Thursday, December 5, 2019

Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

I think this might be a better fit for readers who really enjoy "mysteries" written in the vein of Liane Moriarty in the sense that the focus of the story is less on the payoff of the suspense and more on the relationship between characters in the home. TRUTHS I NEVER TOLD YOU is a domestic mystery that revolves around three women: Beth, Maryanne, and Grace.

Beth's father is suffering from cognitive decline due to complications from illness and Beth is in the process of cleaning out the family home. When she reaches the attic, she learns secrets about her father as well as her mother, who she believed died in a car accident when she was young. The truth might be infinitely more complicated, and leads Beth (and therefore the reader, by proxy) down a rabbit hole of family secrets and lies.

I thought the beginning of the book was good. Beth's narrative is sympathetic: she's a mother and a wife, but isn't as in love with the idea as she feels she should be. When she finds her mother, Grace's, letters, there's a sense of simpatico because she, a woman who was married in the 1950s, also seems to feel trapped and without options. Both narratives deal pretty heavily in the almost claustrophobic implications of traditional marriage roles and what that can mean for a woman. I liked the feminist bent to this novel and thought it had some interesting ideas which I wish had been explored a little more thoroughly and thoughtfully to that extent.

Without going into spoilers, I'll say that the ending was a bit disappointing. After reading 300+ pages and being mired in this mystery, I was hoping for something a bit more dramatic and shocking. Beth, Grace, and Maryanne never really popped off the page for me and remained cold and remote and interchangeable. I think TRUTHS I NEVER TOLD YOU tries to tell a feminist story of suspense, and I think maybe I would have liked this more if I hadn't just read Tanen Jones's THE BETTER LIAR, a book with a similar theme that does TRUTHS I NEVER TOLD YOU one better.

I'm not sure why this book was compared to Jodi Picoult as it isn't really. Even if you hate Jodi Picoult's writing, her books are heavily emotional (almost manipulatively so), whereas this one was cold and emotionless. I definitely think Liane Moriarty is a more apt comparison and if you enjoy her work, you will likely enjoy this one, as well. Best of luck to you.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!   

2 to 2.5 out of 5 stars

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