Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Stories We Tell, by Patti Callahan Henry, ends 8/1

It's midafternoon in Savannah. The temperature is above ninety and the humidity the same. The haze of heat may be slowing the city, but the tourists with their paper maps persist in gathering for ghost tours. They're pointing their cameras and cell phones at old houses, trees, and, of course, the bench where Forrest Gump sat. Those who aren't wandering around the streets are perched in horse-drawn carriages. The dark and magnificent animals walk forward with blank round eyes, with their heads down and a slick sheen of sweat on their bodies. I want to stop traffic, untie the horses, and lead them to the nearest fountain. These tourists will never understand the true allure and mystery of this city. The fascinating parts of this city are inside the stories.

The Stories We Tell is an interesting story about an unraveling family, the catalyst being a car accident involving Eve's husband and her sister. Eve starts questioning what she knows about others, and about herself, and it's only then that she's able to see everything clearly.

Official synopsis:
Bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry is back with a powerful novel about the stories we tell and the people we trust. 

Eve and Cooper Morrison are Savannah’s power couple. They’re on every artistic board and deeply involved in the community. She owns and operates a letterpress studio specializing in the handmade; he runs a digital magazine featuring all things southern gentlemen. The perfect juxtaposition of the old and the new, Eve and Cooper are the beautiful people. The lucky ones. And they have the wealth and name that comes from being part of an old Georgia family. But things may not be as good as they seem. Eve’s sister, Willa, is staying with the family until she gets "back on her feet." Their daughter, Gwen, is all adolescent rebellion. And Cooper thinks Eve works too much. Still, the Morrison marriage is strong. After twenty-one years together, Eve and Cooper know each other. They count on each other. They know what to expect. But when Cooper and Willa are involved in a car accident, the questions surrounding the event bring the family close to breaking point. Sifting between the stories—what Cooper says, what Willa remembers, what the evidence indicates—Eve has to find out what really happened. And what she’s going to do about it. 

A riveting story about the power of truth, The Stories we Tell will open your eyes and rearrange your heart.

This is a story that will draw you in from the opening paragraphs. I loved that it was set in Savannah, too, because I visited there last year and it's an interesting town; when the author talks about the streets and sections of the city, I was able to visualize them.

Patti Callahan Henry is able to paint a vivid story here, about a family that's falling apart, and a wife who won't give up on finding out the truth about her husband and sister's accident. Eve has been married to Cooper for 21 years, although she thinks she may have always loved Max, one of her coworkers, whom she's known since she was 19 years old. She doesn't let these feelings intrude on her "perfect marriage," although she's in the process of finding out that it was always far from perfect.

I'd recommend this book for anyone who likes a good story. I wouldn't call it a "summer read" because of the themes involved, but it's definitely a fast read, or at least it was for me.

3.5 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

{Click here to read Patti Callahan Henry's guest post from July 2014)


One lucky reader will win a hardcover copy of The Stories We Tell. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway will end on Friday, August 1st at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified on August 2nd and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love a good mystery and even though this isn't quite that, it has that element.

    1. Yes - it almost could be classified as a mystery, but it's more of a story of a family with the mystery element thrown in.

  2. Perfect book for a long soak in the tub, I think.
    It had me at "It's midafternoon in Savannah. The temperature is above ninety and the humidity the same." It's hot and muggy here in Louisiana, too.

    1. Ah, yep - New Orleans is the same. Great city, I went once to visit a good college friend of mine who lives there.

  3. You're going to think that I'm totally shallow, but I want to read this because of the cover. It's so pretty! Love that it's set in Savannah. I've been there several times and loved it.

    1. Ha - yes, the cover is pretty. I LOVE Savannah, we went on a weekend last year and it rained all weekend! Would love to go back sometime.

  4. I love true stories and biographies, as well as melancholy novels. This book sounds like it almost has that kind of feel,

  5. A story of family secrets in the hot and sultry south. Sounds like a great read to me. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  6. True stories can be so meaningful.

  7. I love a good story and your review is awesome


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