Chick’s Picks – Books
The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
Published June 2015
Drawing inspiration from her aunt’s home state of West Virginia, Annie Barrows (a noted children’s author best known for The Ivy & Bean series) has written her first adult fiction novel. You may also recognise her from the book she co-wrote, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society; which she edited and rewrote for her aunt whose health was deteriorating.
The Truth According to Us is as much about how people make their own version of history as it is about family dynamics. We see the novel through three different perspectives – Layla, Jottie and Willa. Layla is there to record the history of Macedonia, after being cut off by her father and having to support herself through writing for the WPA, Jottie is raising her brothers’ children after a heart-breaking betrayal, and Willa is coming to the age where she is inquisitive about the world and the people around her.
While engaging, this is a story that you won’t read quickly. The slow, detailed prose allows you to feel completely absorbed into the narrative and the relentless heat of a Southern summer. Barrows will take you on a journey through truth and lies, loss of innocence, heartbreak, forgiveness and the bonds of family ties.
Next time you’re at a book shop, I recommend that you pick this up. You won’t be disappointed.