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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
When is a memoir not a memoir? When it's The Truth: A Semi-Autobiographical Novel of Love, Betrayal, Redemption, and Revenge (So Help Me God Series) by DF Kennedy, a riveting, romantic work of fiction inspired by actual experiences in the author’s life. The emotions felt by both the protagonist and the reader - if the reader is a victim of child sexual abuse - are very real. The result is a novel that stuns with its emotional and psychological credibility. The protagonist, Dahlia, has taken years to come to grips with what happened to her, and her mother, as a child. Her decision to write a tell-all memoir under a pseudonym has propelled her to the top of the best sellers list, and unexpectedly, back into the arms of her greatest love, Roland Hughes, now a famous actor. Unfortunately, celebrity publicity and social media make it impossible to keep Dahlia’s true identity a secret. The lovers’ exciting reunion turns frightening for Dahlia as she tries to ignore dangerous threats that turn into a kidnapping by a most unexpected adversary. As tension mounts with every turn of the page, readers find themselves racing to a thrilling conclusion.
Throughout this novel, which is written in memoir style, fans of memoirs will constantly find themselves wondering just how much of this story is fiction. DF Kennedy’s style is an excellent blend of fact and fiction. She has a great command of the language, whether she is capturing the protagonist’s reflections on her past and present, revealing characters through dialogue, or propelling the plot forward through description. Put another way, aspiring memoir writers would do well to read The Truth as a way of learning how to write a memoir as if it were fiction. Mastering that art would make those memoirs that rely overly much on straight narration so much more enjoyable!