The Truth About Her by Jacqueline Maley
When I reached the end of this book and read the author bio on the back page, I was not in the least bit surprised to discover Jacqueline Maley is, just like the main character in her debut novel, an award-winning journalist. Maley can, without doubt, tell a story. Not only that, she has created a recognisable and intimate world filled with characters I could have lived with a great deal longer.
The Truth About Her centres on Suzy Hamilton, an award-winning Sydney journalist who writes an article exposing a social media influencer as a fraud. Tracey Doran, the fraud in question, then kills herself, and so begins a summer of unfortunate events for Suzy. Single mother to adorable pre-schooler Maddy (I’m not one to get sentimental about other people’s children, especially fictional ones, but Maddy really is adorable), Suzy keeps most people, especially men, especially the two men she is currently sleeping with, at arms-length. However, when her affair with one of them results in the loss of her job, the poverty line moves uncomfortably close and she has some difficult choices to make.
Working at a bar in the evenings and as a freelance writer during the day only just pays the bills, so when the opportunity to write the story of Tracey Doran’s life presents itself, the money is hard to resist. It may also help assuage some of the guilt Suzy feels about the young woman’s death. As Suzy begins to discover the truth about Tracey, she also starts down a path of self-discovery, a journey which will lead her to some unexpected places.
This rewarding, enjoyable and utterly addictive addictive tale is not your ordinary love story. There is romance, but it is mainly an exploration of the love between mothers and their daughters, a love which can last a lifetime.