#BookReview Three Little Truths by Eithne Shorthall @CorvusBooks @ReadersFirst1

Three Little TruthsAbout the Book

On the idyllic Pine Road, three women are looking for a fresh start…

Martha was a force of nature, but since moving to Dublin under mysterious circumstances, she can’t seem to find her footing.

Robin was the ‘it’ girl in school. Now she’s back at her parents’ with her four-year-old, vowing that her ex is out of the picture for good.

Edie has the perfect life, but she longs for a baby, the acceptance of her neighbours, and to find out why her dream husband is avoiding their dream future.

The friendships of these women will change their lives forever, revealing the secrets, rivalries and scandals that hide behind every door…

Format: Paperback (400 pages)        Publisher: Corvus Books
Publication date: 3rd October 2019 Genre: Contemporary Fiction

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My Review

I enjoyed Eithne’s previous book Grace After Henry so I’ve been looking forward to finding time to read Three Little Truths. To provide additional motivation I included it in my list for the 20 Books of Summer 2021 reading challenge hosted once again by Cathy at 746 Books.

Well, all I can say is that it’s hard work being a newcomer to Pine Road because, based on Martha’s experience, the female residents of the road will be all over you like a rash before you’ve even finished unpacking.  Or they’ll be exchanging snippets of information about you and your family in the Pine Road WhatsApp group.  As one of the characters remarks, ‘Pine Road makes the Spanish Inquisition look like an amateur operation’.

Speaking of which, the sections showing the messages exchanged between group members were a lot of fun to read with some real laugh out loud moments.  For example, when the subject matter of the “groundbreaking” newspaper column by Bernie, self-appointed matriarch of Pine Road, is revealed. Or the discussion about the precise specifications for an item to be procured for a planned street party which includes the instruction to ‘avoid gender specific shades’ of wrapping paper.  And who knew that arguments over parking could illicit comparisons with the Middle East conflict.

Before long it becomes clear that amongst the residents of Pine Road it’s not so much three little truths as a plethora of big lies, some of a more serious nature than others.

Of the three main characters, Martha’s story was the one I found most compelling and it was her I found myself rooting for as more about her family’s experiences before moving to Pine Road is revealed.  The author cleverly found a way to give the reader a direct insight into Martha’s thoughts and feelings about an event which was clearly traumatic for both her and her family, and has left her confused and uncertain about how to deal with it.

And this is where I began to have some reservations about the book. Although I enjoyed the humour, it made me slightly uneasy to be laughing at WhatsApp messages about stolen newspapers one minute and the next experiencing Martha’s obvious mental anguish or witnessing the curve balls life can throw for other residents.

Having said that, although I’d never want to live there, I did enjoy being introduced to the residents of Pine Road. ‘A curved row of twenty-one houses. Stacks of red bricks divided by iron gates. A collection of lives where the only automatic connection was a postcode. A place where families explanded, imploded and renewed. A place where people lived in company, alone and often, if they lasted long enough, both.’ 

I received an advance review copy courtesy of Atlantic Books and Readers First.

In three words: Witty, amiable, engaging

Try something similar: The Secrets of Primrose Square by Claudia Carroll

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EithneShortallAbout the Author

Eithne Shortall studied journalism at Dublin City University and has lived in London, France and America. Now based in Dublin, she is chief arts writer for the Sunday Times Ireland. Her debut novel, Love in Row 27, published in 2017, was a major Irish bestseller, and her second novel, Grace After Henry, was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards and won Best Page Turner at the UK’s Big Book Awards. (Bio/photo credit: Publisher author page)

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