“It’s a rare experience to feel gratitude for a book’s pleasures on nearly every page. But Maggie Ginsberg has written that book. I could stay in this story for years.”
In a family built on honesty, when does a secret become a lie?
One summer evening, Lib Hanson is confronted by her painful past when Matt Marlow, the forty-year-old son she abandoned as an infant, shows up on her porch. Fiercely independent, Lib has never revealed her son’s existence—or her previous marriage—to her husband, Jack. Married nearly three decades but living in separate houses (to the confusion but acceptance of their neighbors), they enjoy an ease and comfort together in small-town Anthem, Wisconsin. But Jack is a stickler for honesty, and Lib’s long-dormant secret threatens to unravel their lives.
When ten-year-old Charlie Taylor arrives at Jack’s workshop shortly thereafter, he’s not the first kid in town to need help with a flat tire, and Jack gladly makes the repair to his bike. The Taylors are new to Anthem, and Jack soon discovers that Charlie and his mom, Claire, are struggling to fit in, even as Charlie’s dad, Dan, is thriving in his new job. Extending friendship and kindness, as well as introductions around the local café, Jack assumes a grandfatherly role. What he doesn’t see is the drinking that Claire hides from everyone, or the secret son that Lib has allowed to move into her house and the growing attraction between Claire and Matt. When the terrible events of a fateful evening threaten everyone’s carefully crafted lives, Jack, Lib, and their new friends must each determine the value of truth for the ones they love.
“Deeply felt and vivid. . . . Even as each of its characters curates a careful present, the shadows of the past creep up to confront them. When those realities collide, the result is troubling, affecting, and deeply true.”
—Jacquelyn Mitchard, author The Deep End of the Ocean
“Still True feels as intimate as eavesdropping, with characters so well drawn and so believable there is a sense that they are in the room with you as you read about their sometimes turbulent, sometimes mild lives.”
—Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs and Little Faith
“The unsettling, slow burning, deeply pleasurable story of Lib Hanson, a fiercely independent woman with a silver braid down her back. . . . Throughout Still True, Ginsberg’s prose is both precise and lush, and she is brilliant at depicting the million tiny gestures and private moments that spring up between people. To be honest, it’s hard to believe that Still True—gutsy, bold, and achingly beautiful—is her first novel.”
—Laura Anne Bird, Readers Lane
“A gorgeous and at times heartbreaking story. . . . Although it takes place in the present, Still True is wrapped in warm nostalgia and provides a flicker of hope that good things still can happen to good people.”
“Don’t miss. . . . When does a secret become a lie? And are all lies wrong? Minnesota native Maggie Ginsberg—now a resident of Madison, Wis.—deftly explores these questions in her engaging debut novel.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
Of Related Interest
LC: 2021060199 PS
280 pp. 5.5 x 8.5