Tuesday, November 9, 2021

The Truth Hurts by Rebecca Reid


I must say, all these books about (possibly?) sinister marriages are certainly making me feel validated about living the single life. The Venn diagram of "people who are out to get me" and "people who sit down to dinner with me every night" seems to be a circle. THE TRUTH HURTS is especially fun because it has hints of Rebecca and Bluebeard, two of my favorite domestic horror stories.

THE TRUTH HURTS is told with dual timelines (which I also love!). One of the timelines is about a girl named Agnes, working for family as a nanny who seemingly adores her while trying to hide her own dark secrets lest it tarnish the polish of her veneer. The other timeline is about another girl who's also a nanny named Poppy. Poppy has just been fired by her family and booted out of the house in the middle of the night in Ibiza, without any means of getting home. At a bar, she meets a man named Drew who is older, rich, and good-looking. He lets her stay with him and things quickly get serious, and pretty soon they're in what appears to be the perfect relationship, practically engaged. But is it really perfect? He has the most odd request...

He doesn't want them to talk about the past, ever.

At first, Poppy thinks this is terribly romantic and being a flighty girl in her 20s, she's kind of into the idea of living for the present (especially since she has things in her own past she'd rather hide). But pretty soon, things start to get creepy. When they move to their new house, the townfolk act odd around him, and he gets incredibly cagey whenever she asks any questions that even remotely pertain to his upbringing or family history. As the plot winds tighter, and both POVs reach a fever pitch, you can't help but wonder what, exactly, is festering beneath their golden ideal.

SO OBVIOUSLY I LOVED THIS BOOK. I loved the suspense, the characterization, the narrative, the POVs. Part of the fun is figuring out how they fit together, which is why I love dual timelines so much. They really add to the suspense. I know some people can take them and other people will leave them, but I will stan dual timelines until the day I perish. DUAL TIMELINES FOREVER. The story is also compulsively readable and densely atmospheric, and highly reminiscent of the claustrophobic Gothic novels from the 60s and 70s that had an almost paranormal vibe even if they weren't.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good psychological thriller. I did not expect the twist and it delighted and skeeved me out in equal measures. *slow clap* bravo.

4.5 out of 5 stars

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