THE THINGS WE WISH WERE TRUE by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen ★ Book Review ★

by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
Publication Date: September 1, 2016
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Paperback: 288 pages


In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.

Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.

During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?


“With skill and compassion, Marybeth Whalen digs beneath the surface of a quiet suburban neighborhood to reveal its darker secret side. Full of unexpected twists and sympathetic, relatable characters, The Things We Wish Were True is both surprising and heartwarming and it’s sure to have you examining your own peaceful neighborhood with new eyes.” —Diane Chamberlain, USA Today bestselling author of Pretending to Dance

*Cove Member Nicole Reviews*

The Things We Wish Were True!

When you take a little bit of Desperate Housewives and mix it with a little bit of Peyton Place you get a great mix of characters and some great twists and turns. The Things We Wish Were True does exactly that same thing!
This book centers around a small community and slowly unravels the stories of each family in beautiful layers that makes you keep turning the page to find out what could possibly be revealed next.

I loved the alternating narratives that this book had and how quickly it changed from each perspective. We didn't have 20 pages of backstory for each character but rather the layers of their story were laid out for the reader quickly and that kept my interest the entire way through the book!

What I also enjoyed about this book was the diversity of the narrators. We had the female and male perspective but also the perspective of a teenage girl, which was a nice change.

I enjoyed this book greatly, and the way the author told the story. I thought it was refreshing, fast moving and completely engaging! I will absolutely read another book by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen in the future. Very well done!


About the Author

Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of five previous novels and speaks to women’s groups around the United States. She is the cofounder of the popular women’s fiction site She Reads and is active in a local writers’ group.

Marybeth and her husband, Curt, have been married for twenty-four years and are the parents of six children, ranging from young adult to elementary age. The family lives in North Carolina.

Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She is always at work on her next novel.

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