Due for release June 9, 2015, The Truth According to Us is by Annie Barrows, the partial author of her aunt's best selling book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.
This new book is by Annie Barrows, alone. The story takes place in a small West Virginia town in 1938. The town is the subject of a Federal Writer's Project book to celebrate the town's sesquicentennial. Daughter of a U. S. senator and of privilege, Layla Beck is made by her father to work, out on her own, on the project. In the town of Macedonia, Layla stays with one of the main families. Both she and the reader are introduced to the family and various townspeople and their histories. Much of the story is told through the eyes and voice of 12-year-old Willa Rymer, a member of this key family.
The story has elements seen before in many other books: a hot summer, a (somewhat) Southern town, a prominent family with conflicted secrets which are slowly revealed and family loyalties which seem slightly unhealthy in the final analysis.
Many readers will undoubtedly select this book in eager hope of a "good read" based on enjoyment from Barrows' previous co-author venture. Many readers will like this story and its characters. Many pre-publication reviewers have awarded it four and five stars.
My feeling is that it is an average, familiar story, with characters that fall short of being fully developed, and it is WAY too long. And that's the truth according to me.