Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Truth About Love and Lightning, by Susan McBride

 Gretchen told a lie in her youth, one that just may be coming back to haunt her.  When she got pregnant as a teenager, she told everyone that the father of the child was her good friend, Sam, who had gone missing.  Now, forty years later, Gretchen's baby is a grown woman getting ready to have a baby herself.  She comes home to visit Gretchen at the same time a wild storm deposits a strange man on their land, a man that reminds them all of Sam.  Will Gretchen be forced to own up to her lie?

This book has a magical, mystical quality to it that I found completely endearing.  The characters are  are unique and written in such a vivid way.  Gretchen is a very sympathetic character.  Finding herself in trouble, while watching Sam's parents mourn his disappearance, it is easy to see why she told the lie.  I got the sense that the gravity of this lie has weighed on her since it left her mouth.  I also really enjoyed learning Sam's ancestral background, and watching how it played a role in the present day story.

The story  is on a very fluid timeline, shifting from present to past and back again in a lyrical dance.  I found the writing in the book to be almost mesmerizing.  The story seems almost mythological, with the way it touches on Native American lore and how nature plays such a huge part in the story.  I also like that the ending is not definitive.  We think we know the identity of the strange man, but is that really who he is, or just who we so desperately want him to be?  

In short, I think this book was tremendous.  I could not put it down once I got started.  It is a quick, highly engaging read, and fans of contemporary literature will really enjoy it.

I received a review copy of the book courtesy of TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  See the rest of the tour here.

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