Monday, August 23, 2010

The Truth About Delilah Blue by Tish Cohen

4 Star

At eight years old, Delilah Blue moved with her father from Toronto to Los Angeles. Told her mother didn’t want the responsibility of a child anymore, years pass and at twenty she becomes desperate to find her mother and show her she’s worthy of her love by following in her footsteps and becoming an artist. When her father refuses to pay for an art education, Delilah – renamed Lila Mack after her move – becomes a nude art model as a way to gain access to art classes. As her father’s memory starts failing, her mother returns to her life and brings with her a family secret that shatters everything she had come to know. 

Lydia - 4 Star

I enjoyed The Truth About Delilah Blue. I loved the thought provoking plot, the quirky characters and Cohen’s attention to detail, even though I didn’t become entirely absorbed into the characters as much as I would have liked.

The characters in this novel were so skilfully drawn - which I distinctly remembered from Townhouse – that I found each one interesting, quirky and flawed, and they came across as so human that I found myself wondering what I would do in each one’s shoes the entire way through the novel. The situation is not portrayed as good or evil or black or white. There’s a grey area which Cohen deftly flirts along, and I found this the most interesting aspect of the novel. I was not quick to judge her parents, although I did want to slap them both frequently.

Cohen’s prose is descriptive yet unobtrusive and I loved the coyote and art descriptions, finding them unique and interesting and Kieran’s character had me wanting to wrap my arms around her and take her to the park to play.  Interesting that my favourite characters in the two books I’ve read of Tish Cohen’s were the quirky young girls in each!

I did feel detached slightly from the main character and while I chuckled and cringed at times, I didn’t cry. I did want to smack her parents a few times though. I also wasn’t sure about the neat and tidy ending, even though everything didn’t quite turn out as I thought it might.

The flashbacks didn’t interrupt as much as I sometimes find they do. I thought they were well timed, although knowing what was happening before the characters figured it out lessened some of the suspense for me.

If you’re looking for a novel with a bit more substance than lighter chick lit and want something that will make you think, pick up The Truth About Delilah Blue.

Kathryn - 4 Star

The Truth About Delilah Blue certainly covers some tricky heart issues but I was a little disappointed that I didn’t really get my own heart involved much with the characters.   While I could understand intellectually that there were emotions involved between them I just didn’t really love them enough to be right there with them.

I did struggle with whom to side with (and probably most people would be able to see the side of both of Delilah’s parents) but it was probably Delilah herself that I found hard to empathize with until the very end. Perhaps because of the way she was brought up she seemed very unemotional and I constantly wanted her to ask for more from her parents. Although you could tell she loved each parent and was struggling to find a balance in her life I just kept on wanting her to demand more for herself, not only from them but also for her art and her education and even from her boyfriend. Delilah came alive to me towards the end when she started to feel some protectiveness towards her little sister- I felt some warmth from her and anger for the way she’d been lied to throughout her life which made her more real to me.

Tish Cohen is a fantastic writer and I’ve found that she has an ability to deliver an easy read while managing to give the difficult subjects their due attention. She makes you think and challenge yourself. 

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for our review copy! All opinions are our own.

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