fiction, reviews

Book Review: The Truth About Delilah Blue

The Truth About Delilah Blue
Tish Cohen
Publication Year: 2010
Pages: 448 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Source: Publisher

The smell of asphalt and dandelions and the last days of school made the air tingle with summer promise. . .

I love the first line of The Truth About Delilah Blue. There’s something about the first line of this story that promises so much and it was great to find out that the book delivers. Delilah Blue is a twenty-year old transplant from Toronto living in L.A. with her dad after being abandoned by her mother. Her dream is to become an artist so she attends art class for free by modeling nude for art schools, learning as she poses. When her mom unexpectedly arrives along with a younger, unknown daughter, she reveals that she didn’t abandon Delilah but that Delilah was kidnapped from her by her father and kept hidden for the past twelve years. Now it’s up to Delilah to figure out who to believe and find out the real story behind the sudden move to L.A. so many years before.

I started reading this book early this morning during a bout of insomnia and within a few hours and despite the book’s length, finished it satisfied and left wondering about the book’s characters. Delilah is a girl lost. Years of living with an emotionally detached dad hasn’t help. She’s sure about her father’s love and devotion and her own passion for art but other than that, the future’s pretty murky. Her  loneliness is almost heartbreaking. The author conveys the sense that the main character has almost a bewilderment about emotionally connecting to other people. With the unexpected arrival of her mother and younger sister Kieran, that starts to change.

I love seeing the way Delilah handles her parents. Her father, Victor, has memory lapses and is diagnosed with  early-onset Alzheimer’s so readers see how his illness is handle while Delilah tries learning the truth about what happened. Her mother, Elizabeth, is a carefree parent with almost no regard for danger when it comes to both of her daughters. Essentially Elizabeth is a child who dreams of being rich if she can just find a decent man with the right amount of money. Both parents have their faults and because the author gives readers the story of this family through the eyes of Delilah and Victor, we come to know the true reasons behind Delilah’s abduction. Cohen brilliantly asks the question: how much is any parent willing to do to keep a child safe?

Highly recommend.

22 thoughts on “Book Review: The Truth About Delilah Blue”

  1. Wow, that sounds like quite a story, that probably could have been snatched from the headlines. Great review! You’ve made me want to read the book.

    1. This story really could have been snatched from the headlines! The great thing is that the author goes into detail to show readers why the father abducted his own daughter. Glad to hear you want to read the book now!

  2. It seems like I’ve seen a mixed bag of reviews on this one, but I’m glad it worked out for you. I wish I could get wrapped up in a book enough to finish it that fast!

    1. After reading your comment, I searched around the blogisphere to see what other bloggers thought about it.I can definitely see why some bloggers didn’t enjoy the book much – the characters are really flawed and you have to look passed much of it to see the good in them.

      I hope you find a book you can get wrapped up in. What about a graphic novel? Have you read any of those lately?

  3. Oh this one does sound interesting. It sounds like it’s very rich and complex and that makes it sound like something I’d really like to read. You did a wonderful job with this review keeping spoilers out, but still providing and interesting summary. I will be looking for this book. Thanks for the great review!

  4. That is an amazing first line – followed my an amazing review! This does sound like a compelling read.

  5. From the cover I wasn’t expecting this to be much of a book so I’m glad to hear you really enjoyed it! It’s sound like an enticing story and and idea I never would have thought of. I’m an only child so I always used to wonder if someday my parents would come out and say I actually did have another sibling- but this is way beyond my imagination!

  6. It’s so interesting that you and Meg (writemeg) had such different reactions to this book! It only makes me more curious about reading it.

  7. Wow, this is such a unique premise, or at least one I have never heard of before.

  8. That last line is a killer – how much IS any parent willing to do? It’s definitely not something I want to ever have to answer …

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one so much – thanks for being a part of the tour!

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