Review: The Truth according to Us by Annie Barrows.

the truth according to us

Title: The Truth According to Us.

Author: Annie Barrows.

Genre: Historical Fiction.

Rating: 3/5

Publisher: The Dial Press

Release Date: Jun 09, 2015


About the book:

In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.

At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to learn everything in her quest to acquire her favorite virtues of ferocity and devotion—a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business that occupies her charismatic father and the reason her adored aunt Jottie remains unmarried. Layla’s arrival strikes a match to the family veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a new tale about the Romeyns. As Willa peels back the layers of her family’s past, and Layla delves deeper into town legend, everyone involved is transformed—and their personal histories completely rewritten.

My thoughts:

Set in Macedonia a small town in West Virginia during the Great Depression. It’s 1938 and Macedonia is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

The Romeyns family, a well known family in Macedonia is getting a new boarder, none other than Layla Beck, daughter of Senator Grayson Beck. The senator decides to teach his daughter a lesson and she ends up living with The Romeyns and writing a book for the Federals Writer’s Project about the history of Macedonia.

The Romeyns family is not your average American family. Josephine “Jottie” Romeyn, lives with her brother Felix and his two young daughters Wilhelmina “Willa” and Bird. Jottie takes care of her nieces when their father is away on business which happens quite often.

I have never read anything set during this time period before. The details of people’s lives are quite extraordinary. The characters are very real. At the beginning we get this image of Layla being a spoiled and ignorant child who had never worked a day in her life. But a few chapters in Layla surprise you with how she takes control of her life and finish her book.

A good history book includes different perspectives.

The story is mostly narrated by Willa, Jottie and Layla. Willa’s chapters are the only ones written in first person narrative which was great in giving an eye into the thoughts of a 12 year old child in a household full of adults. There are also plenty of letter correspondences between Layla and her family and friends which remind you instantly of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Buy a copy from Book Depository.

About the author:

Annie Barrows is the author of the children’s series Ivy and Bean, as well as The Magic Half. She lives in northern California. She is the co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Thank you NetGalley and The Dial Press for the review copy.

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