For a story that included plot points that I don’t usually care for – multiple cases of infidelity and distracted mothers who play victim at the expense of their children’s development – and spread itself really thin in the way it attempted to capture multiple perspectives over more than three decades, and fit everything in less than 250 pages, for all of the reasons I thought this was would be too much, I must say I really enjoyed The Truth About Parallel Lines byJill D. Block. Instead of playing to tropes, I felt like the author took odious situations and characterized them, showed the real grit that can be experienced through female friendship, demonstrated how messy things can get when you have irresponsible people around, and yet how we can work through the miss when we’re imbued by the strength we get from the people who stand with us.
On Goodreads, the synopsis promises:
It is 1981 in New York City. While celebrating her 18th birthday, Jenna Kessler tells a story that stays with her for the rest of her life.
Growing up in the shadow of an over-protective mother, Chloe Toberman finds freedom in the secrets that she keeps.
Deirdre Schein is a doctor, struggling to find her place in her family. Her quiet and stable life is both challenged and made richer by the demands of her flamboyant and unpredictable twin brother.
The Truth About Parallel Lines takes place over more than 30 years. It is the story of three women, love after loss, triumph over tragedy, and the friendships that sustain them.
And all of that was true, yet some of what should’ve been major characters paled in comparison with other stand-out stars. Despite the time lapses between their appearances, Jenna’s friends are more intuitive than their years and they call her out on her bad decisions. Deidre’s twin speaks through her, and some of Chloe’s secrets start to define her, yet what is fascinating is how these flaws make such a riveting read.
There was much to admire about the complex portrayal of a young woman who simultaneously becomes someone’s dream and nightmare and watching the progress of the characters’ lives as the ripples from their actions seem to wane but thrum in the wake long afterwards, created a slow build up that kept me interested until the last page. For a story that covered the decades including 9/11, I wasn’t surprised to see the attacks mentioned but I didn’t think the inclusion added anything to this particular story and it could have done without it, and at least one character’s death could have been eliminated from this novel… or maybe that’s me nitpicking at a book that I enjoyed so let me just leave it at this. The Truth About Parallel Lines was fun to read and I think you should definitely give it a try too if you can.
Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to read an ARC of this book and for Jill D Block for writing a warm story about real issues. I gave it a 4 star rating and recommend it highly.
Author: Jill D Block
Publication Date: June 4 2018
Publisher: Montague Street Press