Friday, July 26, 2019

The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins

The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins. Gail Shepherd. 2019. 304 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: There is such a thing as honorable lying.

Premise/plot: The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins is set in a small town, Love's Forge, in Tennessee in 1985. Lyndie B. Hawkins, our heroine, is having a time of it. Her family has recently moved in with her grandparents (Lady and Grandpa Tad). Her home life is full of TENSION and STRESS. Her dad--a Vietnam war veteran--may think he's hiding his alcohol problem from the rest of the family and the whole community...but...few are fooled. Lyndie knows SOMETHING is wrong even if she doesn't have a label--or a solution--for it. Half the stress for Lyndie is knowing that she can't share the stress; she has to keep her family's secrets. No matter what questions her pastor, her teachers, her friends, her neighbors ask...she knows that she has to be ready with a lie that protects her family's honor and privacy. This is endangering the relationship with her best friend, Dawn, who comes from a somewhat nosy neighboring family. Lyndie trusts Dawn as much as she trusts anyone...but is that enough to go against her family?!

Dawn's family is one of the kindest in town. They are taking in a juvenile delinquent, D.B., for a year. He's been sentenced to Pure Visions until he's eighteen; but the place is the stuff of nightmares. Lyndie becomes chummy with D.B., and she wants to fix his problems even if she can't fix her own...

My thoughts: This was a tough read for personal reasons. That's mostly a good thing. I think it's a sign that the author has written characters that are all-too-human and placed them in realistic situations that feel true to life. I loved, loved, loved Lyndie's interest in history and genealogy. I could relate to both. In addition, Lyndie LOVES research and libraries. I ached for Lyndie in places. I'm glad that this one ends with a bit of hope that this family can be helped, that patterns can be changed.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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