The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows made me laugh often because it reminded me of the years I resided in the South and the ability many people there had of colorfully weaving the stories they told. The tales were tall and I usually wondered if my leg was being pulled. Barrows is the co-author of a book I loved entitled The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which further enticed me to read this novel.
Set in the 1930’s, a U.S. Senator decides to punish his daughter Layla by disowning her after she refuses to marry the man of his choice; thus putting her on relief. She is given a job working for the WPA and shipped off to a small West Virginia town in need of someone to write a town history. Layla becomes a boarder in the home of a formerly well-to-do Romeyn family down on their luck. They are unaware she is the daughter of a Senator. The Romeyns are an odd assortment of loose-lipped colorful characters with vast knowledge of the town’s buried skeletons, including a number of their own dark secrets.
The book is populated with vivid, believable characters who are easy to connect with emotionally. I thought some parts of this book were unnecessary, but overall, I think this is a terrific book many people will enjoy. The suspense of discovering the truth behind the many rumors and secrets kept me from being able to put the book down!