Title: The Truth About Delilah Blue
Author: Tish Cohen
Release Date: June 8, 2010
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Lila Mack is an artist, though she isn’t able to attend art school. Her father has refused to pay for it, so instead she has decided to model for art classes, and soak up the professor’s lessons while she is earning some money. When her mother shows up at one of her art classes, the mother who abandoned her when she was just eight years old, Lila is shocked. But what’s even more crazy is the story Lila’s mother has to tell, about what really happened all those years ago.
The Truth About Delilah Blue centers around the character of Lila Mack, a lost soul who is trying to figure out where she belongs. When her mother reappears, it makes Lila even more confused – has her entire life been a lie? What other secrets are there, lurking beneath the surface? Cohen portrays this confused woman who, inside is still a little girl, very well.
The pacing of The Truth About Delilah Blue leaves something to be desired. It is a very slow book, especially considering that the reader can guess most of the big reveals before they happen. It’s well written, but sometimes fails to engage the reader because of its pace. A tighter, shorter novel may have provided more suspense and worked better to drive the story forward. As it stands, I found myself skimming sometimes as I was waiting for something to happen.
That’s not to say that The Truth About Delilah Blue is a bad book at all, because it’s not. The characters are really the strong point of the novel. Cohen has carefully constructed each of them, making sure that they are as lifelike as possible. I often found myself frustrated with both Lila’s father and mother, irritated on Lila’s behalf because I was so taken in by her character.
This was an interesting novel, and while I wasn’t completely captivated by it, it made me very curious about Tish Cohen’s other books. I appreciated how well developed the characters were, and how I wanted each of them to have a happy ending. The plot left something to be desired, but if you enjoy quiet, contemplative novels about complicated characters, you might enjoy this one more than I did.