The Things We Wish Were True

The Things We Wish Were True. Marybeth Mayhew Whalen. 2016. 209 pages. Lake Union Publishing. [Source: Kindle First Program.] Have you ever read something that can only be described as being on the tracks when a slow-motion train wreck is about to happen? The constant feeling of “it’s going to happen, I can’t stop it, and it’s going to be really bad” gripped me while I read The Things We Wish Were True, but in the best way. I was compelled to finish reading nearly as soon as I started, and I wasn’t disappointed along the way. On its face, this is a story of a quiet southern town, Sycamore Glen, N.C., where families spend all year looking forward to afternoons spent together at the neighborhood pool. Everything has its place, and everyone knows what to expect. But this town is gilded, and its secrets bubble just below its surface. What is more enticing, however, is the intricate way in which each family’s secrets are intertwined with the others.