Sunday, July 13, 2014

My take on: The Stories We Tell

Before an author becomes an automatic buy, I have to read at least 2-3 of their prior books. I think Patti Callahan Henry has become an automatic buy for me. I loved And Then I Found You and Coming Up Air. When I saw the e-mail pitch for her latest book, The Stories We Tell, I didn't even need to know what the book was about. All I saw in the e-mail was "Patti Callahan Henry," and I was sold!

In all honesty, this wasn't my favorite book of hers but it certainly held my attention from start to finish.

On the surface, Eve and Cooper Morrison seem to have it all. They have a beautiful but moody teenage daughter in Gwen. Cooper runs a successful magazine. Eve owns an equally successful printing company. They are one of the top couples on the Savannah social scene. They have it all. Everything is great ... or so it appears. In an instant, everything comes undone for this couple. The facade they allowed everyone to see and believe is crumbling. The happy life they once had is gone. How and why becomes a great source of debate throughout the book.

Cooper and Eve's free-spirited sister Willa get into a bad car accident. The physical scars are just the beginning of their problems. Cooper spins a wild tale about the accident. Willa was drunk and not only embarrassing herself, but Cooper in front of his high-profile clients. While Cooper is driving her home, she grabbed the wheel and caused the accident. At the outset, it seems logical. In the past, Willa always got drunk and made a fool of herself. Why should this time be any different? What does Willa say about the accident? She can't remember. A head injury has left Willa with memory loss. Willa swears she wasn't drunk, and medical tests back her up. If you're Eve, whom do you believe? 

Eve has to believe Cooper. Maybe he just got a few details wrong. Believing in Willa means not believing in her husband. She has to trust her husband. If there is no trust, how can they have a marriage? But soon Eve begins to peel back the layers on Cooper's story. Eve exposes one lie after another, but still she has faith in Cooper. Her entire life is tied to being a wife and a mother. But who is Eve without those things? Can life still go on without her neat and ordered life?

With every lie exposed, I kept waiting for Eve to get really, really angry. But I felt her reaction was subdued. I wanted her to leave him right away. Cooper is lying about more than just the accident. The book reads a lot like a thriller, except the action here isn't murder it's a family drama. The drama definitely held my attention. I kept reading because I wanted to know why Cooper lied. Maybe Cooper and Willa were having an affair? That was my first assumption, but that was too easy and I was wrong. It's never the most obvious reason, but by the end of the book I wasn't completely satisfied. When I found out the source of Cooper's lies, I was like "That'ts it?!?" Perhaps, if I was married I would understand a little more. Although, by the end Eve was on better footing and I loved that! While I wasn't in love with this book, I would certainly read another book by Patti Callahan Henry!

Rating: Give it a try

Note: I received a copy from Sullivan and Partners in exchange for an honest review.

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