Remember once upon a time when we read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for The Fellowship of the Worms? And it was wonderful? Well. I was browsing NetGalley recently when I noticed that one of the authors of that charming book, Annie Barrows, had another offering coming up called The Truth According to Us. My requesting finger got all twitchy and I asked the publishing czars if I could pretty please have an advanced digital copy of the novel. They said yes, because they are very nice. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for review consideration. The integrity of this review will be compromised by nothing except my limitations as a non professional reviewer and general weirdo.*
A depression era debutante named Layla attempts to break away from the shackles of her privileged life by accepting a job with the Federal Writer’s Project. It’s a bit of a scandal for a girl from a wealthy background to take on a relief position, but Layla has a thing or 10 she wants to prove. She’s assigned to write the history of Macedonia, West Virginia, a far cry from her metropolitan DC stomping grounds. She boards with the enigmatic Romeyn family. The Romeyns were once prominent in town, but scandal and tragedy have plagued their name for decades. A colorful cast of characters provide Layla with ample material to complete her project and weave themselves into the fabric of her life. (If you now have the jingle for the cotton commercials stuck in your head, I’m not even sorry. That is catchy as heck.)
You guys, I have all the mixed feelings about this book. I wanted to love it, I really did, but it just felt kind of disjointed. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been tired lately and I kept dozing off while reading before bed, but I had a hard time keeping things straight. It felt like some of the characters were thrown in as an afterthought and never fully developed. It wasn’t a bad book by any means. Jottie was a delight, and who wouldn’t love precocious little Willa? Still though, I’m left wondering if I’d have had a higher opinion of the book if Annie Barrows didn’t have so much to live up to. I feel like she lost a bit of the magic she had in writing The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Talk to me Bookworms! Have you ever read a book that you didn’t completely adore but couldn’t put your finger on why?
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