Saturday, November 15, 2014

Motherless by Erin Healy

People say that a book is a “compelling” read. I may have said that about a book myself. But nothing I have read matches the compelling nature of this novel.

Their mother committed suicide – at least that's what the police concluded. An abandoned car at a secluded beach. No body ever found.

Then, seventeen years later, their father is in a serious accident. That is the beginning of the recession of the ocean of lies the family has lived under all that time.

Healy deftly tells the story, revealing the truth bit by bit. That was the compelling reading part. Each chapter revealed a little more, yet was a little more confusing. More than once I wondered what the real truth was. And there is an interesting twist, a change in perceived narrators, that caught me. It wasn't until I read the Reading Group Guide (which contains spoilers) that I realized the deception was deliberate. I too, as a reader was believing an untruth for quite a while. What an interesting literary experience paralleling the plot.

This is the truth: we all tell stories that we want to believe. We tell them for so long that we forget what we really know. Occasionally we convince others to believe them too.”

There is much to think about in this novel. What is your story? Is it true or something you have told yourself so long you actually believe it? Are you willing to change your story – to let the truth come out? Do you believe what your parents have told you about your childhood? How would you feel if you found out it was all a lie?

I would not really identify this novel as a “Christian” novel. There is a bit of spirituality at the end but it does not follow traditional evangelical thinking. Nonetheless, this is a very thought provoking novel about the lies we tell ourselves and others and about the places where the spiritual and the physical intersect.

Erin Healy is the bestselling coauthor of two books with Ted Dekker and an award winning editor for numerous bestselling authors. She has received wide acclaim for her own novels. She and her family live in Colorado. Find out more at

Thomas Nelson, 368 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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