The Truth Club is a tender, wry look at families, truth and love.
Marriage seems to have stirred up all sorts of weird longings in Sally Adams. On the surface she seems to have everything she needs to be happy....so why is she guzzling so many chocolate biscuits and dreaming of elsewhere?
She has good friends, an interesting job and an almost brand new husband. Then a chance encounter with a stranger makes it all too clear that life could have been so different if she had followed her heart. She begins to wonder if the key to fulfillment lies not in the present but in the past.
Over fifty years before, Sally's Great-Aunt DeeDee, the official black sheep of the family, disappeared. When Sally uncovers a scandal that has left deep fault lines in her family she begins to understand the legacy of lies and secrets that are echoed in her complicated relationship with her sister, April. As she unravels the mystery she begins to see what she has been hiding from. And she learns that to be who she truly is and to find her soul mate, she must be honest...and she must be brave.
Something weird happened yesterday when I was talking to my sister April on the phone. She said, ‘I wonder what happened to Great-Aunt DeeDee.’
I said, ‘I thought she was dead.’
‘Oh, no,’ April replied. ‘She went missing. Just left home, when she was in her early twenties, and told no one where she was going. No one’s heard from her since.’ Then April added something that was entirely typical of her. She said, ‘You know that, Sally. For God’s sake, where have you been for the last thirty-five years?’ She was asking where I’ve been all my life, since I am thirty-five, though I’m often told I look younger. That’s one of the things I cling to – that people say I look younger. I don’t see it myself. When I look in the mirror I see honey-coloured hair, brown eyes, highish cheekbones, and wrinkles and crow’s-feet and grey hairs.
‘Of course I’ve heard of DeeDee,’ I said. ‘But only a few times. Nobody ever seems to talk about her.’
‘Well, they wouldn’t, would they?’ April said. ‘After what she did.’
‘What did she do?’
‘I don’t know, but I get the impression people are really pissed off with her.’
‘How do you know all this?’ I demanded. I’m the one who is supposed to be privy to the family secrets.
‘I’ve known it for years,’ April replied, without going into detail. ‘Look, could you tell Aunt Marie I can’t get to her big do? I can’t believe she expects me to fly over from California for a finger buffet. I have my own life.’
She knew, of course, that I wasn’t going to say this verbatim to Aunt Marie. She knew I would find a way to be more tactful. Aunt Marie, who is my mother’s sister, feels she needs to corral family members every few years and frog-march them into some sort of intimacy. Somehow we all fit into Aunt Marie’s front room, though it’s quite a squeeze. I usually end up saying, ‘Oh, really? How interesting!’ to the various younger relatives who are involved in important-sounding courses. I seem to come from a family that has a great involvement in further education. Then, of course, there are the ones who are methodically working their way up the Civil Service; they sound impressive too, especially the ones who have to make regular trips to Brussels. And there’s a cluster of lovely bright young women who have married nice decent men and are having children or expecting them, and are teachers or social workers or aromatherapists.
I’d absorb more of what they were telling me if I weren’t so fixated on trying to make a good impression myself. In some ways these gatherings feel like school reunions, at which we check up on one another and measure one another’s achievements. But in another way they are nothing like school reunions, which are softened by genuine affection and curiosity and giggles about daft things in the past. Many of the people in Aunt Marie’s front room are almost strangers. It says a lot for the force of her character that we show up at all. We are not the sort of large extended family that gathers for the fun of it. It’s not that we don’t like each other; it’s just that we have other things to do, and other people to do them with.
In the latest crop of chick-lit beach reads...Grace Wynne-Jones comes out top with her quirky new novel 'The Truth Club'. Her characterisation is always amusing and the plot is delivered with warmth and a healthy sense of the ridiculous...it's Ms Wynne-Jones's cutesy sense of humour that makes this book so tasty.
‘...a novel which by turns had me laughing (aloud) entranced and, by the end a little bit wiser than I was at the beginning. In ‘The Truth Club’ Grace Wynne-Jones has produced a book in which the eclectic characters almost leap from the pages…the book also contains a perfect man, Nathaniel, who ‘almost always’ says the right thing…’
‘…Grace Wynne-Jones has written an entertaining, intelligent and genuinely funny story…this is a great read, especially for commuters...guaranteed to shorten any journey.’
It is a tour de force.