia, West Virginia, celebrated its sesquicentennial, a word I thought had to do with fruit fro the longest time."

BOTTOM LINE: If you like to escape into books and visit another time, I highly recommended spending some time in Macedonia, W.Va. with the Romeyns

DISCLAIMER: Invited by NetGalley to request and receive this title for an honest review.

Title: The Truth According to Us
Author: Annie Barrows
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: The Dial Press
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
No. of Pages:512 pages
Copyright: June 9, 2015
ISBN-10: 0385342942
ISBN-13: 978-0385342940

Annie Barrows, an American editor and author, is best known for the Ivy and Bean series of children's books and for being the co-author (with her late Aunt, Mary Ann Shaffer) of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

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