Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Truth of Me

The Truth of Me. Patricia MacLachlan. 2013. 128 pages. [Source: Library]

The Truth of Me almost has a melancholy feel to it. Robbie, our narrator, and his dog, Ellie, will be spending summer at his grandmother's house. These two have a special bond. Robbie feels safely and securely loved by his admittedly eccentric grandma, Maddy. He is staying with Grandma Maddy while his parents go on a music tour in Europe.

Robbie doesn't always feel so loved when he lives with his parents. The good news? This isn't one of those melancholy books about parents separating or divorcing. The bad news? His parents don't make time for him--their careers come first, always. And even when they're at home, they're not in the moment WITH Robbie. Sometimes Robbie learns more about his parents by reading newspaper clippings of music reviews and listening to music programs on the radio than by actually observing them and talking with them. This young boy points out to his grandmother that his mother loves her violin more than she loves him. And the grandmother admits that is probably true--for better or worse.

Robbie loves being with Maddy. And Maddy has a way with stories, and, a way with animals. Some people think she's spinning stories, making up all the animal stories she tells. But Robbie believes her. He may just become part of one of her stories when they start to camp together....

It isn't that The Truth of Me lacks a plot; it has one, it's just a melancholy one where even when fun stuff is happening, one never really loses a sense of loss or sadness. It brings to mind when Sadness says, "Remember the funny movie where the dog dies." Now, that was NOT a hint that Ellie dies. The dog's life is never in danger.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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