Review: Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers


Truest left me a twitching pile of emotions on the floor. I can’t believe how powerful every page of it was, making me want to laugh and cry…sometimes at the same time.

Westlin Beck is going through a time of change, during which her eyes are opening; she realizes there’s more to life than her small community. By the end of the book she’s ventured so far from her former routine that there is no turning back. She’s a changed person; we get to laugh with her, cry with her, and face tough choices every step of the way.

West’s outlook changed fairly quickly after meeting Silas. It felt like her world expanded, like only then had she begun to breathe. She grew up a pastor’s daughter, thus carrying the obligation to set an example for everyone in town. I was so proud when she broke away to be her own person.

The writing style constantly took my breath away. Sometimes I’d find one sentence, a simple gem that made me stop, close the book, and try to memorize. References to the legend of the swan song–that the most beautiful song a swan sings is the one before it dies–kept the mood melancholy.

There was always this sensation of waiting for something to break, and when the big break finally happens, we hurt with the characters. I couldn’t pin anyone as a villain–they all had a struggle that made us feel for them. This book is an emotional punch, one of the few contemporaries I’ve read this year that I’d quickly recommend to everyone.

Truest offers insight on life when you’re under pressure. It dares you to do the opposite of what you’re expected for the sake of growth and maturity. It reminds us that we’ll never know how vast the world is if we don’t break out of society’s boxes, and look.


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