The Truth About Love and Lightning

( 5 )

Overview

Susan McBride, author of Little Black Dress and The Cougar Club, gives us her most unforgettable novel to date with this deliciously emotional story of family, forgiveness, love, and magic.

As far as Gretchen Brink is concerned, the tornado that just ripped through her land has nothing on the storms of a different sort happening all around her. Her grown daughter, Abby, has returned home with news that she's pregnant, and no, she's not sure whether she's going to marry the ...

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Overview

Susan McBride, author of Little Black Dress and The Cougar Club, gives us her most unforgettable novel to date with this deliciously emotional story of family, forgiveness, love, and magic.

As far as Gretchen Brink is concerned, the tornado that just ripped through her land has nothing on the storms of a different sort happening all around her. Her grown daughter, Abby, has returned home with news that she's pregnant, and no, she's not sure whether she's going to marry the father. A man with no memory has been dropped practically on her doorstep. And the not-so-little white lie she's been telling for years is about to catch up with her.

Abby is sure that the mysterious man is her long-lost father, Sam, who has finally returned just when she needs him most. As Abby, Gretchen, and the Man Who Might Be Sam get closer, the lie Gretchen told all those years ago begins to haunt her. When her secrets come out, and Sam's past is finally revealed, will it tear down this fragile life they've built—or will the truth bring them all closer together?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
McBride (The Cougar Club) takes readers on a winding journey to examine the far-reaching implications of dishonesty. It’s 2010 and single mother Gretchen Brink—who gave birth as a teenager to now-39-year-old Abigail—is living quietly in Walnut Ridge, Mo., with her blind twin sisters, Bennie and Trudy, when a violent twister rips through their farm. While assessing the property damage, Gretchen finds an oddly familiar man trapped under a fallen walnut tree—and subsequently sees that the long-barren tree has delivered an abundance of nuts. Is the mystery man the long-missing Sam Winston, who disappeared years earlier from a refugee camp in Africa and who Gretchen claimed is Abigail’s father? At the same time, Abigail is headed home from Chicago with big news of her own: she’s pregnant and soon to become a single mother herself. Abigail is convinced that her father has returned—but how can Gretchen admit that she lied about her daughter’s parentage? In working through that knotty problem, the author also takes a detour into the past, exploring generations that came before in the ’30s, ’50s, and ’70s. Seamlessly toggling between decades, McBride delivers a poignant page-turner with flawed but lovable characters. Agent: Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Feb.)
Sarah Addison Allen
“Written with touching insight into family relationships and what we call home, The Little Black Dress is a lovely and entertaining journey into the magical side of things. I bet you’ll never look at your closet the same way again.”
Melissa Senate
“I’m madly in love with this full-of-surprises story about secrets, family ties—and one magical little black dress. One of my favorite novels of the year.”
Charlaine Harris
“I’ll read anything by Susan McBride.”
Kirkus Reviews
Magic, and four decades of unrequited love, form the plot of McBride's latest pajama-party read. The novel opens as a twister approaches the farm at Walnut Ridge. After Gretchen and her blind twin sisters Bennie and Trudy climb unscathed from the basement, they discover the storm hit only their property and deposited a mystery: a shaggy man who has no memory but looks an awful lot like Sam Winston, disappeared and thought dead the past 40 years. Sam is the grandson of Hank Littlefoot, a Native American born of the rez but who, as a teenager, gave up his destiny as a shaman and rainmaker to hit the boards in a traveling vaudeville show. Hank's act is an Injun rain dance; the crowd is always thrilled, and his sweetheart, Nadya (the magician's assistant), notices the streets are wet when they leave the theater. When asked to really make it rain by a desperate farmer, Hank brings a terrific storm, sealing his reputation. Hank's earnings make it possible to buy an old walnut farm, but the effort of rainmaking takes a terrible toll: After the storms, he becomes amnesiac and debilitated and has aged beyond his 20-odd years; in a matter of months, he transforms into an old man with a stoop and silver hair. Hank's daughter Lily has no such talents, but her son Sam has, and teenage Sam loves Gretchen. The farm could be his, but when Gretchen rejects him and confesses a one-night stand has made her pregnant (with a daughter, Amy), Sam goes to Africa as a relief worker. When tragedy befalls Sam, Gretchen tells a lie to soothe his grieving parents. She and baby Abby inherit the farm. Now, 40 years later, Abby has returned home pregnant, and the mystery man seems as if he will either crush everyone's hopes or spin a happy ending. McBride's modern romance is enhanced by the charm of the supernatural--who doesn't love a hottie whose passion brings lightning--but that doesn't prevent the predictability of the plotting.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062027283
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/12/2013
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 315
  • Sales rank: 983,508
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 5.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan McBride is the USA Today bestselling author of Blue Blood, the first of the Debutante Dropout Mysteries. The award-winning series includes The Good Girl's Guide to Murder, The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club, Night of the Living Deb, and Too Pretty to Die. She's also the author of The Truth About Love and Lightning, Little Black Dress, and The Cougar Club, all Target Recommended Reads. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 25, 2013

    A tornado goes through Gretchen¿s farmland, bringing with it a f

    A tornado goes through Gretchen’s farmland, bringing with it a familiar stranger.  This stranger is found under a walnut tree with no memory of who he is or how he got there.  The stranger reminds Gretchen of her long lost love Sam Winston the father of her daughter Abby and the man that’s been missing for almost 40 years.




    Many years ago Gretchen told a very big lie.  She has lived in fear of that lie coming out since she told it.  When the Man Who Might Be Sam comes to the farm, she is scared the truth will come out and that the truth will truly hurt the people who meant the most to her.




    Susan McBride wrote a clever and smooth story.  The changes in time periods are seamless.  The story is a no-rush, in depth tale of Gretchen, Sam, and Abby.  The suspense of if Sam has returned is built up gradually and kept me having to continue reading in hopes for the happy ending I so wanted for both Gretchen and Abby.




    I felt a deep connection to both Gretchen and Abby.  Gretchen managed to have a happy life even after her horrible mother kicked her out and left her to take care of her blind twin sisters.  Abby knew what she wanted, or more what she wouldn’t settle for, and kept her head high never compromising.  When the Man Who Might Be Sam appeared I felt the hope they each had, for the man Gretchen loved and lost, and the dad Abby never knew and needed so badly.




    This is a story of love and hope.  Exquisitely written grabbing me from the very beginning.  I was unable to put this novel down.  I highly recommend everyone picking up The Truth about Love and lightning, you will not be sorry.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2013

    I have been a long time fan of Susan McBride's work, but The Tru

    I have been a long time fan of Susan McBride's work, but The Truth About Love and Lightning would have to be hands down her best work to date. This is the story or Gretchen, her younger twin sisters, her daughter Abby, her childhood friend Sam and a 40 year old secret that could destroy them all. Gretchen's life is peacefully moving along, until a storm rips through her farm, leaving behind a mysterious man (who may or may not be her friend Sam, who has been presumed dead for 40 years), and an unexpected visit from her daughter Abby, (who is seeking the solace of home to help her figure out her own troubles), threatens to out her 40 year old secret/lie. The story seamlessly moves through time periods, never losing you, and the backstory of Sam's Native American ancestor Hank Littlefoot lends an air of magic and mysticism to the story that makes it more powerful. I wasn't able to put this one down once I started reading it. I highly recommend picking up The Truth About Love and Lightning, you will not regret it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Susan McBride has graciously donated a copy of her latest work T

    Susan McBride has graciously donated a copy of her latest work The Truth about Love and Lightning. This novel will be part of the giveaway at Stonecrest Library. I am very excited to share this novel!
    Synopsis:
    Gretchen Brink started with a lie when she told her daughter Abby that Sam Winston is her father. Years have gone by and there has been no sign of Sam. Abby has grown and moved away from home. She is now living in Chicago and running an art gallery. One day a tornado hits Gretchen’s house and a discovery is made. There is a man in the Walnut grove by the farm. He has no idea who he is. Will he be who everyone hopes he is (Sam Winston)? Maybe Abby’s long lost father? Or will the truth come out?
    My Thoughts:
    I feel connected to Susan in some ways because I am from Missouri originally. I have great appreciation for her novels. The settings are familiar and speaks greatly about the culture of the Midwest. One thing you learn in school is about the Indians that lived in that area. To my knowledge Indians don’t really have reservations in Missouri anymore.
    The character of Sam Winston shows that heritage and a special gift. His character steals the show for me. What happens to him so profoundly affects Gretchen and Abby. Another well written novel!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 13, 2013

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings This was an int

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    This was an interesting and definitely different kind of book.  It centers around a family with some unique quirks and connections to the weather.  The Winston family has a farm that on and off has produced walnuts for their family business. The Brink sisters ended up inheriting the farm and have been living there for many years.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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