Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Reviews - Truths I Never Told You and Welcome to the Pine Away..

Finished a couple of books this week!

Truths I Never Told YouTruths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Walsh family patriarch is going into Hospice care and the 4 siblings need to clean up the family house before they can decide what to do with it. Beth is the youngest and on maternity leave and offers to take charge of the cleaning out while the other sibs work full time. Her hidden agenda is avoiding her 5 month old son.

The book is told in dueling time lines - Beth's is 1996 and Grace is the late 1950's. Both are battling postpartum depression in times when mental illness is not routinely talked about. At least for Beth, postpartum depression was recognized by the medical community.

Both Beth and Grace had struggles that seem very real - absentee husband, unsupportive parents, infertility, feelings of not being enough or not knowing what they are doing - and the writing was able to share the struggles so that I felt for each of the women. I wanted them to find solutions and to feel better. The way that the feelings of each woman was explained through the writing - I felt like I was truly able to understand what they were going through. I also enjoyed the familial relationships of Beth and her siblings and how Grace's sister stepped in to help her in spite of how the sister felt about Grace's husband.

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My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a very unique book written from the POV of Henny who had just been hit by a truck and died and is now a ghost. I thought that I had read the description and I kept going back to see what I was missing because a few chapters in, I just wasn't understanding the story. Henny kept trying to get back to her body to "make it right" and come back to life.

Eventually, Henny follows her friends and her father around town and sees their interactions, but she can't figure out how to communicate with them. And the book becomes sort of Henny watching how everyone is dealing with her death in their own ways. And with it being a small town in Oregon, everything is intertwined.

I eventually did enjoy the novel, but I started listening to it 2 weeks after the loss of a work friend and that may have tainted my view of the death portion. The book did begin reminiscing about when Henny was in high school and how she started working at the Motel with her friends and how their friendships evolved. Their friendships became stronger while fighting against the Prop 9 agenda of banning LGBTQ rights in Oregon and somehow this agenda came front and center in the town again after Henny died. Probably some of the mot interesting parts were with the group of 4 friends fighting for LGBTQ rights.

The characters were interesting and well formed. The interactions between characters were unexpected and humorous. In spite of the dark beginning of death and my mental state at the time, it was an oddly uplifting book. I also may have shed a couple of tears with some of the resolutions.

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