The Truth According to Us

The Truth According to Us

A Novel

Large Print - 2015
Average Rating:
26
1
Rate this:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society comes a wise, witty, and exuberant novel, perfect for fans of Lee Smith, that illuminates the power of loyalty and forgiveness, memory and truth, and the courage it takes to do what's right.

Annie Barrows once again evokes the charm and eccentricity of a small town filled with extraordinary characters. Her new novel, The Truth According to Us, brings to life an inquisitive young girl, her beloved aunt, and the alluring visitor who changes the course of their destiny forever.

In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck's father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers' Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.

At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to learn everything in her quest to acquire her favorite virtues of ferocity and devotion--a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business that occupies her charismatic father and the reason her adored aunt Jottie remains unmarried. Layla's arrival strikes a match to the family veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a new tale about the Romeyns. As Willa peels back the layers of her family's past, and Layla delves deeper into town legend, everyone involved is transformed--and their personal histories completely rewritten.

Praise for The Truth According to Us

"As delightfully eccentric as Guernsey yet refreshingly different . . . an epic but intimate family novel with richly imagined characters . . . Willa's indomitable spirit, keen sense of adventure and innate intelligence reminded me of two other motherless girls in literature: Scout Finch in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Flavia de Luce in Alan Bradley's big-hearted British mystery series." -- The Washington Post

" The Truth According to Us has all the characteristics of a great summer read: A plot that makes you want to keep turning the pages; a setting that makes you feel like you're inhabiting another time and place; and characters who become people you're sad to leave behind--and thus who always stay with you." -- Miami Herald

"It takes a brave author to make the heroine of a new novel an observant and feisty girl . . . like Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird . . . . But Barrows . . . has created a believable and touching character in Willa." -- USA Today

"[A] heartwarming coming-of-age novel [that] sparkles with folksy depictions of a tight-knit family and life in a small town . . . full of richly drawn, memorable characters." -- The Seattle Times

"A big, juicy family saga with warm humor and tragic twists . . . The story gets more and more absorbing as it moves briskly along." -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Annie Barrows leaves no doubt that she is a storyteller of rare caliber, with wisdom and insight to spare. Every page rings like a bell." --Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York :, Randome House Large Print,, [2015]
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780804194938
Branch Call Number: LP FIC BAR
Characteristics: large print.,rda
752 pages (large print) : genealogical table ; 24 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

b
BeckyR21
Jun 26, 2017

I enjoyed this book. Interesting storyline, great characters, wonderfully descriptive. I am not giving five stars because it took me a bit to become engaged, and I think it could have been just as good if it was about 100-150 pages shorter. Well worth the read, though.

r
Reads_A_Lot
Apr 10, 2017

An atmospheric novel set in a small West Virginia town during The Depression. It had good characters, some southern wit & humor, a little bit of mystery, and an overall charm to it, but it dragged on way too long. Could have easily been just as good, if not better, if it had been condensed a little.

DBRL_KatieL Feb 10, 2017

Humerus, with characters so real you imagine seeing them at the store.
Willa and Jottie are the two main characters, and narrators. Jottie is the matriarch of the family as much as a woman was allowed to be in the 1930's. She runs the house, manages the money, and manages two of the family farms along with her younger brother. Jottie is also raising her nieces; Willa and Bird, from her brother's marriage (which ended in divorce shortly after the second child was born). Jottie will do anything for the girls, and seeks to make the family as respectable and 'first class' as it was when she was a child.

Layla Beck, sent to write up the history of the town and boarding with the family, is the catalyst in this story. Her arrival in town causes Jottie to see face how a tragedy from her youth has effected the family's status, and is having an effect on how the girls are treated. Jottie older brother, Felix is not help in this, a bootlegger and the center of scandalous gossip, as well as a cad who sleeps around with every available woman, he still holds Jottie's loyalty.

Willa is entering the transition between child and young lady. She knows there are things the adults aren't telling her, and won't tell her. She decided to embrace her inner sneak and not only find out what they aren't telling her, but to understand why. With Layla already stirring up old history, and catching the attention of her father, Willa has much to observe and learn.

The characterization in this novel is amazing. Each character is unique, and the two narrators each have their own voice-I was never confused about who was narrating at any given time. I also loved how the characters didn't have much more information than the reader, so there wasn't the feeling of being in the same shoes as young Willa, even when adult Jottie was narrating, of feeling everyone else knows something you don't. The setting is also very well done. Each time the heat of the day is described, it is different, and while you feel how the characters are desperate for a cool breeze you don't grow bored with the descriptions of how hot it is. This would be a great beach read, or book between intense books, when you need something to warm your soul, hold your interest, and make you smile.

AL_LESLEY Nov 10, 2016

A well written and interesting family saga that can get predictable but you feel you know the characters so well that it doesn't bother you. There is great atmosphere, very much a small town feel to this book. Well done.

JCLKatieS Jul 29, 2016

When Layla Beck appears in Macedonia, West Virginia, basically excommunicated from her posh world back home, Willa Romeyn knows she will be trouble. Anyone that goes poking into the town's history is bound to uncover some secrets and the Romeyns would like for them to stay just that - secret. This story is sweet and funny and reads wonderfully. If you like Southern historical fiction, this one is for you.

tuscany1 Jun 23, 2016

An absorbing read - got totally engrossed in the little town of Macedonia, its history and its many quirky characters.

LoganLib_LW Jun 02, 2016

Enjoyable read for a rainy weekend.

g
gusmcrae
Apr 18, 2016

Family secrets come to light over a long, sweltering summer in small-town West Virginia. The story was a little long and the ending a little abrupt, especially given how much time was given to the exposition! But the author did a fairly decent job moving between multiple viewpoints.

d
DorisWaggoner
Apr 01, 2016

While the book was overlong, and some of the plot lines and minor characters seemed unnecessary, I enjoyed the book. The major characters, especially Layla, Jottie, and Willa (loved that Willa), and Felix, were very fully drawn. These women grew and changed, and Felix had his reasons. Barrows is great on description, of people, place, summer heat. She digs deep into some of her characters and their motives. It's the ones that she doesn't that feel extraneous.

c
carol507
Feb 08, 2016

Hard to read - rambling.

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote

t
TessaGray
Aug 12, 2015

A piece of sass. -BEST QUOTE

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at VIRL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top