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The Truth About Love

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0307272614
ISBN-10: 0307272613
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hart's previous five novels (Damage; Sin) addressed the disturbing power of love, and in her latest, she returns to the topic with mixed success. Hart opens with the stream-of-consciousness narration of a teenage boy's fatal accident in 1962 Ireland before shifting to the precise, nearly stifling voice of Thomas Middlehoff (aka The German) at the funeral. Distant and polite, Thomas orbits ever closer to the beleaguered O'Hara family: the boy's father, Tom, wants to buy a family heirloom from Thomas; he bumps into Olivia, the boy's sister, with his car (she sustains scrapes and bruises); and the boy's mother, Sissy, exposes her deep grief to him, spurring him into contemplations of his own secrets and horrors. After another Joycean interlude depicting Sissy's treatment in a mental hospital, Olivia takes over the story from the present day, and though outwardly successful, she refuses to let go of her anger at her brother's death. Unfortunately, revelations in the second half of this brief novel feel rushed, while the characters' proclivities for introspection do little to create narrative urgency. (Aug.)
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Praise from England and Ireland:

The Truth About Love is an ambitious and poetic weaving of a long-ago family tragedy into the tragic history, and histories, of our time. Josephine Hart has come home in triumph.”
–John Banville

“In this compelling and remarkable book, Hart has written a moving lament for exile . . . The novel’s opening is a tour de force . . . There are echoes of Beckett and Joyce in Hart’s writing, especially in the brilliantly fractured syntax.”
Times Literary Supplement

“Deeply moving . . . It packs a punch far beyond its size . . . An uncompromising tale that explores grief, redemption and memory.”
Irish Independent

“A bleak tale, beautifully told, about the one burden we must all, as human beings, survive . . . Hart takes us to a place that, for most of us, has hitherto been both unimagined and unimaginable.”
The Times

“Hart’s dialogue is extraordinary, blending poetry and naturalism like the great Irish playwrights . . . This book is sui generis.”
The Independent

“A brave novel . . . Hart’s [characters] live beyond the confines of even her fiery and elegant prose and are impossible, once encountered, to forget.”
The Guardian

“A genuine, deeply felt story of love and loss.”
Daily Mail

See all Editorial Reviews

This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (August 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307272613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307272614
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,208,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Josephine Hart's international bestselling novels include Damage, Sin, Oblivion, and The Truth About Love. Born and raised in Ireland, she also produced several successful plays in London's West End. Prior to becoming a writer, Hart worked in publishing and established the Gallery Poets and West End Poetry Hour.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In 1962 in Leinster, Ireland, the teenage son of Tom and Sissy O'Hara dies in an accident. Everyone comes to the funeral even newcomer Thomas "The German" Middlehoff who muses about attending his first Irish funeral. The parents of the victim and his siblings Olivia and Daragh know now life is surviving until you die.

Over time however, the desire to just live becomes superseded by other needs except for the family patriarch who believes his mission in life is to keep his family safe and avoid risk. The widower expatriate who ran away from one death that haunts him, Middlehoff initially adopted the O'Hara philosophy, but found it permeated his literary work. Sissy becomes so depressed she is hospitalized. Olivia is angry and resentful as she feels she lives a dead life in homage to her late older brother; she turns to therapy and the the stage to pretend she lives. Finally there is Daragh who is simply an evanescent shadow with no substance.

Rotating perspective the audience receives a powerful look at surviving the death of a loved one. The cast is deep as each represents an outlook on life and death. Although late surprise twists and denouements feels forced and hasty and detract from a profound look at THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE even in death, fans of strong family drama will want to read Josephine Hart's fine tale of what happens to those who live after a loved one dies with no warning.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was expecting something more on the order of a true romance instead of a tale of grief, nationalism, and forgetting. Whatever, I'm still a devotee of Jennifer Hart, on the basis of Damage!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rebecca hite mclaughlin on June 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book arrived promptly and on time. I purchased this book to add to my Josephine Hart collection as she was a very excellent writer
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