Book Review: The Kindest Lie

Ruth’s husband Xavier is ready to have kids…like now. Bolstered by a happy marriage, career success, and hope stemming from Obama’s election to office, the timing seems right. Ruth, however, is hesitant. She finally admits her reticence is due to the fact that she already had a child back when she was 17 but hid the pregnancy and immediately gave the child up for adoption. With a full scholarship to Yale, Ruth’s family convinces her this is the best course of action and ushers her out of their small Indiana town. Now that her abandonment and guilt issues have caught up to her, Ruth returns to her working class hometown to confront her past. She finds the factory town decimated by the recession and racial tensions at an all-time high.

What happens when poverty pushes pushes racial inequality to the surface? How does someone grapple with the effect of a singular decision that has determined the lives of several families? Where should family loyalty end? Is there such a thing as survivor’s guilt for having achieved the American Dream?

4 out of 5 stars.

Pari with: French toast and spiked milk