The Things We Wish Were True: A Novel by Marybeth Mayhew WhalenThe Things We Wish Were True: A Novel by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

The Things We Wish Were True: A Novel

byMarybeth Mayhew Whalen

Paperback | September 1, 2016

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In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.

Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.

During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?

Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of five previous novels and speaks to women’s groups around the United States. She is the cofounder of the popular women’s fiction site She Reads and is active in a local writers’ group. Marybeth and her husband, Curt, have been married for twenty-four years and are the parents of six children, rang...
Title:The Things We Wish Were True: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 8.5 × 0.88 inPublished:September 1, 2016Publisher:Amazon PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1503936074

ISBN - 13:9781503936072

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from ... Weird story. It's just a blur, there isn't a start, middle and end. it's just a monologue.
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Small towns and their secrets... First off, let’s hear it for likeable, relatable characters! This is important to me – I need to care about characters or feel connected to them, in some way, at least at some point, if I’m going to enjoy the time I spend reading the pages on which they live. After having recently read a book about characters who didn’t really rate that well in this regard, I was very happy to discover that most of the characters in this novel were immediately likable, despite their inherent flaws. Of course there were others for whom I would not swerve if they stepped off the sidewalk, but that’s par for the course, right? I appreciated Marybeth Mayhew Whalen’s use of different voices/points of view. It created a richer, more multifaceted narrative and allowed me to become more invested in the characters and plot. I especially enjoyed the way in which she often had one character picking up the story where another left off, in the sense that portions of the same event were told from each of their perspectives (i.e., Jencey and Bryte seeing each other at the pool after having not been in contact for years). As a teacher (of 2nd grade, no less!) and lover of quirky factoids about characters, the origin of Jencey’s name was an excellent one: The name was a relic of her childhood. In school she’d been one of several Jennifers. She was Jennifer C, or, as her second-grade teacher coined it, “Jen C.” […] As second grade went on, the teacher ran the abbreviations together so fast that they came out as one word. So “Jen C.” became Jencey […]. While I was able to deduce the characters’ secrets before those secrets were revealed, it didn’t detract from my reading experience. I enjoyed it a great deal, for the most part. It held my attention, kept me interested/invested in the lives of the characters, and flowed well, overall. However, the way in which a few things wrapped up (or, didn’t, as the case may be) in the last 1/4 didn’t really sit well with me: - the decision to have Cailey’s character not tell anyone what happened at the neighbour’s house; - Jencey showing her daughters the hideaway in the woods, so soon after a rather unsettling discovery (I expected her to be more vigilant and cautious); - not knowing what consequences Ty faced or if there were/would be any; - Zell equating what she had done with what her son had done, years before, which I didn’t feel were the same at all; - Jencey’s seeminlgy oversimplified observation about Hannah’s ordeal/future and it lost a little something, in the end, it seemed. That being said, though, these things may not have been wrong choices/thoughts for the characters to have, based on who they are – just my take on their choices/thoughts and the end results. I look forward to reading more titles by this author, as I did enjoy her storytelling style, in general. NOTE: I received an eARC of this title from NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Date published: 2016-11-05