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The Truth About Love and Lightning: A Novel Paperback – February 12, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (February 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006202728X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062027283
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,485,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gretchen Brink leads a quiet life on the family farm, caring for her blind twin sisters. When the farm is damaged by a tornado, the women discover a man lying in their field, struck by lightning and suffering from amnesia. The storm’s aftermath also brings an unexpected visit from Gretchen’s daughter, Abby. As the cleanup begins, the Brink women have much to sort through, including determining the identity of the mysterious stranger. Abby is convinced he is her long-lost father, Sam. Gretchen harbors the same suspicion, although she knows Sam is not really Abby’s father, despite telling everyone he was when she became pregnant 40 years ago. As the mystery man’s identity is slowly revealed, Gretchen contemplates the eventual discovery of her decades-old lie and its impact on her fragile daughter. Despite a plot that is a bit too neatly tied up, this novel offers an interesting cast of characters, particularly the twins, whose lack of sight gives them insight into everyone and everything. McBride’s novel is a gentle reminder of the unexpected and inevitable nature of change. --Carol Gladstein


“Seamlessly toggling between decades, McBride delivers a poignant page-turner with flawed but lovable characters.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Written with touching insight into family relationships and what we call home, The Little Black Dress is a lovely and entertaining journey into the magical side of things. I bet you’ll never look at your closet the same way again.” (Sarah Addison Allen)

“I’m madly in love with this full-of-surprises story about secrets, family ties--and one magical little black dress. One of my favorite novels of the year.” (Melissa Senate, author of The Secret of Joy and The Love Goddess' Cooking School)

“I’ll read anything by Susan McBride.” (Charlaine Harris)

More About the Author

Susan McBride is the USA Today Bestselling author of Blue Blood and four other award-winning Debutante Dropout Mysteries from HarperCollins/Avon, including The Good Girl's Guide To Murder, The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club, Night Of The Living Deb, and Too Pretty To Die. A sixth title, Say Yes to the Death, will be out in 2015. Susan has another series with Avon, the River Road Mysteries, starting with To Helen Back in May of 2014. Mad as Helen follows in July 2014 and Not a Chance in Helen in September 2014. These "Helen" titles will be released in digital first with paperback editions available shortly thereafter.

Susan's young adult thriller, Very Bad Things, will be published in hardcover by Delacorte Press on October 14, 2014.

In addition to her mysteries, Susan has penned three well-received women's fiction titles. The Truth About Love & Lightning (02/13) was selected by Target stores for their Emerging Authors program, was a Midwest Connections Pick, and was dubbed "a poignant page-turner" by Publishers Weekly. Little Black Dress spent five weeks on the St. Louis bestsellers list and was a Target Recommended Read. The Cougar Club was selected by Target Stores as a Bookmarked Breakout Title and named a Midwest Connections Pick by the Midwest Booksellers Association. Foreign editions of Susan's books have been published in France, Turkey, Croatia, and Bulgaria.

Susan has one nonfiction title available: In the Pink: How I Met the Perfect (Younger) Man, Survived Breast Cancer, and Found True Happiness After 40, which tells her tale of becoming an "accidental Cougar" and marrying a younger man, her cancer diagnosis at age 42, and finding herself pregnant at 47.

She has authored several YA non-mystery novels for Delacorte about debutantes in Houston: The Debs (2008) and Love, Lies, And Texas Dips (2009). Gloves Off, the third book, has not been released.

In January of 2012, Susan was named one of St. Louis's "Most Dynamic People of the Year" by the Ladue News. In April of 2012, she was given the "Survivor of the Year" Award by the St. Louis affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As Susan likes to say, "Life is never boring." Visit Susan's web site at for more scoop.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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I will definitely be reading more of Susan's books!
Susan R Schleicher
I highly recommend everyone picking up The Truth about Love and lightning, you will not be sorry.
Charlotte Lynn
The characters are are unique and written in such a vivid way.
Tiffany A. Harkleroad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Krysi Joseph aka boekverslaafde on March 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Truth About Love and Lightning by Susan McBride was an exceptional read!! When Susan wrote about her characters, she blew a life into them that is truly hard to do in print.
The Characters...Gretchen Brink borne to a mother who speaks the cold, blunt truth. Abby is Gretchen's 39 year old daughter. Sam Winston, a young man who was Gretchen's best friend since they were 6 & 7, and believed to be Abby's father. Bennie and Trudy, who are Gretchen's blind twin sisters.
The book flips between present day, and flashbacks into the past. These flashbacks begin in the 1930s, and tell a story of Sam's ancestors, beginning with Henry 'Hank' Littlefoot, Sam's great grandfather, a full blooded Otoe-Missouria shaman. Sam's shaman ancestors have all had the gift of controlling the weather.
The first couple chapters cover the characters, getting to know who they are, what drives them, and gives you a small peek at lies that have been told. Once we have a general idea of who the characters are, the REAL story starts. It begins with a tornado, ripping through the walnut grove they live in. It is here that we learn the walnut grove hasn't produced any walnuts since Sam's disappearance in Africa. We learn that Sam disappeared from an Africa humanitarian aid camp, and is presumed dead. When the storm passes, they discover the yard has a few limbs strewn around, and the 100 year old oak tree has come crashing down, but surprisingly, their house is intact.
When walking through the yard to check out the damage, Gretchen discovers a man, unconscious, in the grove. If that's not surprise enough there are walnuts all over the ground, and the trees have new buds on them. The grove is as alive as it ever was!
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan R Schleicher on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
Before this book, I had not read any of Susan McBride's books. I was always going to, I just never got around to it. I am so glad I finally read one and I am glad it was this one. I loved it!

The first line is a grabber ~ 'Annika Brink could not tell a lie.' Well, you know that is going to cause some issues, right? And then a couple of pages later ~ 'I'm sorry, Anni but I can't handle so much truth anymore. Sometimes ignorance is truly bliss, and what I need is more bliss in my life.' I just had to get involved in this story to see where it was going.

Gretchen learns to lie from her mother and her life is basically built around one great, big lie. What happens when it all starts to unravel? I loved the journey on the pages to see how this lie, I mean this story, all played out.

I have always been fascinated with the Native American culture and the powers of a shaman. I loved reading the parts about the mystical things that Sam's ancestors could do and did. Has this power been passed down to Sam? And then there are Gretchen's twin sisters, who are blind from birth. They live with Gretchen and I loved their characters, a couple of very wise women. They made quite a pair.

I really loved everything about The Truth of Love and Lightning. I loved the characters, the setting and and the story line. And I had to keep reading because I really needed to find out exactly what the truth about love and lightning was. I will definitely be reading more of Susan's books!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen Dyer on March 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a terrific book! I may never forget these characters and this remarkable story. McBride' s characters show us the nature of giving, devotion and love.

Gretchen Brink' s mom couldn't lie and Gretchen told one so big it stayed with her for forty years. Her mother's honesty created a cold, cruel world; Gretchen' s lie created a warm and loving home.

But, the love of Gretchen' s life had eluded her. Time's passage did not change that. Sam's story is told through the eyes of two generations and when it reaches the present, the question has become, will Gretchen's lie be exposed and create as much damage as her mother's honesty?

The story of Gretchen, her family, the life she builds, and, yes, the answer to that question, make for a fabulous reading experience, memorable and special.

Each book Susan McBride writes seems to surpass the one before it and each one shows a new side to her versatility. This one is no exception.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Bruzzi on December 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really ended up enjoying this book. I was hesitant at first, but it grew on me. It's about a family coming together after a storm, old lost loves as well as new loves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fixed Stars Govern a Life on November 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
Maybe it was the title, but I had mistakenly thought this book would be "Chick Lit" or another shallow romance. How wrong I was. Susan McBride is a master storyteller, expertly weaving through scenes and eras, humor, and giving us both surprises and that "of course!" feeling at the end. McBride's work, to me, feels comparable to Alice Hoffman or early Barbara Kingsolver. The characters grew on me so quickly, and in this story, McBride plays with mysticism. Yet it is plausible magic; her miracles are the kind we have all seen evidence of in small doses and can therefore believe.

I did not want The Truth About Love and Lightning to end. It had me choked up in parts, which is something as I consider myself to be fairly jaded! I regard this book as literary nonfiction and look forward to reading all of her other works.
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