05 Aug The Truth According to Us
The Truth According to Us
By: Annie Barrows
It is 1938 and Miss Layla Beck, daughter of a U. S. senator, is informed by her father that he will no longer support her because she will not marry the man of his choosing. Her Uncle Ben obtains a job for her with the Federal Writers Project writing the history of small town Maecedonia, West Virginia. She rooms with the Romeyns, a formerly prominent family. Some of the story is told in letters.
She accepts her fate to write the history and receives an outline from a descendant of the town’s founder guiding her to the town’s “first” families and buildings. However, when she hears alternate interpretations from Jottie Romeyn, she becomes determined not to just accept the preferred versions of local history.
She is also intrigued by the Romeyn family: Jottie, who never married; charming Felix, who wanders in and out of town selling “chemicals;” Felix’s daughters Willa and Bird; and many others. Family secrets and romances ensue. Twelve-year-old Willa is trying to figure out her family. She says “I wish we were like everybody else. I get real tired of lying…If only we were still respectable.” Jottie wants to protect Willa, but Layla’s presence triggers events that force Jottie and Felix to come to terms with the past loss that entirely changed their lives. The Truth According to Us is written by the co-author of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, and although the ending could have been fuller, it’s a well-characterized story of life and love in a small town.
Review By: Sherri Bonham