Silver’s Book Reviews – “The Truth She Knew,” by J. A. Owenby

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  • Title:  The Truth She Knew
  • Author: J. A. Owenby
  • Print Length: 238 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publication Date: September 18, 2016
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1533660549
  • ISBN-13: 9781533660541
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Drama

*The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which follows*


In the Author’s words:

“A bittersweet story of young love independence, and soul-crushing manipulation. J.A. Owenby shines a light on the impact that mental illness can have on a family.” —Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, Ph.D., Professional Life Coach

Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me.

For eighteen-year-old Lacey, life at home is a rollercoaster. She doesn’t think she’ll ever be good enough to truly deserve Mama’s love.

But when Lacey enters college and meets Walker, everything starts to change. Suddenly, Lacey is face to face with the realization that maybe what she’s always seen as normal really isn’t. Her entire life—and everything she’s ever believed about herself and her family—is abruptly hanging in midair.

Lacey is left facing two paths, and she has to make a choice. The first means walking away from everything she’s ever known. The other means never really knowing the truth.

The Truth She Knew offers an honest and powerful glimpse into mental illness, the meaning of true love, and the psychological waltz that a daughter dances as she endures her mother’s unpredictable emotions, manipulation, and abuse.”

My Recommendation:

Eighteen-year-old Lacey has reached the point in her life where she is ready to strike out on her own. The stars are shining down upon her and independence is within reach. She is a beautiful girl with a job and friends that mean the world to her. Her life is wide open. That is, except for her family.

Lacey belongs to a family where she is an outcast. Her overbearing mother reminds her on a daily basis that she wishes she had never been born. To Lacey, this is the normality of her life. She has learned to watch for the subtle signals from her mother that alert her to the changes in her personality. Always on the lookout for acceptance from her mother, but seldom finding it, Lacey finds it is easier to hide in the sanctuary of her room when the tirades begin. She lives a lonely existence.

One night, after she sneaked away to attend a friend’s party, Lacey has a chance encounter with a handsome guy named, Walker. There is an immediate attraction between the two of them. Once the sparks begin to fly, Lacey knows she is falling in love. Their resulting affair left me breathless! Beware. There is sex in this novel, however, I found it to be realistic and between two loving individuals.

As Lacey’s family life becomes more violent, she revels in the strong arms of Walker. His belief in her leads her to the safety she seeks. It is through his love that Lacey starts to learn that her life is not normal. Finally, things spiral out of control when her mother interferes in her life one last time, endangering her relationship with Walker.

I read and reviewed the short story called Tears in the Sun, also penned by J. A. Owenby, which was the basis for this novel. Click here to read my review.

Just so you know… I could not put this novel down! Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride and have the box of tissues handy. J. A. Owenby depicts Lacey as someone you want to help and protect. I cried at the horrors she was forced to endure. Mental illness figures predominantly in the writing, exposing the reader to a world filled with dread. Lacey haunted my dreams for a few nights after I finished the book.

This is the first book in the series and it does end on a bit of cliff-hanger. The Truth She Knew has not been released yet. It has an expected publication date of September 16, 2016. I also know the author is working on the second novel, so there should not be a long wait in between publication.

Do you like the kind of novels that lead you on a journey of self-discovery, recovery, and independence? If so, this is the book for you. I loved it and I know you will too! I look forward to finding how Lacey copes with her dysfunctional family.

MY Rating:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

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Author, J. A. Owenby

About J. A. Owenby:

J.A. Owenby lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and two cats.

She’s a published author of six short stories, and she is currently working on her second full-length novel. She also runs her own business as a professional resume writer and interview coach—she helps people find jobs they love.

J.A. is an avid reader of thrillers, romance, new adult, and young adult novels. She loves music, movies, and good wine. And call her crazy, but she loves the rainy Pacific Northwest; she gets her best story ideas while listening to the rain pattering against the windows in front of the fireplace.

You can follow the progress of her upcoming novel on Twitter @jaowenby
and Facebook at Author J. A. Owenby

Thanks for stopping by,

I have a book hangover! It’s time to get back to reality!

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Author, Colleen M. Chesebro


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