The Devil Wears Prada meets All the President's Men
Megan Barnes' life is in free fall. After losing both her job as a reporter and her boyfriend in the same day, she retreats to Chicago and moves in with Helen, her over-protective mother. Before long, the two are clashing over everything from pro-choice to #MeToo, not to mention Helen's run for US Congress which puts Megan's career on hold until after the election.
Desperate to reboot her life, Megan gets her chance when an altercation at a campus rally brings her face to face with Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist Jocelyn Jones, who offers her a job on her PR team. Before long, Megan is pulled into the heady world of fame and glamour her charismatic new mentor represents.
Until an anonymous tweet brings it all crashing down. To salvage Jocelyn's reputation, Megan must locate the online troll and expose the lies. But when the trail leads to blackmail, and circles back to her own mother, Megan realizes if she pulls any harder on this thread, what should have been the scoop of her career could unravel into a tabloid nightmare.
This shrewdly-observed, fast-paced debut centers around the corrosive nature of lies, the complexity of female relationships, and the pervasive reach of the internet into all our lives. Fans of Liane Moriarty's character-driven stories and Jodi Picoult's topical plot twists will devour it.
The political skews personal in Maggie Smith’s debut novel, which focuses on the bonds of powerful women in the rough-and-tumble world of politics and government. Smith’s characters sometimes do each other in, more often do each other proud, always with an awareness of the fragility of reputation set against the abiding strength of spirit. Smith leads with boldness and heart from the first page.
-Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean and The Good Son
Keenly observed, tense, and smart, Maggie Smith unravels the complexity of being a journalist in a time where loyalty, motherhood, and the medium itself are in a constant state of flux. TRUTH AND OTHER LIES have everything you want in a book and more.
-Ann Garvin, USA Today bestselling author of I Thought You Said This Would Work
Maggie Smith's debut novel TRUTH AND OTHER LIES promises three women, two secrets, and one lie and boy does it deliver. The three women are Megan, a twenty-something reporter trying to get her life back together after being fired and dumped on the same day; Helen, her politically conservative mother making a surprise run for Congress; and Jocelyn, a charismatic and award-winning journalist who both mentors and torments Megan. Smith deftly weaves serious social issues such as abortion, sexual harassment, and toxic social media with the more typical women's fiction themes of female friendship, mother-daughter conflict, and romantic relationships, resulting in a taut and timely story . . . TRUTH AND OTHER LIES is an enjoyable and thought-provoking page-turner. The surprise ending will leave you wishing for a sequel.
-A.H.Kim, author of A Good Family
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 138 members
Interesting story, I like how the writer interwove lies and secrets. In the end one can see the difference between lies versus secrets.
It is a story of how women view their struggles to get what they want, be unethically or how they see as it is what I do.
A mother protecting her child rightly or wrongly. Another woman Jocelyn thinking she can take what she wants, and no one can stop her.
A young woman learning how to judge people, how to judge life in general.
Over all a great read
This was such a good book! The characters stay with you long after you finish the book and I loved all the twists and turns. My first time to read a book by this author but I cannot wait to read more!
Megan Barnes is a twenty five year old investigative reporter who lost both her job and her boyfriend on the same day and has returned to Chicago to reinvent herself.
Her mother, Helen Watkins, is a former stay at home mom whose politically conservative, pro-life beliefs have made her the frontrunner in a local Congressional race.
Pulitzer Prize winning, legendary journalist Jocelyn Jones plans to cement her long, successful career with a best selling memoir until anonymous allegations surface on social media.
What these three women have in common are the lies they have told, the secrets that they have been keeping and their ambition. What they will do with that ambition makes the difference.
Truth and Other Lies, a compulsively readable novel, is part romance, part criticism of social media and part thriller. The plot is strong and fast paced. The characters, although not all likable, are well drawn and realistic. I especially enjoyed Megan and Nick’s budding romance, Helen’s attempts to have a closer relationship with her daughter and Dragan’s computer prowess. Serious subjects are treated: Computer hacking, mental illness, the Me Too movement, abortion, rape and others. This is a must read novel! 5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley, Ten16 Press and Maggie Smith for this ARC.
This one dug deep to not only our relationships with friends but with ourselves also. It was a mesmerizing story of self worth and being true to what you know is right. I could not put it down.
This book is hit all the right chords with me: fast-paced plot, journalism angle, slight mystery, hot topics in current events, family secrets. What’s not to like?
Megan, an aspiring journalist, has moved back home to Chicago with her mom - who she learns is running for the local seat in the House of Representatives. Megan stumbles across a potential career opportunity when she unexpectedly meets Jocelyn Jones, a famous and well-respected journalist, who promises to pass along her connections if Megan will work on Jocelyn’s PR team in preparation for her new memoir. Things get dicey, though, when anonymous threats come in calling Jocelyn out for plagiarism in her past, and Megan doesn’t know whether to trust her idol or trust an online stranger. Mix in some political drama - specifically about abortion (TW) - and this book was the perfect mix of fun and light while keeping you on your toes and turning the pages.
Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Thank you #Netgalley for the advanced read!
Megan Barnes recently lost her job and caught her boyfriend in bed with their neighbor. Megan instantly packs up her life and returns to Chicago. When she returns home, she learns her single, conservative, divorced mother is running for political office. She thinks they are always on opposite sides and not very close. When Megan was visiting with her best friend Becca, she finds herself at a college lecture where she got into a fight with a skin head. The speaker of the event came up to compliment Megan and ends up offering her a drop until she gets her life figured out. During this time, Megan, journalist, protects Jocelyn and becomes her right hand man. However, things may not be as good as they seem when a twitter troll wants to reveal secrets. We follow Megan as she investigates not only Jocelyn but eventually her own family.
Integrity vs. ambition—how far will you go to be successful? Truth and Other Lies explores this dilemma as the protagonist, Megan, maneuvers her way through the glamourous world of a famous journalist as her protégé.
A young woman who calls herself a boomerang returns to live with her mother after a failed relationship and a job loss. Megan Barnes, a twenty-five-year-old newspaper reporter, comes back to her home in Chicago and discovers her world has changed. Her mother wants to be a politician, her best friend has cheated on her longtime boyfriend, and snagging a newspaper job is more complicated than she thought. Until Megan meets Joselyn Jones, a world-renowned journalist who Megan sees at a rally and finds she has idolized for years. Jones is impressed with Megan’s convictions and bravado when she defends Jones’ principles, hitting a skinhead in the nose. That gets Megan a public relations position for Jones’ upcoming memoir soon to be released.
The story unravels as Megan seeks the truth about Jones, who is being attacked on Twitter and accused of unethical behavior. And Megan’s mother reveals a shocking secret that happened to her as a young mother that changed her beliefs and threatened her candidacy for Congress. Using her journalistic skills, Megan digs deeper to find the truth and what integrity truly means.
I loved this story filled with strong characters, good dialog, and a fast-paced plot. I thank NetGalley for allowing me to read and review it. #Truth and Other Lies #NetGalley #Political Fiction
Maggie Smith, Truth and Other Lies, 1016 Press, 2022.
Maggie Smith has written a novel that resonates with some of the most important issues affecting understanding events today. Truth and lies are seemingly acceptable alternatives, with the coining of the phrase ‘alternative truth’ becoming a part of the language of media stories and acceptance of news coverage. The narrative touches on these issues in a story that brings a young journalist into the aegis of a famous journalist, as well as her connection with a political figure. The three women carry the story, becoming the vehicle through which important issues are raised, at the same time as they are developed as women with personal attachments and aspirations.
It takes time for Megan, a young and ambitious journalist who has recently lost her job and her lover, to work through her own problems. These colour the way she looks at truth, her family and friends, and the world of journalism. Megan is an uneasy character to like. Her childlike behaviour grates, particularly at the beginning of the book. She returns home, expecting her mother to be as usual – someone she tolerates and sees in a rather one-dimensional way. The two clash over political views, and over their relationship. Megan finds her mother controlling, but while criticising her, ignores her own qualities which might give rise to her mother’s concerns. Megan’s lack of perception is strange for a journalist – but there is a lot of evidence, both in her previous job, her understanding of older women as exemplified by her mother, or ambitious women as exemplified by the older journalist, to suggest that this character has a lot of maturing to accomplish.
Megan is determined to find a career path again and begins working as a publicist after a fortuitous meeting with an important public figure, Jocelyn Jones. Here she finds that her dilemmas are twofold: her mother, Helen Watkins, has become a political figure, thus publicising their different political commitments; and her relationship with her employer, not her first choice of occupation, mixes glamour and anxiety.
Megan’s eventual work towards acknowledging the reality about the women around her is well drawn, and as she becomes involved in seeking the truth, her motives are more meaningful. When Megan is forced to acknowledge her own mistakes, as well as those made by the other two women, her character becomes more nuanced.
The developing relationship between mother and daughter is well made, with truths being told and secrets uncovered. At the same time, the relationship between Megan and her charismatic employer also involves secrets and truths – or are they lies?
This novel has great potential. It works on raising serious issues, in both politics and the media, that resonate with the social environment of the 2020s. In addition, the characters develop, at times demonstrating some complexity as they come to grips with personal as well as worldly agendas. Although they are often unlikable, their flaws and their stories are believable. The ending was satisfying as Megan, thwarted initially, demonstrates her journey to a future where her impact as a professional journalist is a possibility. However, I was a little disappointed as I felt that the full potential of the idea was not fully realised.
This ARC was provided to me via Kindle by Ten16 Press and #NetGalley for my honest opinion.
A deep, multi-fasciated story that delves into relationships.
Really enjoyed this book! The characters felt real, Megan’s complicated relationship with her mother felt genuine and her friendship with Becca was sweet. There was even a love story mixed in.
Working for celeb journalist Jocelyn Jones was to be her stepping stone to bigger things. The ending was very satisfying…there were some twists I didn’t see coming.
This is one of those books you hate to finish because you miss reading about the characters. Really, really loved this book! Two thumbs up! Thanks to NetGalley and Ten16 Press for allowing me to read this book.
Truth and Other Lies is a debut novel by Maggie Smith. The protagonist, Megan Barnes, has caught the attention of a famous reporter named Jocelyn Jones and quickly becomes her protege. When Jones finds herself under fire after an accusation of plagiarism, Megan goes undercover to get to the bottom of the story.
There are several layers and subplots happening simultaneously in the story. Smith does a good job of tying up loose ends by the end of the novel, but I found myself much less invested in Megan's mother's congressional run or Becca's personal crisis. Megan's relationship with Jocelyn was far more interesting, especially as there has been an exploration of power, prestige, and authority in our society the last few years. I liked that the text was centered around the female characters and how women exert power and influence over one another. I appreciated that it wasn't a story about a male who has taken advantage of a young woman with higher ambitions, especially since we have seen that narrative being told over and over in the news. Jones wasn't strictly a bully and didn't use her sexuality to get to the top; she was opportunistic and jaded, and that catapulted her to fame. Her character was developed in a more nuanced way so she wasn't a stereotypical character. I didn't feel particularly connected to Megan, but I was intrigued by how she and Jocelyn used one another for their own gain.
At times, I felt like the pacing was a bit imbalanced. The middle was definitely the most engaging for me, and the ending felt rushed. Everything tied up quickly, and I was left wanting to know a bit more about how the dots were all connected.
I think the comparisons to Liane Moriarty are fair, and I can see this book being a limited series on Netflix or Hulu. It would likely have a decent-sized viewership as well. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing the ARC.
Truth and Other Lies is a great debut by Maggie Smith. Do you ever have that one character who you start off not feeling and slowing becomes one of your favorites? Megan Barnes was that for me! I couldn't figure her out or where her story was going but ended up really pulling for her. I was fully engaged by the plot. I liked the exploration of ethics and the purpose of journalism. Definitely makes you ask your own questions for the media and what is real and what isn't.
I requested to read “Truth and Other Lies” because of its intriguing premise. News reporter Megan Barnes returns to her hometown of Chicago after a job loss and a romantic relationship hit the skids. But Megan discovers she cannot go home again when her politically conservative mom whom she’s has a bumpy relationship with runs for Congress, which limits Megan’s ability to find a job in journalism. At a rally, she meets her idol, Joselyn Jones, a respected journalist, and when Megan defends her, her actions lead to a PR position. But then Joselyn Jones is accused of plagiarism, and Megan investigates in her idol’s defense. But in Megan’s discovery of truth, she is led back to her mother. If Joselyn has made any mistakes Megan may be willing to forgive, can she offer the same forgiveness to her mother?
I thought the concept of Megan in conflict with her mother was a good one, especially when their relationship is compared to the admiration Megan has for Joselyn. It’s not easy to take advice from someone you love—even when she may be right. I found Megan to be a relatable character and really enjoyed the setting of journalism and politics in the 2020s. I didn’t care as much for the romantic aspect of the story, but with a novel about strong women who needs men?
Thank you the Maggie Smith, NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC of this novel.
Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith spotlights media, spin, and the tenuous trust between reader and journalist. Smith tells her story through the lens of Megan, a recent graduate with a keen desire to make her mark as a newspaper reporter. Megan is like a recently opened package of chest-thumping ambition. She wants a seat in the pressroom, to work alongside the truth-tellers, to take on the time-honored role of a news writer. It is from that implicit trust in the Fourth Estate, the unshakeable belief that a free press will always deliver the truth, that Megan discovers that true and false isn’t always black and white, what is right isn’t always good, and the power of spin can make the blackest lies palatable. Five stars for this one.
This was such an interesting and timely plot concept, a newspaper journalist gets tangled up in a plagiarism accusation.
Megan is a young newspaper reporter who learns that not fact-checking a source will cost her job. She was living her dream in NY, newly fired and cheating boyfriend behind her, she flees back home. Now she's back in Chicago with her smothering, helicopter Mom, Helen Watkins.
To her surprise Mom just happens to be running for office in the United States Congress. At least her best friend, Becca, is still there to share a glass of wine, a good cry, and listen.
Megan and her Mom have never seen eye to eye on much, especially politics. The story is an emotional look at complicated Mother/daughter relationships.
Megan has idolized Jocelyn Jones for many years. Jocelyn is a Pulitzer prize winning journalism icon who covered many major stories. She'd been in the Sarajevo war zone in the nineties. A chance meeting leads to a position for Megan with Jocelyn's new biography marketing campaign. Megan may learn more about her new mentor than she ever wanted to know.
A cryptic tweet accuses Jocelyn of proprietary theft. Megan and Nick Russo, a cyber investigator, are tasked with uncovering the source of the accusation and thus saving Jocelyn's reputation. Finding the truth of what transpired at the prison camps in the midst of war is laced with intrigue. The race to catch the mysterious person behind the tweet is full of surprises, twists, fast-paced, and had me totally hooked.
I really enjoyed the insightful story about journalism, reporters, what some people do to reach the pinnacle, be famous, regardless of who they hurt along the way.
The female characters in this story are relatable, interesting, strong, and believable. There are many lessons to be learned in the story. Be careful who you trust, believe and idolize. Icons are human and can disappoint. The story has suspense, romance, a strong plot and a thrilling search for the truth and facts.
This was a new author for me and one I will watch for. I devoured the book and appreciated the relevancy of journalism and reporting in this country's current climate.
Many thanks to Netgalley, Maggie Smith, and Ten16 Press for the advance reader digital copy of "Truth and Other Lies". These are my thoughts and opinions given voluntarily.
Maggie Smith's debut novel, Truth and Other Lies is a timely novel spotlighting some important issues, questioning the role journalism plays in how the public views hot topic events and the exploration of journalistic ethics. Megan is a believable and likeable protagonist who learns some hard lessons. Recommended.
I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review
I loved this one. Very fast paced, had me turning pages as I tore through it – I had to see how it would end. The characters were well rounded and the narrative felt believable. Wild ride.. Solid five
I absolutely loved the relevance and timeliness of Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith. The characters and storyline were intriguing and had me racing through the pages. Long after I turned the last page, I found myself thinking about Megan, Jocelyn, and Helen. Great book!
Unique, captivating, and complex. Part romance, part thriller, and part analysis and ultimate critique of our current social landscape, this book and its author (a fellow Wisconsinite) didn’t shy away from difficult subjects. At times I thought the book was a little more plot-driven than character-driven and I would have loved an epilogue or additional chapter, but overall it was an engaging and entertaining book. Here’s hoping for a sequel!
Thank you to NetGalley, Maggie Smith, and Ten16 Press for the advanced reader digital copy of "Truth and Other Lies.”
Maggie Smith brings an energy to her debut, Truth and Other Lies, that will keep you up into the wee hours of the night.
Not afraid to delve into the big topics of today: abortion, sexual harassment, ethics, and ambitions, Smith’s writing also reflects her ability to portray the beauty of friendship and loyalty, along with the timeless angst of mother-daughter issues. And secrets. Smith is a genius with secrets.
I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Truth and Other Lies
This was a really nice surprise. I had never read anything by this author but I found this novel very engaging. When Megan “boomerangs” back home after personal and professional disasters, she must face her strained relationship with her mother. She is searching for a way to get back into journalism, so an encounter with an esteemed journalist should be the ticket. Sadly she learns that her idol has feet of clay and a “cheating heart.”
Megan becomes involved in a story, while her mother is running for political office. The complications are far-ranging and there are many lies. These are uncovered and the pieces of the story come together as Megan seeks her truth.
Not only did I enjoy this novel, but there is an excellent list of book club discussion issues which will make this a superb choice for book clubs. I was very impressed by this book and I love tge timely issues it discusses.
I’m so glad I read this ARC, thank you Netgalley.
This was a slow burn for me. I didn't initially feel much for the main character Megan Barnes but as the story progressed I was more interested. For me, I was more engaged by the plot rather than the characters (but I did love Nick!). I liked the exploration of ethics and the purpose of journalism- these questions encouraged me to consider my own ideas of the media. By the end, Megan was an easy protagonist to like and I wanted her to succeed.
This is a solid debut and I really enjoyed reading it.
I really enjoyed this book and found it to be an engrossing and topical read. Megan was an immensely relatable character, and I enjoyed reading about her dynamics with her mother and Jocelyn. This is a multilayered story where we see each woman’s dreams, struggles, and determination, and the lengths each one will go to to protect them. The author didn’t shy away from addressing certain “hot button” political topics, and lest this detract some readers, she actually presented them in a fair and balanced way.
There are some great discussion topics that would make this a good pick for book clubs.
I was lucky to receive an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and opinion. This book really hit all the right situations with me: fast-paced plot, great journalism angle, a little mystery, relevant topics in regards to current events, family secrets. How could you not like this? I really enjoyed it and can't wait for all my friends and family to get their hands on a copy of this book!
What a fantastic debut! Truth and Other Lies takes on the topics of the day, focusing on a plagiarism accusation against a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Sounds simple, right? Well of course it’s not. There’s always more to the story.
Leaving a cheating boyfriend behind, Megan Barnes is a young journalist who has just learned an important lesson—always check the facts. Leaving a cheating boyfriend behind, Megan comes back to Chicago and is surprised by her mother, Helen Watkins, who informs her she’s running for Congress. Megan and Helen have never seen eye to eye on the issues, so while Megan looks for jobs, she keeps the tidbit about her mother’s identity a secret.
I don’t like to give away plot points or spoilers, so just know this: Maggie Smith does a great job of keeping this relevant story engaging. It’s fast-paced and twisty and covers a range of timely issues: alternative facts, sexual harassment, abortion, nepotism, and more. And at the core of the story is the power of the relationships between mothers and daughters and best friends. If you’re looking for a read with intelligent, strong, relatable characters, then this is the book for you. Can’t wait to read more from Maggie Smith!
Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith is a fast-paced novel about a young investigative reporter who returns home in shame, but a fluke interaction allows her to work for a renowned journalist several decades her senior. We first meet 25-year old Megan as she moves back home to Chicago, on the tail of being fired from her job as reporter for not properly vetting a story and the dissolution of her relationship with her boyfriend. She moves home with her overprotective mother, who turns out to be running for a state congressional seat as a republican. Megan’s personal politics cause her to distance herself from her mother and idolize her new boss, Jocelyn. A scandal develops that threatens Jocelyn’s career and Megan is tasked with investigating and resolving it. I really liked how the characters and story developed. The story reads quickly and we learn more about Megan’s mother and Jocelyn that put their actions and behavior into focus. Though the scandal is serious, it almost seems tame in comparison to the wild headlines we’ve seen over the past several years in the news. I found it fascinating to consider how some women have achieved great success over the past several decades vs. our idealistic expectations now. I really enjoyed this read.
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the Kindle ARC. I had never read anything by Maggie Smith until Truth and Other Lies. The story is very engaging and intriguing. Megan is a young woman, moving back home to live with her mother after being fired from her job and the end to her relationship. Her mother, Helen, is running for Congress in a very tight race. Megan meets journalist, Jocelyn Jones, someone she has long admired. She begins working for Jocelyn but things come to light about possible stories from a war that Jocelyn covered with another journalist. Megan's story is intricately woven with her new job, the investigation into Jocelyn and a new relationship with Nick. The story is very fast-paced and difficult to put down. I truly wanted to know the answers and see what Megan could achieve in the end.
3.5, rounded up.
I tore through Truth and Other Lies in two sittings, which is rare for me-- especially with anything having to do with politics, as I usually have a low tolerance for what often turns propagandistic, and I often find myself bored with politically-centered and reporter-centered fiction. All of this is to say that Maggie Smith's novel navigates dangerous waters remarkably well. There's enough intrigue on various fronts that it kept me entertained, and it never got too bogged down in the politics. In fact, I thought the political issues were wonderfully portrayed, with the ideologically opposite mother and daughter finding common ground. It's never preachy, and the whole 'moral of the story' is that we must be more careful before judging others, whether the conclusions to which we jump are negative or positive. My biggest critique of this novel is that the relationships are sacrificed to the quick pacing, like the story's being delivered at 1.5x speed, and it's abridged on top of that. The result is that nearly all of the characters besides Megan are short-changed and feel like plot points rather than well-developed, multi-dimensional people. I also think Jocelyn being the antagonist was forecast too early. The author could've served up a delicious twist, had she not told us early on to be wary, and instead really developed Jocelyn and Megan's relationship so that when Megan finds out, she's completely blindsided (and we feel that, because we didn't expect it either). Curious to see how this is received by others once it's released.
Following a failed relationship and being fired from her first job, Megan Barnes is back in Chicago living at her mother’s house. The last thing she wants to be is a “Boomerang” like others of her generation. Her relationship with her overly protective mother is fraught with conflict, Megan wants to be on her own and for that, she needs a job. Returning home she learns that her mother has another surprise, she is running for US Congress. The problem is that she and her mother are politically polar opposites.
Megan is a journalist but she quickly learns that, through no fault of her own, no local paper will hire her while her mother is a candidate due to the perception of conflict of interest or bias. Jocelyn Jones is one of Megan's idols, a highly successful, charismatic journalist with politics similar to her own. When Jones offers her a temporary job as a PR person for her memoir, she agrees.They quickly become friends.
Things begin to unravel when @freethetruth starts trolling Jones on the internet making accusations that she had plagiarized another journalist's work. Megan cannot believe that could possibly be true. Her goal indeed, her job, is to expose the troll and prove Jones’ innocence. Still, the more she learns, the more Megan wonders if there isn’t more to Jocelyn’s success than she initially believed. As Megan nears the truth blackmail becomes the name of the game. Could salvaging Jones’ reputation cost her mother hers? Although predictable in parts there are plenty of surprises along the way. I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I could not put it down. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Publication Date: March 8, 2022. Thank you to #NetGalley and #Ten16Press for this #ARC in exchange for a fair review.
I am fortunate to have read an advance copy of this engaging and well written novel. Thank you Ten16 Press!
Hurray to Maggie Smith for writing about many of society’s current conflicts from the perspective of women - some good, some not so good, but all very strong.
The many dilemmas the protagonists face revolve around the multi-faceted ethics surrounding issues of truth, lies and secrets. Smith has woven this into a story line that quickly becomes a “I-can’t-put-this-down”novel. Truth and Other Lies is a modern day “Truth or Dare”. I loved it!
A perfect summer read! Maggie Smith has written a great story you'll want to pick up to take on your next travels, a mystery where almost every character holds a secret of some sort. While personally, I wish there would have been a big twist or more adventure at the end, I really appreciated the dynamics between mother and daughter in the story and found it satisfying. This story works under an overarching theme of thinking you know all to a story when you're younger and as you age, you realize there's so much you don't know. As a now middle-aged woman, I saw a lot of myself in both the role of the mother and the daughter throughout different periods of my life. How quick we are to jump to conclusions and miss the details, thinking we know the answers. How we hide the truth to protect the people we love. How time and age change us and shift our perspective and values. It's a great read!
Thrilled to be able to have read this ARC from Ten16 press before the March 2022 release. This is my honest feedback.
I enjoyed this book very much and thought it kept up good pacing throughout, with just enough questions to keep me turning pages. I didn't always feel invested in the MC, but just when I was finding myself wondering if she was worth the continued read, I'd get a connection point and it kept me invested. That's a sign of masterful writing, in my opinion, because writing unlikeable characters is always a risk. Maggie Smith is a great storyteller and weaves an interesting tale with twists you don't expect and makes for an entertaining read. I wanted to know the mother a little more intimately, but I understand the craft of keeping her at somewhat of a distance. Overall this was an excellent book and I would recommend it.
“I believe girls with dreams become women with vison. But the path is not easy. There are roadblocks along the way…” For three strong-willed women – Jocelyn Jones, the epitome of journalism; Helen Watkins, a leader in the pro-life movement running for Congress; and Megan Barnes, a young journalist searching for truth – their dreams intertwine which could cause serious detours for the others.
Truth and Other Lies pulls you in right from the title, alerting the reader from the cover that the truth isn’t always what it seems, foreshadowing the lies to come. Maggie Smith perfectly balances Yin & Yang, showing how completely different, opposing forces can find ways to coexist in the most unlikely of circumstances.
Megan moves back home to Chicago after losing her boyfriend and her job, only to be confronted by her overprotective, helicopter mother that she is running for Congress on platforms that Megan does not agree with. Unfortunately, Helen running for office dampers Megan’s immediate plans of getting a new job in journalism until the election is over, so it seems like kismet when a Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist takes an interest in her. Megan is loyal and headstrong, landing her on Jocelyn’s public relations team at Arrow to promote her new memoir. But when a troll @freethetruth tweets that Jocelyn may not always tell the truth – Megan needs to determine where her loyalties actually lie.
This was a great novel; it effortlessly weaved the cutthroat world of journalism and PR nightmares with politics, ambition, reputation and integrity. Smith also tackles some controversial issues with ease, demonstrating that everyone is entitled to their own opinions which can be shaped by numerous factors that aren’t always apparent to our family and friends.
I have to say, at times these three women were not always the most likeable of characters. It is interesting, however, how this book makes you think about how an action or inaction from years ago can cause a series of consequences years into the future.
Lastly, this story reminded me of a study I once saw on the news awhile back saying that overprotective, nagging mothers raise more successful daughters. (I remember immediately pausing my TV and taking a picture to send to my mom!) I wonder why this is more of a mother-daughter thing primarily though!?
I would definitely recommend this book – with my law partner currently holding the title of Vice Mayor of our village and running again for the city council (throwing me into local politics) and having a mom that pushed me to become the best version of myself (driving me crazy at times growing up) – it was an entertaining read. However, I still would recommend it even if you have no interest in politics or journalism!
I thank NetGalley for the ARC in return for my honest review!
Maggie Smith gives the reader a timely page-turner in this engrossing debut. I love a book that deals with secrets and lies and Smith hits us with that on every page. Politics, dirty journalism along with the itchiness between mothers and daughters makes this a novel you don’t want to miss.
Maggie Smith’s debut novel concerns three women trying to find their way in the world. They’re of different ages with different backgrounds and different secrecy’s that may hold them back. Their stories are artfully woven together and challenge the reader to decide what’s allowable when you want to have a career. Lots of discussion possibilities for book clubs.
Megan Barnes had a rough day – she was fired from her job as a journalist the same day her boyfriend dumped her. She moved back home to Chicago and her overbearing mother. Frustrated with life, she puts a woman-hating troll in his place and simultaneously lands herself an audience with one of her heroes - Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Jocelyn Jones. Jocelyn offers her a temporary PR position, with the promise of pulling strings to get her a job in journalism after her autobiography is launched.
As the PR campaign heats up, an anonymous hater begins publicly accusing Jocelyn of plagiarizing her most famous work. Megan and her new love interest undertake the daunting task of uncovering the truth and other lies about Jocelyn, her mother and herself.
I truly enjoyed this fast-paced thriller. This book provided an interesting perspective and made me wonder how many of those I admire have sacrificed their integrity to get ahead in careers and in life. This book was very well written and had excellent character development. It kept me guessing until the last page.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I will post my review to my book blog and other sites closer to the publication date.
"Three women's careers hang in the balance: a famous journalist, a fledging politician, and the young reporter with ties to each who must navigate the tricky terrain between secrets and lies."
Loyalty, love and passion are featured in this story of Megan's finding of herself and what's important to her. Coming off a broken relationship and a lost job she returns home to put the pieces together and start anew. She is faced with difficult relationships and needs to determine what's most important for her. Done with suspense and just the right amount of detail!
This is a very strong debut. Megan Barnes is forced to return home to Chicago after she loses her job as a reporter in New York. Back home, she's living again with her mother, who on the opposite side of the political spectrum and running for Congress, and eager to find a new job. When Megan meets prominent journalist Jocelyn Jones, she hopes that Jocelyn can help find her a new role in journalism. Jocelyn instead offers Megan a surprising opportunity -- work with Jocelyn team to help promote her upcoming memoir. Megan agrees and is quickly fully integrated into Jocelyn's life. When an anonymous tweet accuses Jocelyn of misconduct, Megan is shocked, and directed by Jocelyn to find and expose the anonymous tweeter. As Megan pursues her investigation, she finds that secrets are all around her -- and wonders what it will mean for her and those closest to her to expose those secrets.
This was a terrific read, thought provoking and exciting. Highly recommended!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from my very first ARC, but it seems I chose wisely because I found Truth and Other Lies to be an intriguing story with a whole lot of relevance to current events and politics.
I tend to gravitate very far away from politics when I can, but I couldn’t help but be engaged by Smith’s writing and the drama she created between the main characters, with deceit and lies and blackmail poured onto every page.
I found the story to be very believable and the characters likable (well, most of them anyway…I’m looking at you Jocelyn Jones 😒) and the issues brought up pertaining to Planned Parenthood, the #MeToo movement, white supremacy and more really hit home.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in journalism, politics, women’s rights, and some good old fashioned Twitter fights.
Thanks NetGalley for my copy of this amazing book. I thoroughly enjoyed the read. How some people live their lives manipulating and taking advantage of others to make them selves great, how others suppress their lives with secrets forced on them through society and how truth liberates some and surpasses others. I highly recommend this book
This book packs a punch. Schemes, secrets, drama- page turning goodness. Lovers of politics, women's issues, social media hijinks will adore Truth and Other Lies. Well written and evenly paced, a solid and entertaining read.
Love, love, love Truth and Other Lies. Maggie Smith’s writing is lyrical perfection. The characters are well-developed, and you understand their motivations even if you don't agree with them. It is a really good mix of realistic fiction and a mystery with some romance and politics sprinkled in. I may not purhase it for my high school students, but I will be shoving it in the hands of all of my reader friends.
Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC of Truth and Other Lies. Interesting story of Megan who has moved back to her home town in Chicago after losing her job as a journalist in NY. She meets a famous journalist Jocelyn and becomes employed by her to help promote her biography. Meanwhile, Megan's mother is running for Congress and has seemingly very different political views then Megan. The book shows nothing is always what it seems and you should always make sure to check the facts! The book took a little while to pull me in but when it did I couldn't wait to find out what and who were behind some of the challenges facing the characters. I would recommend and give it 4 stars. Good first book by this author.
I don’t often use "heartfelt" and "politically provocative" in the same sentence but Smith’s smartly paced book bridges that divide with dimensional characters and a tightly woven plot that made me laugh, hope, cheer, and brace for impact.
Megan Barnes may have lost her job as a reporter, but she hasn’t lost her instinct for a good story. And when she finds herself inserted into a celebrity’s story, not just working the beat, her relentless pursuit of the truth puts her in conflict with her own carefully placed lies of omission. Insert a liberal daughter boomeranging home to a conservative mother’s budding political career launch, and the slope keeps getting slipperier as secrets cover over lies, lies cover over truths, and old friendships and new loves are put to the test.
I wanted to keep turning pages and savor each page’s twists and turns. If you’re looking for a well-plotted novel with thought-provoking character dilemmas leading to a well-earned ending, you’ll in good hands.
My initial impression was-meh-but became engrossed in the story and it drew me in.
The main characters are three women-a mother/ daughter( Helen/ megan) and an internationally recognized and idolized reporter, Jocelyn Jones.
Their histories become interwoven and in the process many of the “ hot button” issues of the day are examined-abortion, rape , the world of politics,press reporter ethics, unbridled naked cruel ambition, and what true friendship entails.
Also offers quite a picture of the relationship between a mother and daughter,and how things are not always as simple as they appear.The title was perfect for the book. Quite good, and she has a new fan👍.
After a brave action at a women's rally, protagonist Megan Barnes lands a dream position with famous journalist Jocelyn Jones. Megan tries to use this new contact to vault her career to the next level, but personal issues, political clashes with her overbearing mother, and Jocelyn's dirty secrets may unravel the young woman's dreams.
I devoured this novel in about two days. With an engaging plot and intricate interpersonal relationships between characters, there is a lot to hold readers' attention. The reasons I rated 4 stars instead of 5 include an immersion-breaking grasp on the internet and too much focus on Megan's new romance, when the relationships with her mother and boss are much more interesting. There is a prodigy h4ck3r gurl and some hand wavy 'deep web' explanation used to gloss over an unlikely technological feat, but these complaints are minor. As for the relationships, Megan's dating life is relatively generic, and I wish some of that time could have been spent exploring the good, bad, or ugly facets of the relationships with the women in her life.
Note: I received a free eBook copy of Truth and Other Lies from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Truth: Megan is a young reporter looking to breathe life into her career when she returns to her estranged mother's Chicago home and finds out her mother Helen is running for Congress.
Lie: that she exists to Helen's constituents.
Truth: Megan is befriended by famous journalist Jocelyn Jones. Lie: Jocelyn lives up to Megan's admiration, just what we expect of our heroes, right?
In the new Maggie Smith novel Truth and Other Lies, Megan will pull out all the stops to protect Jocelyn from an online troll threatening Jocelyn's reputation. As young women tend to do, Megan looks up to Jocelyn, the career she's led and wants to emulate what her role model has accomplished by accepting a PR job offer from Jocelyn herself. Also as young women tend to do, Megan tunes out Helen's advice about this new working relationship and ignores the warning signs. If they disagree on #MeToo and pro-choice, they definitely won't agree on this. It isn't until the troll's threat turns to blackmail that Megan is faced with an unexpected choice - unveil a long-held family secret to protect her mentor.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Fast paced page turning coming of age story. This was a really interesting read and I was hooked instantly!
I thoroughly enjoyed it, found it engrossing, well plotted and written. The characters are believable and relatable. And the underlying debate about truth and ethics was well thought out.
I really enjoyed the insightful story about journalism, reporters, what some people do to reach the pinnacle, be famous, regardless of who they hurt along the way.
The female characters in this story are relatable, interesting, strong, and believable. There are many lessons to be learned in the story. Be careful who you trust, believe and idolize. Icons are human and can disappoint. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A 25-year-old investigative reporter, her former stay-at-home mother who is now running for Congress, and a Pulitzer prize winning journalist. What do they have in common and how do their lives intertwine? Enjoy this read, and find out!
A very good debut novel with an interesting storyline that touches on self-worth and honesty, as well as deceit and ambition, and at the same time tackles several contemporary issues (e.g., abortion and journalistic ethics). The deep-faceted plot is an interesting one, the characters are realistic, and the writing is crisp and clean. All in all, this was a very good read, and I look forward to more from this author!
Megan Barnes loses her job as an investigative reporter in New York and breaks up with her boyfriend Luke on the same day. She returns home to Chicago, moves in with her divorced mother Helen Watkins and she doesn’t plan on staying with her for long. Megan’s shocked to discover her mum’s running for the open house seat in the ninth district and they have very different political views.
Helen the former helicopter parent, is now an active supporter of pro-life movement, she’s anti-abortion and she’s not a fan of the ME Too movement. Her mother’s political ambitions won’t help Megan find a job, luckily they have different last names and she refuses to be involved in her mum’s campaign. Megan becomes involved in a disturbance at her former university’s campus, her best friend Becca is stunned by how quickly the violence erupts and afterwards Megan meets Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Jocelyn Jones
Jocelyn offers Megan a job working on her public relations team, she’s about to release a memoir, it’s about her time working as a war correspondent and news anchor. Megan looks up to Jocelyn, she’s a successful woman, famous and lives a lavish lifestyle. When three anonymous tweets are sent, people start questioning Jocelyn’s reputation and integrity.
Megan has to locate the online troll, with the help from Nick Russo and his friend Harry. Megan uncovers a story that would restart her career as a journalist, it gets nasty when someone threatens to reveal a secret about Megan’s mother’s past and uses blackmail to keep everyone silent.
Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith is a story set in today’s world, where social media and computer hackers can quickly spread information about a person, expose their secrets, lies and leave their reputation in tatters. Morals and ethics are questioned in the narrative, such as cheating, divorce, abortion, mental illness, gas lighting, abuse of power, plagiarism and the influence and impact of social media.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Ten16 Press in exchange for an honest review, Megan defiantly has preconceived opinions about others, I found it interesting how her relationships changes with these characters during the novel, especially with her mother, Jocelyn, Nick and Dragan and five stars from me.
Review in a sentence: Fast-paced and entertaining story about a women trying to carve her way into the world
This was a fun read, it was fast-paced, and I really enjoyed it. It's a story about how lives come to the forefront, and the plot is strong. There was a slight mystery, aspiring journalism and hot topics like social media and fake news.
There are several layers and subplots happening simultaneously in the story and I think that's what kept the pacing up. But did find myself only really interested in the main storyline and the other stories kind of fell to the wayside. I liked how the story was focused on three female characters and how they deal with power and influence. This book read a bit like a Netflix series (in a good way) and I can see it being turned into a tv show that I'd watch.
It's a great debut and I can see myself reading Maggie Smiths writing in the future.
Maggie Smith is not afraid to delve into some of the big topics that don’t often get talked about sexual harassment and abortion being g just two. This is a great debut which k thoroughly enjoyed reading.
I really enjoyed this book. Any fan of women's contemporary fiction will appreciate the easy flow of the story, and the very natural dialogue and relationship dynamics. of Megan. The book has some deeper themes and a lot of drama, overall Megan is a tad idealistic, but is a young character who is easy to root for. This was a quick, fast-paced read with some real meat to it.
This book caught my attention from the first chapter. As the story began to unfold the writing and characters captivated my attention. It felt like I was watching a well written series on Netflix. This book took modern women’s problems and gave a name to the women begin the stories. I can NOT wait to see what Maggie Smith writes next. I hope a lot of people grab this book and devour it like I did!
I really loved Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith - what an exciting debut. This is a fast paced novel that brings together three women under unexpected circumstances. Megan Barnes, an aspiring, young journalist who was recently fired from her job in NYC forcing her to move back home to Chicago. Jocelyn Jones, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and soon to be author who is known for her progressive reporting of worldly issues. And Helen, Megan's overprotective mom who couldn't be less aligned with her own beliefs, who is making a run for Congress.
This book was fast paced and dynamic - I enjoyed getting to know the characters and I think the author did a great job with tying up and unraveling loose ends all throughout. Highly highly recommend this to everyone!
Thank you to Netgalley and Ten16Press for the ARC. Truth and Other Lies is out 3/8/22.
Wow. That's really all I can say. This books brings up some REALLY big issues. And I love it.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity read and review this book.
Set against a political backdrop, Truth and Other Lies infuses secrets, complicated mother-daughter relationships, and hot-button issues. An exciting debut not to be missed!
Truth And Other Lies started off very strong with a likeable main character, Megan, a young investigative reporter, who gets caught up in the life of Jocelyn, an influential journalist who has penned her memoirs. Megan agrees to work on the PR team for Jocelyn’s book which will have consequences for Megan and her family.
Like the title suggests, the story touches on secrets - almost everyone in the story is hiding something - as well as the role of social media in spreading rumors and lies, and alternative interpretations of events, all very topical issues. In addition, the novel also includes plotlines around women’s rights, and the role of journalists. For me, the novel lost some steam in the middle although it did pick up near the end. The characters could have been more developed, in my view - perhaps using different POVs to tell the story - and the pacing a bit more even. Having said that, overall, this was a pleasant read.
Thanks to Ten16 Press and Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Megan is a hopefully journalist whose had some bad breaks. She’s back in her hometown with her tail between her legs and takes a gutsy move at a speech for one of her journalistic heroes and ends up somehow becoming said heroes right hand Pr woman. Much like in Devil Wears Prada, Megan is assisting a high powered woman and is a fish out of water. But Megan is smart and savvy and when she discovered something nefarious is going on she follows her instincts. Meanwhile her mother is running for congress as a Republican, in opposition to her views. The book has various twists and turns while Maggie Smith tackles important topics of the day; abortion, women’s rights, ethics and more.
If you’re one to shy away from politics this may not be your bag but I found it riveting and I couldn’t put it down. A propulsive debut, and I’m certainly looking forward to more from Maggie Smith.
Thank you to NetGalley and Ten16 Press for an eARC copy of Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith in exchange for an honest review.
3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for ratings
TW: abortion (ON PAGE), stalking and rape (referenced in moderate detail), blood, references to war zones and genocide, divorce, blackmail
Megan Barnes, a recently unemployed emerging journalist, gets the opportunity of a lifetime when she serendipitously meets THE journalist to know: Pulitzer Prize winning war reporter, Jocelyn Jones. Jones offers Megan a position on her PR team for her upcoming tell-all memoir. When an anonymous Tweet goes viral accusing Jones of plagiarism, Megan is quick to defend her new mentor and meal-ticket back into the world of journalism. Megan begins to investigate the Tweets along with new-boyfriend Nick, and she uncovers much more than she bargained for. Hanging in the balance are Jocelyn's decades-long prestigious reputation, Megan's desire to keep ethics and accountability at the forefront of investigative journalism, and some sticky family secrets that may jeopardize Megan's future career as well as that of her mother who is running for congress. This is a story of political intrigue, dark secrets, and weighing the relative merits of loyalty and justice.
This book took me a little bit by surprise! I honestly had a hard time getting invested in the first half of the novel because it felt relatively low-stakes, much like a women's fiction that leaves more of the subtleties of intrigue to the imagination. However, around the 65% mark, things take a turn for the Girl-With-The-Dragon-Tattoo and really picked up in terms of risk, reward, and general entertainment. I love a good investigative journalism work in a plot, and this definitely delivered in that aspect. The rest of the book, now looking back on it in its entirety, posed some very challenging morality questions that will leave me thinking about the cost of blind loyalty and the weight of shame. The ending was very satisfying to me; the perfect blend of "put a bow on it" but with one, solid open thread, leaving the reader to decide what Jocelyn's ultimate fate will be.
My one major critique of this book is the way that the character of Megan was written. For a trained investigative journalist, she came across as very naïve and blind to Jocelyn's dark undercurrents. My personal alarm bells were ringing about Jocelyn from the first page that she was introduced, and I have a hard time believing that someone in Megan's position would truly take someone like that at her word without evidence, especially given her chosen profession. Jocelyn had a lot to offer Megan in terms of her career, but Megan seems wholly devoted to her value of ethics and justice, and letting a job prospect outweigh the niggling feelings of untruth seemed disingenuous for her character.
TL;DR: This is a story of political intrigue, unethical investigative journalism, and secrets that have the potential to ruin lives. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to fans of legal thrillers and those who enjoy an unreliable narrator and morally grey characters.
This multi-layered , beautifully crafted story takes a time-honored classic conflict—daughter versus mother—and packs it with the fresh punch of today’s Millennial/Boomer mashup. The tale begins when Megan, an almost-30 journalist is scrambling to find her footing after failing at “adulting.” When a lover’s betrayal and naïve mistake gets her abruptly fired, Megan must return home to the very last person she wants to see--her overreaching, helicoptering mother, Helen. Blind to her own naivete and stiff-arming her mother’s overtures, Megan is easy prey for the polished world-renowned journalist Jocelyn Jones, who befriends Megan. When an accusation pops up on Twitter intimating that Jocelyn may have an unethical past, Megan is caught in the sticky cross-hairs of loyalty versus accusation, coverup versus truth. But, as time and again Megan returns to the ideal of journalism integrity, she ultimately uncovers many truths, including her own bias against seeing her mother as the imperfect admirable woman she is in her own right.
I loved how author Maggie Smith deftly threaded multiple forms of truth and lies—a girlfriend’s secrets, a family’s hidden tragedy, anonymous sources, a politician’s stance, journalism’s rigorous fact-checking—each adding impetus to Megan’s growth. I loved how the main characters—Helen, Jocelyn and Megan--are each women with stubborn agency, fiercely protecting identities they’ve fought hard to realize. And I loved that journalism integrity is at the heart of this story, especially in light of the battering the media has taken of late. Author Smith orchestrates all of these elements with such smooth command that as Megan takes off on her journey for truth, it’s a fun ride!
Truth and Other Lies follows the young journalist Megan Barnes home to Chicago after she simultaneously loses her job (insufficient fact-checking) and her boyfriend (his infidelity). Things heat up as she temporarily moves in with her mother, who to her surprise is about to run for Congress on a conservative, pro-life platform that Megan cannot support. Meanwhile, Megan has the opportunity to work for a mother figure she deeply admires, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. However, the secrets and lies in all three women's pasts--not to mention in Megan's best friend's present life--begin to threaten the peace of mind of each. Megan's hero Jocelyn is accused of plagiarism, and Megan must learn whether the accusation is true or false, an investigation that comes with significant costs to Megan, Jocelyn, and Megan's mother. This is a fast-paced and timely novel that addresses the complexities of life in the public eye, the reasons people make choices that may verge on or enter the unethical, and the coming-of-age of an idealistic and passionate but somewhat naive young woman. My thanks to NetGalley and the author for providing an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review.
A slow burn that holds your interest. A fiction that gives you a little mystery, whodunnit and romance!
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This book blends the themes of a young adult boomerang situation with what it's really like when we meet our heroes with both a good political and journalism narrative. This might sound like there is a lot going on here, but it comes together nicely with a particularly seamless finish. Recent current events will also make Megan's hero Jocelyn's career as a war-time reporter particularly relevant. As someone who is similar in age to the main character, Megan, and actively follows politics the story interested me, but I never could have guessed everything that ended up happening. The book's final twists really bring the aforementioned themes together in a way that leads the reader to ponder. This is a strong debut by a writer who champions debut authors and I think many readers will enjoy it as well.
This book hit me personally in a few different ways. As a former journalist, it got straight to my heart. Megan and her search for the truth was EVERYTHING. Also, I’ve always been deeply fascinated in the adult realization that one’s parents are indeed, human after all. This seems to happen differently for everyone, but it happens for everyone. Megan takes that journey in this book as well. Finally, as an aspiring author I loved the publishing storylines in this one as well (there is talk of bookstagrammers, people).
I enjoyed that Megan wasn’t a perfect MC. As passionate as she was about seeking the truth, she struggled with confirmation bias both at work, and in her personal life. And she sometimes had a hard time balancing work and her personal relationships. I enjoyed reading as she navigated her way through those obstacles. One thing that was weird for me was her friend’s guilt trip when Megan was busy with her new job. Even though Becca was having her own crisis, I feel like true best friends would have handled that a little differently.
I loved the political arc in this book too. Megan’s mother is running for office, and they are on different ends of the spectrum. But I respected her mother’s desire for civilized debate, for her willingness to listen and most importantly her recognition that the true key to getting anything done is compromise. All things politicians seem to have lost a grip on in recent years.
I have to admit the writing left me wanting at times, but overall the story kept me engaged and intrigued. The character development was strong and I loved the ending. Overall, it was a strong debut by @maggiesmithwrites and I’d definitely check out whatever she comes up with next!
Truth and Other Lies is a very impressive debut from Maggie Smith. Clever, modern and compelling it certainly kept me turning the pages, and I read the book in a single day.
Megan Barnes never intended to move back in with her mother in Chicago , but having lost her journalism job and her boyfriend in one fell swoop her options are somewhat limited. She and her mother have never seen eye to eye on a lot of issues, so it does not look like living together will be smooth sailing, especially when she discovers her mother's political ambitions to run for Congress, and the platforms that she will be campaigning on. To further complicate matters no paper will hire Megan until after the election, so she needs to find another job and fast so she can find a place of her own. A chance encounter with a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, one of her long time heroines turns out to be an opportunity she can't afford to turn down, and soon Megan is part of a PR team prepping for the launch of the journalist's memoir.
When an anonymous tweet appears to accuse the journalist of being less than honest and ethical , the PR team must go into overdrive to shut it down before it becomes a bigger story and Megan goes back to her investigative journalist roots but the story she uncovers is both shocking and potentially devastating, not just to her new boss but to her mother too.
This is a real page turner of a book, particularly in the latter half , and I was completely gripped by the masterful storytelling. The issues of social media and harassment feel very current and are cleverly incorporated into the story. While not all of the female characters at the core of this book are likeable, they are certainly believable. The dynamics between Megan and her mother, and Megan and Jocelyn, her boss, are so understandable in the context of each other, with Jocelyn giving Megan the approval and encouragement that she longed for from her mother. I loved Megan's strength of character, determination and integrity which really came to the fore in the later sections of the book.
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
This debut novel is a messy triangle of power and female relationships. Take a young female journalist hungry to further her career, add in an older seasoned female star journalist she greatly admire and is a mentor, and finally throw in the young woman's mother who has decided to enter politics (but who is on the opposite political spectrum as her daughter). This was a page turner and brought up so many interesting ethical questions, especially for bookclubs to discuss, about secrets, loyalties, and what is a person willing to do for success?
Maggie Smith promises truth and lies, and she delivers! This story is not only about three women of different generations chasing their careers, and the diversity of their work ethics, but also about feminism, motherhood, and the world of media in which words have more power than they've ever had before. This story is tense, wise, and expresses the complexity of women's careers in different fields in great detail, without sparing the reader the ugly sides of climbing the success ladder.
Megan Barnes is a 25-year-old investigative journalist whose life's course took an unexpected, downward angle. She is determined to learn from her mistakes, nevertheless, she is forced to move back in with her mother, Helen, who has recently decided to run for US Congress, which jeopardizes Megan's career. Until she meets Jocelyn, a Pulitzer-price-winning journalist from the boomer generation, and a series of odd events and rush decisions results in Megan working in a field she has neither expertise nor experience in. Each of these women faces obstacles and is determined to overcome them to become successful. Until one anonymous tweet challenges the truth and demands the lies to be unraveled.
This story is tense, bold, wise, and gripping! I could see Maggie's journalistic expertise on every single page and it made my reading experience much more interesting. As a person who has neither experience nor education in journalism or any similar field, it was truly amazing to follow the dynamics of the industry from within and to realize that just like any other, it has its fair share of secrets.
I specifically admired the generational gap theme and how I believe Maggie Smith managed to wrap up the main characteristics of each generation's morals into these three women, interwind their stories, show their different colors for the reader to see clearly - that the times we live in, the issues world faces, the experiences we all have, they all greatly impact our view on life.
This story is much more than what I've mentioned! I definitely recommend you to go for it!
Read if you like:
- women chasing career
- generational gap
- journalism from within
- women in politics
- confrontation of beliefs
- the power of media
Thank you, Maggie, @ten16press, and NetGalley.com for a chance to read it pre-release. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Pub date: 3/8/22
Genre: women's fiction
In one sentence: Young journalist Megan has lost everything, and she's relying on Pulitzer Prize-winning Jocelyn Jones to rescue her career - but Jocelyn's secrets could bring them both down.
I love stories about journalists - their investigations are fun to follow and of course there are tons of juicy secrets for the author to spill! Megan was a compelling character, and Smith tested her in this novel. Is Megan as loyal an employee or as devoted to the truth as she'd like to think she is? The answer ends up being no (as it probably would be for most of us), and seeing Megan examine her ethics, her ambition, and her actions was eye-opening. Jocelyn was an excellent foil to the naive Megan - she's learned to do whatever it takes, and she's not going to apologize for it. Megan's mother Helen, a conservative political candidate, rounded out the trio of women well.
If you're looking for a book that will make you think but also entertain you, this is a great choice! I enjoyed spending time with these flawed, well-drawn women, and I think you will too!
Thank you to Ten16 Press for my NetGalley ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Fantastic book! A very engaging story about a 20 something year old reporter who departs her NYC life with her personal and professional life in shambles. She returns home to Chicago to live with her mother. What unfolds is an unputdownable story about strong women and their professional lives. The story does not shy away from controversial topics such as abortion, sexual harassment and the price of ambition. I especially enjoyed the mother daughter relationship.
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC for an honest review.
Truth and Other Lies promised to deliver a sharp new novel about working in the political world and boy did it deliver!
Megan is a reporter who has recently had to move back in with her mother due to losing her job. Megan and her mother could not be more different and they are at complete opposite ends of the political spectrum. This causes tension among the two as Megan’s mother is running for Congress and Megan is looking to be the fiery reporter that brings politicians like her mother down. When Megan lands a job with a famous journalist, Jocelyn, Megan is overjoyed with the opportunity and what this could mean for her career. Megan’s mother is not so enthused with Megan’s new boss and job. This causes tensions among the two to rise to an all time high.
I really enjoyed this book because the family with different political beliefs really resonated with me and I feel like the author was really able to capture the feelings of frustration well. I look forward to reading more from this author!
I was drawn into this novel from the first pages .The characters their relationships so well written so much emotion.Even after I read the last page the characters stayed with me.#netgalley #truthandotherlies,
This book defies classification as it offers a lot to readers of all different genres. I particularly enjoyed the exploration of relationships between women and how the expectation of sisterhood is not always realistic, let alone the expectation of strong familial supports. There is mystery, humour, contemporary commentary and more here.
this was SUCH an impressive debut novel!!
after losing her job and going through a bad breakup, Megan Barnes heads back to her hometown of Chicago to start over with a clearer head. with little savings and no job, she moves in with her mother Helen, who is in the process of running for Congress. (and we all see where this is going right?) Since Megan and Helen do not see eye to eye politically, Megan goes out of her way to find another PR job for Jocelyn Jones, a novelist about to publish her memoir. little does Megan realize how intertwined all of her connections are, and only she must race to find the truth about her idol.
there are so many impressive issues that are brought up in this novel: ethics, female relationships, sexism in the workplace, political divide between family. I related to the latter the most, personally. however, I felt that they only started to scratch the surface and that there was a deeper story ready to be told.
the supporting characters made the story for me. it was such a nice dimensional contrasting feel from the engagement of Jocelyn and Megan’s story.
I sure hope there’s another one in the works because I FLEW through this one so quickly!!!
rating: 4 stars
wine pairing: virginia chardonnay
Thank you to the author, Ten16 Press and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Truth is oftentimes complicated, and this multi-layered book about relationships, trust and integrity brings that to life with multi-faceted female characters from different generations. I love the way the author portrays her central characters, each fiercely defending her identity and achievements. The story flows well and the voices are authentic - a fantastic effort for a debut novelist. And as in life, the resolution is a bit messy - much more true-to-life than having everything tied up in a neat bow at the end. I look forward to reading more from this author.
This debut by Maggie Smith grabbed my attention right from the start and didn’t let go. This is a timely book about truth in journalism and fully vetting the story before seeking publication. The mother who is running for a seat in Congress is totally opposite of her daughter, the investigative reporter. I found the story compelling as secrets and lies are revealed. A strong cast of female characters quickly moved the story along. Congrats on an interesting and thought provoking debut! #TruthAndOtherLies #MaggieSmith #NetGalley
Truth and Other Lies is rife with drama. Journalism, politics, and social media are all wrapped in truth and lies. Megan is a character that is easy to like – you'll pull for her to have things work out. Truth and Other Lies is the first novel I've read by this author, and it will not be my last.