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Book Review: The Things We Wish Were True

I missed this month's book club, and I'm a little sad about it. My friends mixed it up this month and opted for a brunch book club at a local coffee shop. Book club started as something for us separate from our kids, but sometimes our kids' stuff gets in the way. So we adapt. We're in the thick of marching band season, so we may see more adjusting for the October book club meeting.

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Pros: For my friends who prefer a clean read, this one (mostly) fits the bill. It's not a Christian fiction read, but it doesn't have the "spicy" or graphic scenes that some mainstream fiction does. Nor does it have a lot of bad language although the language isn't all clean.

The Cons: As one reviewer said about another novel we read earlier this year, this one was a bit overpopulated. Almost every character had at least one point-of-view chapter, which led me to wonder who the main character really was. I think the author could have increased the intrigue by limiting the point-of-view to a select few characters instead of all of them.

My Review: As with most small towns, everyone has a secret. Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, appears from the outside to be an all-American neighborhood. When a child almost drowns in the neighborhood pool, long-held secrets come to light. Families aren't who they seem to be. Old friendships bring out old insecurities. And unlikely friendships bloom.

I loved how the community rallies around a family nobody knows who seems to live on the fringes of the community. When Bryte, a young mother who opted to stay in Sycamore Glen after high school, connects with her former best friend Jency, who left under mysterious circumstances, I related to her insecurities. It's funny how we can build a life for ourselves, find new confidence in our abilities, and live meaningful lives, but one encounter with someone from our past can make us rethink all that.

Jency has her own problems that she guards closely. What would Bryte or others in the community think if they knew the real reason Jency had returned home with her two daughters?

And then there's Zell, the nosy neighbor who's not dealing so well as an empty-nester. Since her own children moved away, she finds herself mothering the neighbor's children.

If you like a bit of romance built into your stories, this book has some of that too. Be warned though, the romantic relationships aren't of the wholesome type.

I gave this book 4 🌟s because the potential is there for a much deeper story. It's a well-written, easy to read book that you won't regret adding to your list.


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