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The Truth About Love and Lightning: A Novel (edition 2013)

by Susan McBride

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4716247,300 (3.68)1
Member:whitreidtan
Title:The Truth About Love and Lightning: A Novel
Authors:Susan McBride
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2013), Edition: Original, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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The Truth About Love and Lightning by Susan McBride

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'm usually a big fan of Susan McBride. This one was a little hard to get into, thought. As much as I wanted to love it, it was hard for me to finish. ( )
  xhollishx | Jun 20, 2014 |
What one of us would not like a man whose arrival was heralded by lightning? Although this book has a somewhat predictable plot, the characters are unique, a pair of blind twins with different talents in compensation, a woman with a big secret and her daughter. This was a fun read, somewhat magical in places, with a family value type of lesson, about hope and love. This will appeal to readers who like Sarah Addison Allen and her whimsical stories. ( )
  Beamis12 | Apr 13, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I so enjoyed this book. I love the magical aspects, the whole life cycle of the walnut grove, the characters, everything. This author reminds me of Sarah Addison Allen. I found the question of truth to be quite intersting. Is it better to lie or to be blunt and truthful even though it may be hurtful? This is the theme that runs throughout the story. This story is so heartwarming and genuine. I felt these people could be my neighbors. Each character had such an interesting story and woven together created a wonderful book. Is it predictable, yes, but the characters are so great and the stories getting to that ending are well worth the read. ( )
1 vote bnbookgirl | Mar 12, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This spell binding book of family secrets and lost loved ones, combines rural common sense and charming magic. This novel has fresh, believable characters that burst into life from the first page. Spellbinding and hard to put down. ( )
1 vote samaree | Mar 3, 2013 |
We teach our children that they should never lie, that the truth is always the best option. And usually this is the case. But we can't always explain the gradations of truth and lies or that there are, in fact, some situations where it is kinder to fib than to tell the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts people for no reason and a lie gives them comfort. And who's to say that telling a lie in that case is the wrong thing to do? But lies can have a way of coming back to bite us, even when they are told out of compassion or kindness as Gretchen Brink, in Susan McBride's newest novel The Truth About Love and Lightning, discovers.


A freak tornado rips through a small community in Missouri, completely cutting off the farm where Gretchen Brink and her younger, blind sisters Trudy and Bennie live. The sisters' other senses are acute and they not only sense the coming of the physical storm but also the emotional storm roiling in its wake. When inspecting the property for damage, Gretchen finds an injured man under a tree in the long barren, but now inexplicably budding walnut grove. He doesn't know who he is or where he is but she and her sisters quickly come to understand that there's every chance he could be Sam Winston, the man from whose parents Gretchen inherited the farm, who has long been thought dead in Africa, and who Gretchen named as the father of her baby so many years ago. She and Sam had been the closest of friends and although Sam wanted more from her, at seventeen she wasn't interested. After his disappearance while on a mission trip, it gave his parents comfort to believe that Gretchen's baby was Sam's and it gave her a place to shelter after her judgmental and hard mother cast her out for the sin of her pregnancy and so she let everyone believe that Sam was the father. She raised her daughter Abby with that understanding as well, keeping the truth to herself.


But now The Man Who Might Be Sam is recovering in her home and Abby is about to show up on her doorstep as well, unexpectedly pregnant and reeling, having run away from the long-time boyfriend who sees no reason to get married but whom she does love deeply. And when Abby arrives, she immediately latches onto the idea that the man in the parlor is in fact Sam, her father, finally come home to her just like she wished for so many years growing up. Over the course of the next few days, the past is evident everywhere on the Winston/Brink farm. From Gretchen's childhood growing up with a harsh and blunt mother who felt that the truth was more important that sparing anyone's feelings to the mystery and mysticism of Sam Winston's grandfather Hank Littlefoot, a shaman who could summon the rain to Abby's childhood and her wish that her mother wouldn't ease the sting of the truth with small, apparently harmless fibs.


But if the past and its long concealed secrets swirl around these characters, they must also look forward to their futures. How can they discover who The Man Who Might Be Sam is? What is Abby's plan going forward? Will she tell Nate about the baby and what decisions will they make, together or seperately? Will Gretchen be able to keep the secret of Abby's paternity to herself and spare Abby anger and sadness at the loss of her growing relationship with the man she readily accepts is both Sam and her father? Can Gretchen open her heart to the precious connection she dismissed forty years ago? Although the past cannot be re-written, it can offer guidance and maybe, with the help of an anachronistic storm, it can shine a light on the way forward.

McBride has written a story filled with genuine warmth, love, and hope. The idea of truth as something not quite an absolute and the importance of the intention behind a lie is an intriguing one. The characters are charming and the quirky novel moves along well. The use of the past, especially Hank Littlefoot's story, helps to flesh out the present as does the use of multiple narrators. And the thread of magic and belief that runs through the tale adds an unexpected spice to the plot although the ending remains very predictable and the mystery of who the man is is never really in doubt. An easy read, this will appeal greatly to those who like a light bit of magic, family, and love in their women's fiction. ( )
1 vote whitreidtan | Feb 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
"Seamlessly toggling between decades, McBride delivers a poignant page-turner with flawed but lovable characters."
added by SusanMcBride | editPublishers Weekly (Dec 10, 2012)
 
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"As far as Gretchen Brink is concerned the tornado that just ripped through her land has nothing on the storms of a different sort happening all around her. Her grown daughter, Abby, has returned home with news that she's pregnant and no, she's not sure if she's going to marry the father or not. A man with no memory was dropped practically on her doorstep. And the not so little white lie she's been telling for years is about to catch up with her. Abby is sure that the mysterious man is her long-lost father Sam, who has finally returned just when she needs him most. As Abby, Gretchen, and Sam get closer, the lie Gretchen told all those years ago begins to haunt her. When her secrets come out, and Sam's past is finally revealed, will it tear down this fragile life they've built-or will the truth bring them all closer together?"--… (more)

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