The Stories We Tell

Author: Patti Callahan Henry

Publisher: St Martin's Press

Release Date: May 19, 2015

Blue Ribbon Rating: 3.5


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THE STORIES WE TELL was a little hard to get into due to the lies, lies of omission, the untruths, the hiding their heads in the sand for their image, the crying out for help and the way Cooper was portrayed.  He didn't seem real - no feelings and no love unless Eve fell in with his wishes.  How self-centered can one man be?

Henry's THE STORIES WE TELL had a lot of darkness to it and then light would be offered.  The Morrison family of Savannah seem to have it all or do they?  Eve and Cooper both love their work, have friends or are they acquaintances, a teenage daughter, a beautiful home and grounds that Cooper is the 4th generation of his family to own.  But is what you see really what you get?  There is much turmoil, secrets, anger, fear, dislike, creativity, looking the part, surface feelings, accidents, conflicts between husband and wife, daughter and parents, sisters, in-laws and even friends, cries for help but not much happiness or love.  Their daughter, Gwen, is definitely in a downward spiral but they take her actions and words at face value.  When Cooper tries to be a parent and offer discipline or criticism he is fought every step of the way by Eve since she feels she knows best and was with her more in her growing up years.  The antagonism between Eve and Cooper is present throughout unless she becomes mindless and just does what he asks without thinking, without feeling.  She might then be rewarded with a kiss, a hug or something more.  He doesn't like when her focus isn't on him even though she owns a letterpress studio and has employees and customers who depend on her.  The discussion of her business, how they came up with ideas and the Ten Good Ideas Card Line was an interesting and positive twist to the story.  Eve was always happiest at Fine Line, Ink.  By contrast, Cooper is never home and there are pieces of his life, work and travel that are kept hidden and don't fit but it's hard for Eve to deal with so she just goes to her studio and works instead.

There was a one page prologue that gave a glimpse of what was to come.  I liked that the book started and ended with the Ten Good Ideas Card Line and that even Gwen and Eve's sister, Willa, had a part in it in addition to Francie and Max who worked for Eve.  There was chemistry between Eve and her employee, Max, who have been friends for years and nothing like it with her own husband especially in the present.  There were a lot of bad vibes coming from Cooper and Willa, who disliked each other even more so due to events that have happened but were bound together throughout. Teenage Gwen seemed to understand things before some of the adults around her when she wasn't risking her own life.  There were some loose ends but a closing I didn't see coming that left me wanting more.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Jo

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