Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: "The Truth About Us" by Dalene Flannigan

I can safely say that I didn't know what to expect when I began reading my copy of The Truth About Us by Dalene Flannigan. Erica, Grace, and Jude were roommates in college when something happened that would change their lives. Vowing to keep the truth a secret forever, Erica is shocked when Jude gets in touch with her sixteen years later to reveal that she is going to share the truth, with or without her old friends' support or blessing. Erica frantically attempts to get in touch with the elusive Grace, determined to warn her that her life as she knows it may come crashing down around her as soon as the secret is revealed.

The Truth About Us is compelling from the very first page. We meet Grace, who is the opposite of graceful as she will be the first to admit, and we find out that she is a documentary filmmaker who is not welcomed with open arms. She touches on subjects that most would rather not hear the truth about, such as violence against women. The story is told from alternating viewpoints, so we meet Erica, struggling to come to terms with the truth about her husband and about her marriage, and finally we meet Jude, who has been through so much in her short life and has "found the way to Jesus".

This story was certainly darker than I was expecting. Jude had a particularly rough upbringing and I believe that she was suffering from a mental illness as an adult, perhaps as a way to escape the demons of her childhood. Her story, her mannerisms and thoughts, is what disturbed me the most. Depicting Jude as a religious zealot was an interesting decision by the author. As a woman who is religious I did find the portrayal of Jesus and the church offensive at times but I chose to take it all in context as it related to the character of Jude. There are certainly people like that out there.

The Truth About Us is a fast-paced, very well-written read. I finished it quickly and I cared about the characters and what was going to happen to them, which is always a good indicator of the quality of a book for me. Although I wouldn't class it as "traditional" women's fiction I do think that this book would appeal to those who enjoy the women's fiction with a healthy dose of grit thrown in for good measure. My thanks to the author for providing me with this review copy.

The Truth About Us is available for only $0.99 on Amazon for a limited time only! It is regularly priced at $3.99.

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