The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
More than any other book I read last year, this one has stayed with me. About halfway through it, I started to realize that it was one of those rare books that I ration pages I read, so that I won't finish it too quickly. I only do this with something precious in the book world: a work that makes me feel more connected to life.
Annie Barrows' inhabitants of the fictitious West Virginia town of Macedonia are flawed, funny, and utterly believable. I have recommend this novel to a wide variety of friends.
A few of my favorite passages:
I loved Miss Cladine. In real life, she was an algebra teacher over in the high school, but she was crazy about the Bible. Not in a preaching way, though. She never talked about being good or bad. Instead, she told the Bible in stories, acting out all the parts, with yelling and wailing as necessary. Even the very worst boys, like Harmon Lacey, sat as quiet as mice during Sunday school. Miss Cladine had her favorites--not in the class but in the Bible. She thought Daniel was a sourpuss and a know-it-all, and she didn't like Paul, either. She called him a busy-body. The one she loved was Samson. She had a colored picture of him knocking down the pillars, pinned to the walls of the basement. The Philistines were scrambling around with their mouths hanging open in terror. "Serves them right," Miss Cladine said. "The sneaks."
I swung the door open and relaxed. She wasn't there. I stepped in and shut the door behind me. I had promised God I wouldn't touch anything. I'd just look at what was lying around. If Jane Eyre had only looked around a little, she might have saved herself a lot of heartache.
He was lying; I could hear it the way you hear a tune and you know how it goes. I wondered how many times I'd heard him lie, to know so well what it sounded like.
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