There has been a lot of buzz in the book community surrounding the novel Verity by Colleen Hoover. A quick look on Goodreads shows an average of 4.25 stars, with over 76k ratings, so I asked for a copy for Christmas, and it was among my first reads of 2020.
Lowen is an author who is struggling personally, professionally, creatively. She meets a handsome stranger on her way to a meeting with her publisher, moments after witnessing a fatal accident on the street. Then, in a moment only surprising to Lowen and Jeremy (the handsome stranger), he turns out to be the guest at the meeting with her publisher. Jeremy explains that his wife, Verity, has suffered a tragic accident that he’s kept secret from the public, and he’s interested in hiring Lowen to ghost write the final books in his wife’s best-selling book series.
Lowen agrees. As part of this arrangement, she travels to Jeremy’s home in Vermont to review all of Verity’s notes and paperwork. And she agrees to stay there for however long it takes her to get a grasp of where Verity was going with the books so she can return home to finish the stories. Among the notes and plot outlines, Lowen finds a secret manuscript – Verity’s autobiography – which details family secrets, and raises all kinds of questions about who Verity really was, and the strange circumstances of the day their daughter drowned.
Oh, and Verity and her home health care nurse are there, too, along with the surviving son. I won’t say any more about the plot so I don’t spoil any surprises.
I have… complicated feelings about this novel.
On the one hand, it’s a super fast, readable book – I read the whole thing on a chilly Sunday. It’s the kind of book I like to think of as candy – it was decent, quick, and delightful to read.
On the other hand… You know those reads where someone gets what’s coming to them and you feel vindicated on the part of the wronged party? That didn’t happen for me here. It’s a messed up sort of love story that left me feeling a little bit how I felt when I read Gone Girl. I don’t know that I really liked any of these characters very much.
For me, that pretty much sums up my main issue with this one – there was no “big reveal,” no moment that made me gasp and say, “WHAT?!” out loud. At the end, I kind of nodded my head and went, “yep.” I rated it at a 4, but it probably falls more at a 3.5 star rating for me.
If you really love suspense novels and you’re looking for something that shocks and surprises, I don’t know that this one’s for you. But if you’re looking for an entry point into the genre I think this is relatively fun, quick trip down that path to see if it tickles your fancy.
Have you read Verity? Did you love it, or did it fall a little bit flat for you, too? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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