The Truth About Love takes place in Ireland during the 1960s. It looks at the lives of three people after a teenager dies in a horrific accident. The German, a neighbour, knows all too well about tragedy and lost love. Sissy, the mother, teeters on the verge of madness because of her grief. Olivia, the boy's sister, tries to help the family through these difficult times. A desolate love story about losing a loved one.
The book is poetic, emotional and beautifully written. I liked how the author presented the characters stories, how she explained their grief and how little details of the accident were scattered through the book. However, it might have been a little too intellectual for me. While I really enjoyed some parts, other parts just didn't grab me. I seemed to hover on the edge of the story most of the way through only somewhat understanding what was going on. Just when I thought I was getting into the story, I'd get to another section and lose interest. I also had trouble following some of the dialogue.
The last section about the conflict in Ireland was pretty interesting and contained lots of information that I didn't know. But again, I had some trouble following what was happening.
Favourite quote: This quote is part of a paragraph about the German and the tragedy he's experienced. I liked the imagery of this one statement: And he doesn't seem to bend under the weight of his memories (page 128). I know how heavy some memories can be.
While I didn't love this book, I think it has redeeming qualities. I found lots of rave reviews online, so others have enjoyed the book. Marci from Serendipitous Readings called it "Stunning, Powerful, Unforgetful, Dangerous." Her whole review is here. Conversely, I found at least one review where the reader had trouble and didn't finish the book. I think the book has an audience, but I don't think it's going to be for everyone. Therefore, I can't wholeheartedly recommend it.
For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit the HarperCollins Canada website.
For more information about the author and her other books, please visit Josephine Hart's website.
I'd like to thank those nice people at HarperCollins Canada for this review copy.
The Truth About Love by Josephine Hart, HarperCollins, ©2009. ISBN 9781554685448(Trade Paperback), 247p.