'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 3 January 2015

Review: All The Truth That's In Me

“You don’t know and you never will... I am forbidden from telling.”

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small puritan settler town. Two years later, only Judith returned. Permanently mutilated and harbouring dark secrets, Judith is shunned by her family, friends and community, living a half-life where she is rarely acknowledged by others.

Judith bears the disapproval of her mother and disregard of her brother, speaking to no-one as she silently shares her thoughts with her childhood friend Lucas. When the town is attacked, Judith has no choice but to reveal some of her secrets to ensure that Lucas survives. These revelations have significant consequences and as Judith’s story unfolds, the entire town will be shaken by the truths she has kept hidden.

It is difficult to discuss All The Truth That’s In Me without revealing significant plot twists. What I can say is that I honestly found this book difficult to put down. Judith’s story held my attention even when I wasn’t reading. Written in first person, the story shares Judith’s thoughts with the reader in a voice that is both raw and yet somehow resigned to the emotional isolation of her life.

Judith’s story leads readers to question many things – our perception of ‘truth’, the power of having (or taking away) a voice and genuinely listening to what someone else is saying, and the strength of character it takes to willingly put yourself at risk to protect others. The novel is character driven and the format of almost diary-like entries ranging in length from a few sentences to a few paragraphs gives readers a very personal connection with Judith and her story.

This is a novel that I am looking forward to reading again, especially the early pages where many of Judith’s thoughts are quite enigmatic and deliberately vague. All The Truth That’s In Me is a fascinating study of human nature, friendship, love, family, superstition, and the nature of truth all wrapped up in a story shared through an original voice that will haunt you long after you finish the final page.

Author Julie Berry has previously written novels for younger readers. This is her first novel for teens and adults.

Title: All The Truth That's In Me
Author: Julie Berry
Publisher: HarperCollins, $12.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 October 2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780732298067
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult