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  • Writer's pictureJoan Fernandez

Truth and Other Lies

By Maggie Smith

Fresh Millennial/Boomer mashup.

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!

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