Wednesday, April 30, 2014

All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry

This is an intriguing book about a young woman who has been abducted and later returned to her home. Instead of being welcomed back, she is treated with suspicion and loathing—partly because she returns with half of her tongue cut out. The story is set in an unnamed time and place, but it feels like pre-colonial days in New England. The village Judith comes from has a Puritan air about it, and is under attack from "homelanders" sailing from in from some unknown place. Judith's mother is especially ashamed of her daughter and doesn't allow Judith to express herself of explain her own disappearance or the related murder of another girl from the village. Judith pines for Lucas, the boy next door, who is now a young man ready to marry another village girl. The story is narrated by Judith as if she is speaking directly to Lucas, explaining her actions and revealing her secrets little by little. The writing is poetic and there are subtle revelations on almost every page, so pay attention. Spoilers ahead—stop reading here if you care. I did enjoy the book, but I had a few things about it that bothered me. I found the undefined setting to be distracting —I kept looking for actual historical details that weren't there. I thought the homelanders would come back or be revealed to have greater meaning. And while the cover is beautiful, Judith is specifically said to be plain looking, so I think the gorgeous, modern-looking model on the front doesn't really reflect the character of Judith.

No comments: