Things We Knew Were True

Things We Knew Were True

3.28 (515 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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At 16, Edie's world was turned upside-down when her father failed to come home from work one evening. After 20 years, she eventually makes a passionate and dangerous attempt to return to the past - in search of the the truth about her father and lost teenage more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 126 x 190 x 22mm | 199.58g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0141012471
  • 9780141012476

Review Text

Nicci Gerrard is no stranger to novel writing, having collaborated with fellow writer Sean French to produce a series of exciting thrillers under the pseudonym Nicci French. This is her first independent novel, and marks an intriguing departure from her usual genre. Edie is 16 years old, one of three daughters, with a beautiful mother, a bewitching older sister Stella and younger sister Jude, lumpen and resentful, who keeps her most precious secrets close to her heart. Her father, Vic, arouses affection and exasperation in his offspring - he is still besotted with his wife, Louise, and is abstractedly loving towards the girls. Untidy, clumsy but profoundly gentle, Vic stumbles through life, perpetually on the verge of disaster. When Edie falls desperately in love with Ricky, her first instinct is to keep him away from her affluent family circle. Ricky comes from the wrong side of town; money is short and despite his dreams of becoming a director, he is destined to stay rooted in the poverty in which he was born. Inevitably their two worlds collide with the expected results, as Louise and Vic try vainly to understand this angry young man who has captivated their daughter. But one evening, Vic doesn't come home from his humdrum job at a local estate agent's. Edie discovers that tragedy has a profound effect on love and within days her passion for Ricky is consigned to the past. Together with Louise and Jude, she attempts to start a new life, free from the memories of that dreadful day. The years roll by. Edie meets Alex, they marry and raise their own family, and it seems that Edie's policy of denial has paid off. Then tragedy strikes again. The three sisters find themselves thrown together as they struggle to cope with the aftermath of another death; they discover a new gentleness with each other, and Jude is at last able to reveal the true feelings she has kept hidden for so many years. In the midst of her grief, however, Edie's past returns to tempt her - can she resist the urge to turn the clock back one last time, to purge herself of the guilt she has been harbouring for over 20 years? Nicci Gerrard has created a cast of wonderfully rounded characters whom the reader will find sympathetic and infuriating in turn. Vic's incompetence, for example, is excruciating, yet his bewilderment as he surveys this gaggle of women which surrounds him is profoundly touching. Compassionate yet never sentimental, this is a sensitive portrayal of the power of guilt to corrode relationships. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

515 ratings
3.28 out of 5 stars
5 9% (47)
4 31% (160)
3 41% (213)
2 16% (81)
1 3% (14)
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