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  • Historical Fiction

    Beth Walsh is the youngest in her family, she has two brothers Tim and Jeremy and an older sister Ruth. Despite the loss of their mother Grace in a car accident when they were all toddlers, they had a happy childhood, the family was very close and they all loved their dad Patrick. Recently Patrick’s health had started to decline, he had heart problems and was now suffered from dementia. The siblings had to make the difficult choice of putting their dad into an aged care home and then decide what to do with his house? Beth put her hand up, she offered to clean out her dad’s home as she’s on maternity leave, and she has a five month old baby named Noah and has the time. Beth’s husband Hunter and her siblings have been worried about her, they ask her all the time if she is ok, and she tells them she’s fine, but she’s not herself and they’re not sure if her tackling the house is a good idea? Beth is a psychologist so admitting she’s having problems coping with motherhood, and seeking medical advice, she’s very worried how it might affect her career and she thinks she can deal with it by herself. While cleaning out her dad’s house, Beth noticed the attic door had a lock on it, it’s rather odd and she can’t understand why her dad had a lock installed? When she finally gained access to the room she is shocked to find it’s a total mess, her dad had turned into a hoarder and he also had taken up painting? While wading through the mess in her father’s attic she found an old photo album, it contained her parents wedding photos as well as some old papers and she assumed they were written by her mother? When she started reading about her dad as a young husband she’s rather shocked, her mother complained about him staying out late after work, not helping her at all with her four children, he spent money that should have been used to pay the families bills and her father drank a lot. The dad Beth grew up with worked hard, he ran a successful building company, he was responsible, everyone liked him and he was a wonderful father. Beth had no idea about her mother’s side of the family at all, as she delved deeper into the past she uncovered she has an Aunt Maryanne, her mother’s sister and she’s still alive. With so many unanswered questions, she contacted her Aunt, she hopes she can shed some light on her parent’s marriage and her mother’s death? The book has a dual time line it’s about Grace and Maryanne in the 1950’s and Beth in the 1990’s. It works well, I had no trouble following the story and going between the two time frames. Soon it’s very obvious that both Beth and her mother Grace struggled as new mothers, it’s not just sleep deprivation, being tired or not having any time to themselves, they both felt like they carried this huge weight of expectation on their shoulders and it’s a very heavy burden. Mother and daughter suffered from post-partum depression, but during the 1950’s when Patrick took Grace to the doctor, Grace received no help at all and she just had to accept that when women married, they had babies and sometimes more than you wanted to have or could cope with looking after. I highly recommend reading The Truths I Never Told You it’s an emotional book to read, it’s heartbreaking, full of family secrets and a times it’s very confronting. It tackles very relevant subjects such as post-partum depression, motherhood, contraception, society’s expectation, infertility and family life. I enjoyed the book, all thoughts expressed in this review are my own and I gave the book four stars.

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