Nearly every character in The Truth and Other Lies is terrible, and that is precisely why you will love them.
It’s not easy to write a book with the intention of presenting these incredibly flawed personas from the offset; afterall, many readers like a clearly cut protagonist, or one that efficiently shows a moral dilemma. Instead of sticking to the quo, Sascha Arango embraces his anti-hero Henry Hayden, a man whose entire life as a successful author is a complete sham. His wife Martha is the true writer, but Henry has built a career and a life of luxury in a quaint European town on her works while fostering an affair with a woman named Betty. To reveal anymore of this iceberg would be to reveal far too much of the story, but I will say this: unraveling Henry’s enigmatic characterization is deep and intriguing, akin to the second half of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.
Undoubtedly, the excitement of that novel comes in Amy’s revelations, the ones that occur after a steady plot and mystery build-up. Arango does not fear diving straight into the psychologicalabyss, because his constructs and plot allow for constant turns and twists, so much so that the thrill is the chase in this novel. While I wouldn’t necessarily call this a fast-paced story (especially due to the numerous narratives and point of views), there is enough in the characterization to make you stand on the edge; you will never quite trust that the truth is in its actual authentic form, and it’s that daring nature that makes The Truth and Other Lies an entertaining read and a strong entry point for Sascha Arango.
Penguin Canada provided me with a copy of The Truth and Other Lies in exchange for an honest review. The book is available in stores now.