Saturday, September 05, 2020

Whiny Heroine + Overly Long Story = Putdownable Family Secrets Novel

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When Patrick Walsh's dementia gets too debilitating for him to live alone, his children relocate him to a nursing home.  Since she's on maternity leave, child psychologist Beth Evans volunteers to clean out her father's house.  The place has always been spic-and-span, so she's stunned when she discovers that a padlocked room holds a chaotic mess of Patrick's paintings, papers, and assorted junk.  Among the detritus, she discovers loose pages from a journal that seems to have been written by her mother.  Patrick always told his kids that their mother died in a car accident when they were small.  The diary entries tell a different story.  Beth reads about her mother's struggles with postpartum depression—which mirror her own—as well as descriptions of a Patrick Beth doesn't recognize at all.  Who are her parents, really?  What was their marriage truly like?  And why is Patrick hiding dark secrets from his own children?

I'm always up for a tantalizing family secrets novel, so I was intrigued by the premise of Kelly Rimmer's newest, Truths I Never Told You.  While the book is definitely about secrets, they're not all that tantalizing.  Plus, the plot crawls along at such a glacial pace that I struggled to stay invested in the story.  While I empathized with Beth, I found her to be a difficult MC to care about.  She's whiny, self-centered, and victimy—my least favorite kind of heroine.  Add in about 100 pages of unnecessary text and, yeah, this novel is just ... putdownable.  It took me a few days, but I did finish it.  Unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy it.  Bummer. 

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a handful of F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, disturbing subject matter, and references to sex

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

7 comments:

  1. I was out with the words "whiny heroine".

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    1. Right? Whiny is my least favorite attribute in people - fictional or real!

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  2. Oops! I was wondering about this one since I read a book by her that I liked, but you are usually spot-on in your reviews, so I'll pass.

    I probably could think of a dozen read-alikes, but not offhand :)

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    1. I picked this one up because I liked a previous novel by Rimmer - BEFORE I LET YOU GO. It was interesting and compelling. That's probably part of the reason her newest was so disappointing - I was expecting more from her.

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  3. Your post title tells me that these were secrets best kept by the author. So many books now are alike, that it's getting harder and harder to pick the good ones out of the haystack.

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    1. LOL. When all the secrets were revealed, I was confused about why they needed to be hushed up. It just didn't seem necessary, you know?

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  4. I read this one for the blog tour and had a hard time writing my review. I was disappointed with this one and I usually love her books. I think you nailed it with your comments, Susan.

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