This novel takes place in West Virginia, during the summer of 1938. It revolves around twelve year old Willa Romeyn, her family, and Layla Beck, the WPA writer who has come into their lives since she has been hired to write the history of their town and is boarding with her family.
At twelve years old, Willa is just beginning to realize that the adults in her life are lying to her. Since she is a curious girl, she decides that she will “sneak” around and figure out what is really going on. On the other hand, Layla has been turned out of her mansion by her Senator father because she refused to marry the man her father picked out for her. As Layla had no skills and was unemployable at a time when so many were out of work, her father decided she would work for the government while “on the dole” and write for the WPA. The novel chronicles both their struggles to become adult in an interesting and lively manner. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, since there are many twists and turns that the story takes. I am however, going to tell you that I loved the book. Not only could I see the town of Macedonia in my mind, I could also feel the heat of the unbearable summer humidity. There were so many characters that I really loved, Willa of course being the foremost, but Barrows’ writing had me enthralled with most of them. This was one book that I stayed up late to finish, as I was so caught up in the novel that I just needed to find out the “real” story. As the name of the book states, it is the truth according to the Romeyn family. As with all “histories” the people writing them get the last say.
I highly recommend this book. It was both enjoyable and fabulously written.