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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
A coming of age story of two vastly different lives colliding, Truth is in the House: A Novel Inspired by Actual Events by Michael J. Coffino is an intense drama with an acute sense of time and place. Based on factual events, it is a magnified look at the lives of Jimmy O’Farrell and Jaylen Jackson. O’Farrell is of Irish descent, his family settling in Manhattan in search of a better life. Jackson is from Dublin, Mississippi, and he has had his share of battles with prejudice and seeks a better future for himself. These two lives will intersect as they both try to escape the social animosities that hold them back from fulfilling the kind of lives they dream of having. From an inner-city basketball court that serves as a neutral ground for skin color, the two men will forge a friendship tested by time and the same social evils they have been contending with alone.
More than any other novel I’ve read, Truth is in the House flows with the current of race relations in America and presents a harrowing story based on actual events. This novel is a gritty racial drama, fragile and passionate, with heartwarming moments in the friendship of two young men from different backgrounds united by a common struggle. Michael J. Coffino deviates from the theatrical. Instead, he uses realism to illustrate how society can make or break its citizens and what happens when you forget to stand up for yourself and for those that you love. This novel evokes more clearly than anything else that the lessons and horrors of the past are bound to be repeated and how sparks of racial tension still happen in many parts of the world. Truth is in the House is one of the best contemporary novels to tackle an evergreen social problem with such depth. It unequivocally earns a rightful place on your reading list.