What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What I Thought was True is unexpectedly good. It’s with emotion but not overly dramatic, about connections both old and new, based on her reality but with a touch of What-if from all of them. There’s simplicity in how its parts, but it’s a simplicity that doesn’t prevent the depth from coming through because there’s a lot of contradiction in what they want and the way things are.
All those contradictions are clearer as their roles and expectations are considered because there are lots of ideas on what should be weighed against a bunch of I-wishes. But that it’s not just her, rather all of them like that, that had me looking at this closer:
They’re all deciding what they want and what they can get, for her and her cousin, especially. And, for her there’s the added complication of… everything else! Like a father who’s bailed, a mother whose worn down, a cousin, a brother as well as a grandfather with their respective needs.
A lot of this is straightforward read of a family of issues and people with each a place and responsibility but once contrasted to what they want as well as how to get to the latter, things get a touch heavier on the emotion side. Depth is added once it becomes about how they all deal (not deal) with what they want and what they have to do.
So on one hand, they have these IDEALS in mind. Her cousin’s on his way to getting what he wants (she wishes she were too); and her best friends are part of this perfect pairing (she wishes she could have the same). Both go sharply against the less than perfect REALITY of things, like the father who’s there but abandoned ship or like the mother who wants best but is worn herself down and out in trying to get there .
Plus that more complicated aspect of: A him plus a her, then a THEM?! And her wondering if she even wanted a them as issues of (self-) perception, reputation, expectation and action were layered on. Were we to take each aspect separately, they’d all be so simple. Yet together, this went beyond where I thought it was going.
Thank you, Edelweiss!
i think i need to read her debut. This was UNEXPECTEDLY good.
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