Sunday, March 3, 2013

Book Review: The Truth About Love & Lightning

The Truth About Love and LightningAuthor: Susan McBride
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

The Truth About Love and Lighting is a deliciously emotional story of family, forgiveness, love, and magic from Susan McBride.

A lie that Gretchen Brink told 40 years ago comes back to haunt her when a tornado brings together Sam, a mysterious man who can't remember anything, and Abby, her newly pregnant daughter who is convinced Sam is her long-lost father. Though decades old, when Gretchen's secrets are revealed, the ramifications will affect them all in ways they never could have imagined.

A mesmerizing study of family and love, The Truth About Love and Lightning is touching and observant, reminding us that we never know when our lives are on the precipice of change.

“A minute earlier, the sky had been a pristine blue, the April sun showering warmth upon the walnut farm while a gentle breeze ruffled the leaves of the just-bloomed peonies below the still. Out of nowhere, fierce gusts forced their way through the window screen, batting at Gretchen’s hair and stirring up the scent of rain and the rumble of thunder. Beyond her pale reflection in the glass, the sky turned black as pitch and a startling crack rent the air. A great boom followed as a bolt of lightning hit, causing her to see stars and jarring the floor beneath her feet.” – Finished Copy pg. 1

“But as Gretchen walked toward the window that faced the front drive, she didn’t feel very hopeful. Though the house appeared to have withstood the twister’s winds without damage, the rest of the property had not. Branches littered the lawn and the gravel drive; leaves had been stripped from standing trees. Farther off in the distance, she discerned black power lines and telephone cables that should have crisscrossed the sky but no longer stretched from pole to pole. Instead, they sagged like old clothesline. Despite the sun’s attempt to peek between scudding gray clouds, the aftermath was hardly heartwarming. It looked an awful lot like a battlefield.” – Finished Copy pg. 29

“Yes, it was far-fetched, desperate even. But what if this man truly was Sam? What if he’d been dropped back into her life after all this time – after the big lie she’d told since she’d last seen him? What if he’d come back to the house that was rightfully his, to the farm his parents had left to her and Abby, believing she was Sam’s one true love and Abby his only child?”- Finished Copy pg. 43

“‘As lovely as a miracles sound, we can’t jump to conclusions’ Gretchen said, picking her words carefully. ‘What if he awakens clearheaded and tells us he was merely passing through, that he’s someone with a family who’s missing him?’” – Finished Copy pg. 71

“He gave up scratching his grizzled jaw and let out a dry laugh. His pale gray eyes looked right at her. ‘I don’t know about riding a twister,’ he said and raised his hands, turning them so she could see his reddened palms. ‘Though I think I know how it feels to be struck by lightning. I seem to recall a lot of blinding light and heat.’ He touched his forehead. ‘And one hell of a headache.’” – Finished Copy pg. 126

The opening chapter of this book describes a twister that has hit a small town and the damage that it brings with it. Talk about a way to grab and reader and pull them in. Gretchen Brink’s small but prospering farm is affected by the twister that hits and is also affected by the mysterious man that it drops off as well. Readers find out very early on that Gretchen is harboring a secret; a secret that involves herself and Sam Winston. Could this man be the same Sam Winston that she knew many moons ago? Will her secret/lie be revealed? Will this storm bring a rainbow for Gretchen and her sisters and daughter?

I have already mentioned how awesome the opening chapters are and how the destruction that the storm caused is easily relatable for anyone who has ever faced sorrow and damage to their own lives. Gretchen’s life seems pretty normal when we are first introduced to her, but we learn very quickly that things are not always as they seem. Each of the characters seem so normal from the start, but shortly after the first few opening paragraphs we begin to get a little background about each one of them and I must say that they are all so intriguing. So is the little town in which this story is set. Strange things start happening like a ghost knocking at the door and the whole town being without power, except the farmhouse where Gretchen lives. This is the first novel I have read by McBride, but I can tell that she likes an air of mystery and loves to keep her readers guessing.

The suspense and mystery of the character Sam in this story is what hooked me in the most. I also loved the characters of Gretchen and Abby, Gretchen and Sam’s daughter. The fact that Sam had been missing for forty years and now Gretchen thinks this mysterious man might be him sent chills up my spine. Immediately, of course, I wanted to know what secret Gretchen was hiding and what lie she supposedly told so many years ago. It is easy to guess once you reach a certain part in the novel, but still holds a certain suspense. The writing is so smooth that even though I felt it became predictable at one point, I still could not stop reading. McBride made me feel as if I owed something to these characters and their stories!

***A HUGE thank you to the publishers at William Morrow Paperbacks for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. The description sounded awesome but your review sealed the deal. I'm adding this one to my TBR list.