by: Julie Berry
Review by: Stacy L. Palm
Sometimes you have to dig a little to find a precious gem. That is what my experience was like reading this book which has quickly become one of the best reads for this year! Starting this book was a bit difficult. The narrative is presented in short clips jumping back and forth in the main characters life time that causes the reader to have a bit of a struggle trying to grasp what is occurring. I do believe this is intentional as it adds an unexpected layer to this novel. By the time I was 10% in the events started to pull together and I was gaining an understanding of the main characters very complicated life. By the time I was 50% into this book I was so emotionally vested in each of the characters that I was crying with them, frightened for them, and cheering out loud at times.
This is an impressive novel, it very much reminds me of classic Nathaniel Hawthorne stories. The plot is engaging with a completely unforeseen twist at the end, the characters are easily related to by the reader, and the writing is captivating all the way through the end. This is the type of book readers long for, a book that moves you so completely that you very much feel to be part of the these characters lives. I was so enthralled with the book that when I reached the end I was stunned that this experience was over. When I was in college, my literary friends and I use to have many conversations that started with, "If I was an English Professor I would make my class read ~fill in the blank with the novel we were discussing." I have to say that If I were an English Professor All The Truth That's In Me would be the book that my class would be reading this year. There are so many little things the author does while writing this story to draw you in and give you a greater depth of understanding behind character actions. I cannot give this book enough praise for the experience it gave me.
I urge you to do yourself the favor of picking up this book to read. Don't give up at the very beginning, and you will be pleasantly rewarded for your effort. I will not tell you how this book ends, but I will say that I loved the fact that while reading it I could not tell if it would be A:) A happily ever after ending, or B:) A dire ending because of the characters' failure to recognize the truth. I have to say I would have been very happy with either ending because it just added yet another layer to this wonderfully written novel.