Review Blog

Sep 20 2008

Give me truth by Bill Condon

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Woolshed Press, 2008. ISBN 9781741663310
(Age 13+) Two stories overlap in this new novel by Bill Condon. I loved No worries (2005) and felt that the voice of the adolescent boy in that story, trying valiantly to help his mentally ill mother was just prefect. I'm not so sure here, but kids will love the story about the breakdown of marriage and family.

Caitlin's mother has just found out that her husband has been having an affair. Caitlin tries to comfort her and is willing to keep quiet for the sake of her younger brother. But she has trouble talking to her father, and feels the whole family is about to erupt. David's family has had a major argument ending with David being hit by his father. His mother and the two children leave the house and move in with their grandmother. David feels he wants to talk to his father but his mother is adamant that he does not see him.

The two stories of Caitlin and David intersect when both teens and their friends audition for a school play. Both the protagonists are angry with their parents but have to hold some sort of secret within themselves while outwardly behaving normally. It puts an incredible strain on their friendships and time spent at school. Condon cleverly contrasts the two situations; Caitlin's where her parents are reasonably controlled and civil, David's where his parents are antagonistic and the father is out of control. The reader can see for themselves the choices being made by each family in a situation not conducive to making informed and reasonable decisions. It is at times a scary read, but adolescent readers will see themselves and/or many of their friends in this story.
Fran Knight

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