In Sycamore Glen, a small-town neighbourhood in North Carolina, the residents spend their summers idling away the days by the community pool, socialising with friends and neighbours. But when an accident at the pool upsets the calm, some are drawn into unlikely friendships where lies begin to unravel and long-kept secrets are revealed. This is a story about real problems, the importance of friendship, and forgiveness.
The Things We Wish Were True is intriguing and complex. We follow the lives of a number of the neighbourhood’s inhabitants (both adults and children) in alternating chapters. This style means that each character is fully developed; their stories quite detailed. They’re so likeable and real, even the ones who have done bad things (and there are plenty of those). I really found myself hoping everything was going to work out, rooting for each character in their individual struggles. And struggles there are: there is so much going on, from old and new romances, stalking, cheating, illegitimate children, to an almost-drowning and a missing girl.
Marybeth’s writing style is wonderful. It’s descriptive without being over the top, well-observed and very easy to read. I really loved the intricacy and realness of the story. Every storyline was important, and they all linked together, no part any less important than others. The result was effective, the story very moving, and I really enjoyed it.