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The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
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The Truth According to Us (2015)

by Annie Barrows

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Pretty good but I found myself wondering about Felix and Jottie's relationship with their parents and why there's so much tension from the past. Plus, it was a little creepy how close Jottie was with Felix. I also felt like the whole thing was a little overdone and not natural. Kinda predictable as well. ( )
  mfabriz | Jun 26, 2017 |
A great book filled with characters I came to love.Laya, banished by her rich father who appears useless but isn't, Jottie with a sad past but a strong characterr with a great sense of humor, Felix, the womanizer, Willa, 12 years old and wanting to know everything about everything. These are characters described with warm and humor ina small town filled with small town stories,
I loved "The Guernsey Literary Peel Pie Society" and this novel is much like it. ( )
  Smits | Mar 29, 2017 |
Set in 1938 in a small southern town and filled with eccentric characters. A young girl, her beloved aunt, mysterious but loved father and a stranger arrived to write a WPA history of the town. ( )
  pennykaplan | Mar 27, 2017 |
I loved this book, the lively characters, setting, mystery and tragedy, complicated family relationships, uneasy romances, flowing writing, and messy but satisfying lives.

West Virginia during the Depression. Willa is disturbed by the pretty young lodger who catches her father's eye. Her aunt Jottie still mourns for her first love yet happily keeps the vibrant family together, mostly under one roof. Felix, Willa and Bird's father, seems to be hanging around more than usual since Layla, the lodger, came to write a book about the town for the WPA. Plenty of questions for Willa and the reader: where Felix goes, what really happened when the mill burned down, why there's such a rift between Felix and Sol, an old friend who has longed for Jottie all these years, are things/people as they seem...and in the end, is there a way to patch hearts/people/the family up. ( )
  Connie-D | Mar 12, 2017 |


This tale is part mystery and part coming-of-age, all taking place in the small town of Macedonia, West Virginia during the Depression years. Willa is a 12 year old girl living with her aunts Jottie, Minerva, and Mae, as well as her sister, Bird. After refusing to marry a man chosen for her by her parents, Layla, a rich, spoiled debutante, is forced to take a job writing the town of Macedonia’s history, a Federal Writer’s Project. While there, she boards with Willa and her aunts.

Precocious Willa is curious about the secrets adults keep from children and sets out to discover what those secrets are, especially as they relate to her ne’er-do-well father, Felix. The POV alternates mainly between Willa and her aunt Jottie, while Layla’s narration is told epistolary-style. Secrets and betrayals are revealed that threaten to break family bonds.

The writing is excellent with many well-turned phrases, the characters are engaging, and the colorful small town setting was charming. However, the book was too long and would have benefitted from tighter editing. I became bored when it went on and on and on without anything happening. Also, I thought Willa’s insights and thoughts were too mature for a girl of her age. Still, fans of small town southern fiction that unfolds at a snail’s pace will find much to like here.

** I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
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In 1938, the year I was twelve, my hometown of Macedonia, West Virginia, celebrated its sesquicentennial, a word I thought had to do with fruit for the longest time.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385342942, Hardcover)

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 own opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. However, once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is completely drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is deeply 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—ferocity and devotion—a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business with which her charismatic father is always occupied and the reason her adored aunt Jottie never married. Layla’s arrival strikes a match to the family veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a different tale about the Romeyns, and the invisible threads linking them to the heart of Macedonia’s history. 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 Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
 
“A jewel . . . poignant and keenly observed . . . a small masterpiece about love, war, and the immeasurable sustenance to be found in good books and good friends.”—People
 
“Affirms the power of books to nourish people enduring hard times.”—The Washington Post
 
“This is a book for firesides or long train rides. It’s as charming and timeless as the novels for which its characters profess their love.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“A book-lover’s delight, an implicit and sometimes explicit paean to all things literary.”—Chicago Sun-Times
 
“A poignant, funny novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit . . . This one is a treat.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Smart and delightful . . . Treat yourself to this book, please—I can’t recommend it highly enough.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:38 -0400)

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