"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

09 February 2017

2017 Book Review #5: The Truth According to Us

I discovered this author when I was helping in a 1st grade classroom a couple of years ago with a group of special needs children.  The author has written the children's book series "Ivy and Bean". 

 She also wrote another adult fiction book that one of my sisters read but I never did.  This one I just finished was very entertaining....humor, drama, romance, and mystery.


It is the summer of 1938 and the small town of Macedonia, West Virginia is about to celebrate their sesquicentennial of the founding of the town.

Layla Beck, whose father is a United States senator, has cut her off from her allowance and is demanding that she go to work.  She has been a child of privelege and very spoiled.  She is in her early 20s and refuses to marry the man her parents desire for her.  Her father arranges for her to work on the Federal Writers' Project which is a New Deal jobs program. She is to write the history of Macedonia which is a very small mill town and quite different from the nation's capital.

She is convinced she will go crazy with boredom in such a backwards town.

No one in the town knows she is the daughter of a senator. Until someone figures it out...who does??

She boards at the Romeyn house which consists of several of the Romeyn family members:  Jottie, the oldest girl and still single,  her younger twin sisters Minerva and Mae (all in their 30s) who live there during the week yet go home to be with their husbands on the weekends, Felix their divorced brother who is father to Willa  (age 12) and Bird (age 9).  Willa and Bird are being raised by Jottie as Felix is always on the go...he is a salesman. And a womanizer.  Jottie, Felix and the twins have a younger brother Emmett who lives in a nearby town and is still single as well.

Once Layla begins to learn about the town's history, she is drawn into the Romeyn family's history as well...and soon discovers that it is very complex.

Meanwhile, Willa is determined to find out all the family secrets.  She begins to snoop around and discovers that her father actually has a mystery regarding his job.  She also discovers the reason her Aunt Jottie has remained unmarried!  And it is quite a story. 

 What parts are truth? What parts are mere gossip?

As Layla begins to uncover the real history of Macedonia and discovers town legends that might actually be true, Willa is peeling back the many layers of her own family's history.....and begins to grow up a little more each day that passes through that long, hot summer.

Everyone involved is transformed in some way.  And personal histories will be completely re-written!


Oh wow.  This was a very intriguing and entertaining story.

The setting is wonderful.....so descriptive of a small mill town set in the Depression era.

The people are so real you feel like you want to meet them and chat with them.

It is a kind of "coming of age" story for Willa and a story about the bonds of familial love and of the relationship she has with her father and with her aunt.

True love, betrayal, forgiveness and friendship are all themes that run throughout this story.  Add to that mix a whole lot of humor and you have one amazing book.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older (due to some mature content).

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 9. (it was a little long).


Deb said...

Sounds like a book I would enjoy. Will be looking for this one! Thanks for the review.

Susanne said...

I really enjoyed this book too but the one thing I had a hard time with was the amount of characters in it and all their stories. Lots! LOL. Made the pacing a bit slow for me.