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The Truth about Her

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What to expect

‘Read the first sentence of Jacqueline Maley’s debut novel, and you will be in it until the end. Electrifying, deeply unsettling and so, so satisfying. And, if you’ve ever tried to manage the sharp end of a career with the blunt demands of parenthood, fiercely recognisable’ Meg Mason, author of Sorrow and Bliss

Journalist and single mother Suzy Hamilton gets a phone call one summer morning, and finds out that the subject of one of her investigative exposés, wellness blogger Tracey Doran, has killed herself overnight. Suzy is horrified by this news but copes in the only way she knows how – through work, mothering, and carrying on with several ill-advised affairs.

The consequences of her actions catch up with Suzy over the course of a sticky Sydney summer. She starts receiving anonymous vindictive letters and is pursued by Tracey’s mother wanting her, as a kind of rough justice, to tell Tracey’s story, but this time, the right way.

A tender, absorbing, intelligent and moving exploration of guilt, shame, female anger, and, in particular, mothering, with all its trouble and treasure, The Truth About Her is mostly a story about the nature of stories – who owns them, who gets to tell them, and why we need them. An entirely striking, stylish and contemporary novel, from a talented new writer.

Critics Review

  • ‘Read the first sentence of Jacqueline Maley’s debut novel, and you will be in it until the end. Electrifying, deeply unsettling and so, so satisfying. And, if you’ve ever tried to manage the sharp end of a career with the blunt demands of parenthood, fiercely recognisable’ Meg Mason, author of Sorrow and Bliss

    ‘I loved The Truth About Her. It’s an intelligent, compelling, nuanced tale of guilt, culpability, pride, shame and atonement. But most of all, it’s a love letter to daughters, from the mothers who raise them. An astoundingly good debut’ Annabel Crabb

    ‘Heartfelt, funny and will resonate with many readers. This tender, witty and beautifully written novel is for fans of Georgia Blain, Charlotte Wood and Ann Patchett’ Books+Publishing

    ‘An intimate world filled with characters I could have lived with a great deal longer… rewarding, enjoyable and utterly addictive addictive’ Readings

    ‘A stunning novel, sharply observed, beautifully written, enthralling’ Julia Baird, author of Phosphorescence

    ‘I loved The Truth About Her. I could not put it down – whip-smart, sexy and with so much heart – and god, that ending packed a punch. The sort of book that all mothers need to read’ Eliza Henry-Jones, author of In the Quiet and Ache

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