The Veracity of Lies by Anna Woiwood
The Veracity of Lies by Anna Woiwood

The Veracity of Lies by Anna Woiwood

A difficult but captivating story

This is a hard book to read. It’s often discouraging and tragic. It’s also very good. I’ll start with content warnings so you can decide if you’re up to it. There’s a lot of abuse of all sorts: drugs and alcohol, abuse of power, men over women, sexual and emotional. There are slurs (homophobic, transphobic…) and controlling mothers and husbands. One of the characters struggles with eating disorders.


Kathryn Anderson and Alice Kincaid were co-stars in a sitcom in the 1950s. Both were married to men, though Kathryn, who was in her mid-thirties then, wasn’t new to being attracted to women. For the younger actress, however, realizing how she felt towards her female colleague was a life-changing event, in more ways than one. Part of the story is set at that time, part in 1981, when they meet again for a cast reunion on TV.

The Veracity of Lies by Anna WoiwoodAs I said, this was painful to read but I’m very glad I did. It’s one of these books I can’t really explain, it has to be experienced. It has a Sunset Boulevard vibe, Kathryn has nothing to envy Norma Desmond. Yet it didn’t leave me sad. Melancholy, however…

Kathryn and Alice are complex, multilayered characters, and their love story, their journeys are captivating. The writing is excellent, the pace mellow yet frantic at times, paralleling the events of the story. A very good debut. 4.5

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