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!

Silver’s Book Reviews – “Tears in the Sun,” by J. A. Owenby

Tears in the Sun

  • Title:  Tears in the Sun, A Short Story
  • Author: J. A. Owenby
  • File Size: 439 KB
  • Print Length: 16 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: J. A. Owenby
  • Publication Date: December 25, 2013
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HBZOKY4
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Drama, Teen & Young Adult, Parenting & Relationships

*The author gifted me a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review which follows*

From the Author, J. A. Owenby:

“A Short Story – Lacey, a senior in high school, has never heard of borderline personality disorder yet she lives with it every day. As she begins realizing her family isn’t as normal as she thought, she searches for help and answers. Those answers turn her world upside down, and she is left with making life changing decisions for not only herself but her mentally ill mother who she loves more than anything.”

Recommendation:

This is an entertaining short read that really takes your breath away. Mental Illness can be debilitating to a family’s structure and Lacey’s family is no exception. I won’t kid you, there are some scenes in this story that will affect you deeply.

I found the characters to be well thought out and totally realistic. I felt great empathy with Lacey as a teenager trying to cope with her mother’s religious obsessions which she forced on everyone, near and far, all symptoms of a deepening mental illness burgeoning out of control.

The one salvation for Lacey was Patsy, her mother’s lover who had bought the house with her mother years ago. Their relationship hints at a deep friendship and emotional alliance against the shame and humiliation forced upon them from the ravages of the mother’s mental illness.

All books start somewhere and J. A. Owenby shared with me that she wrote this short story in 2011. She worked with an editor from Writer’s Digest and decided to put it on Amazon a few years later. Jen said that after her short story was published she had many people reach out and ask for a full novel, that she finally wrote it.

Her novel will be released later this year and called, “The Truth She Knew.” The book will include Lacey, Mama, and Patsy from the short story, and additional characters. Jen adds that she addresses issues in the novel including mental illness, mental/physical abuse, and religious manipulation. Lacy falls in love for the first time in the novel and is able to summon all her strength to make some very difficult decisions.

As of the date of this review, Jen was not sure of a publication date for the novel. I understand it is in the hands of her editor. However, I am sure if you connect with her on her blog or social media you will be able to follow the novel’s progress.

This is one you won’t want to miss!

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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J.A. Owenby

About J. A. Owenby:

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

She’s a published author of six short stories and is beginning her first full-length novel. J.A. doesn’t mess around when it comes to working with a professional team in order to present her best writing.

She also runs her own business and helps people find jobs they love as a professional resume writer.

She is an avid reader of thrillers, romance, new adult and young adult novels. She loves music, movies, and pop tarts. Her downtime consists of a beautiful summer evening, snuggling with her hubby outside underneath the stars. If it’s winter, listening to the rain and watching NFL football.

You can follow the events of her upcoming novel on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JAOwenby, and on Twitter at J A Owenby, Author at https://twitter.com/JAOwenby. Look for J. A. Owenby on her blog at Jen’s Thoughts https://jenowenby.wordpress.com/.

Thanks for stopping by,

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