Thursday, August 13, 2020

Book Review: Two Truths and a Lie by Meg Mitchell Moore

Pages: 400
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: June 16, 2020
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The Islanders
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Truth: Sherri Griffin and her daughter, Katie, have recently moved to the idyllic beach town of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Rebecca Coleman, widely acknowledged former leader of the Newburyport Mom Squad (having taken a step back since her husband’s shocking and tragic death eighteen months ago), has made a surprising effort to include these newcomers in typically closed-group activities. Rebecca’s teenage daughter Alexa has even been spotted babysitting Katie.  Truth: Alexa has time on her hands because of a recent falling-out with her longtime best friends for reasons no one knows—but everyone suspects have to do with Alexa’s highly popular and increasingly successful YouTube channel. Katie Griffin, who at age 11 probably doesn’t need a babysitter anymore, can’t be left alone because she has terrifying nightmares that don’t seem to jibe with the vague story Sherri has floated about the “bad divorce” she left behind in Ohio. Rebecca Coleman has been spending a lot of time with Sherri, it’s true, but she’s also been spending time with someone else she doesn’t want the Mom Squad to know about just yet.  Lie: Rebecca Coleman doesn’t have a new man in her life, and definitely not someone connected to the Mom Squad. Alexa is not seeing anyone new herself and is planning on shutting down her YouTube channel in advance of attending college in the fall. Sherri Griffin’s real name is Sherri Griffin, and a bad divorce is all she’s running from.  A blend of propulsive thriller and gorgeous summer read, Two Truths and a Lie reminds us that happiness isn’t always a day at the beach, some secrets aren’t meant to be shared, and the most precious things are the people we love."

Sherri Griffin and her daughter, Katie, moved to Newburyport, Massachusetts to start over and where better to start fresh than in an idyllic coastal town?  It's not just that they are just moving though; they are escaping their former life and hope to start over.  Katie is enrolled at a summer camp and hopes to make new friends before she starts middle school.  Sherri hopes to become friends with the "Mom Squad" who are pretty much the epitome of the cool table in the lunch room.  There's also Rebecca Coleman, who is sort of part of the Mom Squad, but is still reeling from the untimely death of her husband and has drifted away from the other women.  Rebecca is also trying to restart her life, but can't seem to do it despite the Mom's Squad's best efforts.  Rebecca's daughter, Alexa, is off to college in the fall or at least Rebecca thought so.  Alexa is harboring secrets of her own and wants to follow her own path.  Meanwhile Sherri is worried that the secrets from her past will catch up with her and her daughter, which would be a disaster.  Meg Mitchell Moore's Two Truths and a Lie is a gossipy sort of beach read that blends a few genres.  Fans of Big Little Lies will especially appreciate this one.

Two Truths and a Lie jumps from a few character's perspectives as well the thoughts of the collective Mom Squad. This was a nice touch and added to the beach read vibe as it felt very soapy at times, especially from the Mom Squad's judging perspective.  This kept things light even though some of the topics could get dark, such as family secrets, untimely deaths, criminal behavior, and more.  

The character of Sherri was, for me, the most entertaining in Two Truths and a Lie in that I wanted to know who or what she was running from. It seemed pretty serious at times, so this kept me flipping the pages. I also felt for Rebecca throughout Two Truths and a Lie as she tries to restart her life without her husband and just the act of being social was nerve-wracking.  The secrets between her and her daughter, Alexa, were also pretty timely as social media can tend to really make things difficult when raising teenagers.  All in all, the characters were well done in Two Truths and a Lie, even the Mom Squad which made me want to eye roll for days.

As with many beach reads this summer, Two Truth and a Lie sort of bends the confines of a particular genre and instead incorporates many. There's romance, a mystery, a family saga, and suspense.  So, if you like your beach reads mainly fluffy with descriptions of sunsets and the sea, look elsewhere; however, if your like your beach reads to have a lot more going on and a Big Little Lies sort of vibe to it, give Two Truths and a Lie a try this summer. Although I didn't love it as much as The Islanders, I still thought it was an entertaining escape.


  1. Ooh, the Big Little Lies comparison has me intrigued! I do like dramas!

    1. Yes! It definitely had that vibe! Thanks for visiting, Angela!

  2. This goes down as my all time worst book ever! I’m still so aggravated that I wasted my time on a book with no essence…no purpose. For a few serious topics, there was no depth. I’m not a proponent of not finishing a book- but this one changed me. I wish I had cut my losses early on- thanks to Meg, from here on out, I will be a member of the DNF club when I happen upon a book of this quality.


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