This book was nothing short of stunning. Compelling. Unique. Even Ms. Berry's authors note at the end is eloquent & full of emotion. There are so many things about this novel that would normally be a complete turn-off for me... But they all came together so beautifully and perfectly that I couldn't put it down. I'll be mulling Judith's story over for a long while. Full review to come.
UTA: A few days later, and I'm still just as impressed by this book as I was when I finished it. I've never read anything like All the Truth That's In Me, and I'm so glad I picked it up. It reminds me of Jellicoe Road (one of my all-time favorite novels) in that it's really tricky to get into (in this case you don't know the time period, location, who the narrator is or who they're speaking to) but if you give it a chance, the payoff is SO SO great. About 1/3 of the way in I gave up overthinking the second person narrative and shifting timeframe, and just absorbed Ms. Berry's sparse-yet-rich prose and it was such a fulfilling read. I was utterly captivated as Judith's story unraveled. Part historical fiction, part thriller, part romance, part family drama, part adventure it's really difficult to assign it to a specific genre. There are so many aspects to the novel and Berry masterfully weaves everything together - all the little details, and shifting timelines, etc - with stunning prose.
This novel was a rare treat, and I am so glad I put it on my TBR list. All the Truth That's in Me will most certainly be a reread later on, and I will be seeking out Ms. Berry's other novels as well.
“Did we risk our lives to defend a just society, where guilt must be proven and not assumed? Or are we no better than the oppressive kings from whom our fathers fled?”
“If I thought I could never love you more, I didn't understand you well enough.”