True to Me

True to Me

by Kay Bratt


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From the bestselling author of Wish Me Home comes a breathtaking novel about the secrets that families keep and one woman’s illuminating search for the truth.

Quinn Maguire has a stable life, a fiancé, and what she thinks is a clear vision for her future. All of that comes undone by her mother’s deathbed confession—the absentee father Quinn spent thirty years resenting is not her real father at all. With that one revealing whisper, Quinn embarks on a journey to Maui, her mother’s childhood home, a storied paradise that holds the truth about her mother’s past and all its secrets Quinn is determined to uncover.

But settling on the island has its complications, and with the fiancé she left behind questioning every choice she makes, Quinn’s quest for her truth is even more difficult than she expected. As time passes and she digs deeper into her family history and her own identity, one thing becomes clear: Maui is as beautiful as she’d always imagined, and its magic is helping uncover the woman that Quinn was always meant to be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781542008075
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 12/10/2019
Series: A By the Sea Novel Series
Pages: 270
Sales rank: 361,741
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Kay Bratt learned to lean on writing while she navigated a tumultuous childhood and then a decade of domestic abuse in adulthood. After working her way through the hard years to come out a survivor and a pursuer of peace, she finally found the courage to use her experiences throughout her novels, most recently Wish Me Home and Dancing with the Sun. She lives with the love of her life and a pack of rescue dogs on forty acres of rolling hills called Windy Hill in South Carolina. For more information, visit

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True to Me 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Bodee 7 days ago
True to Me by Kay Bratt is the first book in the By the Sea series. It is the story of Quinn Maguire who is sent on a mission to Maui to fulfill her mother’s dying wish and discover the truth about her mother’s dying declaration. Life for Quinn was perfect. She had a great job, a handsome fiancé, and a clear plan for her future. When her mother tells her that the man, she thought was her father really isn’t, Quinn is unsure where to turn next. On an impulse, she buys a cottage on Maui and decides to renovate it while trying to untangle the truth behind her mother’s declaration. While on the island, she meets a local family who has fallen on hard times and makes fast friends with the locals who show her what true hospitality is. With the help of the locals, she discovers the truth behind who her father is, and the truth is stranger and more dramatic than she ever imagined! What will Quinn do once she discovers the truth? Will she return to the life and fiancé she left behind? Or will the lure and magic of the island draw her in? True to Me is another Kay Bratt story that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. From the open page to the final scene, you are on this journey with Quinn. One thing I will say is I found it hard to like Quinn at certain points in the story. There were times I wish I could reach into the pages and shake Quinn and tell her to be a bit more sympathetic and not to be so mean. Other times I wanted to scream at her to open to eyes and to stop being such a fool. Eventually she does come around and stars to fight for what she wants and needs. Overall, True to Me is a great story about family, community and forgiveness. I highly recommend it! True to Me is available in paperback, eBook and audiobook
JM Free Kicks Fiction 18 days ago
This was a wonderful book to end the year! Quinn’s journey is heartfelt and inspiring. A vast knowledge of Hawaiian culture is displayed by the author. She does an amazing job of capturing the importance of ohana, pono and other aspects which brought back fond memories. I loved the little twists that complicated Quinn’s search while also enhancing her understanding of her situation (don’t want to give too much away). If you’re looking to start the new year with an uplifting story, look no further, get this one. For a more thorough review, please visit my blog at Fireflies and Free Kicks Fiction Reviews. This review was written based on a digital copy of the book.
LibrosHappyblog 22 days ago
Quinn Maguire had everything to be happy: a good job, a nice house and the perfect man. Everything in her life was or gave the impression of being ideal until shortly before her death, her mother confesses that her father is not who she believed. From one day to the next, Quinn’s world falls apart. With her mother’s death not only has the most important person in her life gone so far but also his only family. Both had a close relationship with much complicity and based on mutual trust. All they had was each other. In order to fulfill his mother’s last will Quinn decides to go to Maui. She also wants to know who her father is, what her roots are and her past. She wants to know more about the land where her mother grew up and for which she longed so much. Her life so far had been rigid and organized to the millimeter. With rules and habits to follow in every moment and every day, without space or time to improvisation. A life marked by the demands of her partner, a despot and control-obsessed man for which Quinn always had some fault, something to correct or improve. Always used to following other people’s decisions and others to decide for her once Quinn comes to Maui she takes control of her life and proves herself to be a capable and intelligent woman who knows how to do things and this time she will do it alone and in her own way, without haste, setting the pace that she wants to follow in every moment. This trip takes a radical turn in her life and puts everything in perspective. Maui has awakened her senses has lifted her from the slumber in which she lived and opened her eyes to another lifestyle to another reality and she is no longer satisfied with less. Although she had a happy and loving childhood, she would have liked to grow up in a large family. And this was something she hadn’t noticed so far, she’s been missing a family all her life. True to Me is a novel to immerse yourself in to read and forget the world. With Maui as the setting, its landscapes, the people, their customs, their way of living and feeling life. It’s a very well written story from characters covering a wide variety even the prose so careful and thorough in details without being excessive. Kay Bratt knows how to keep the suspense alive all the way. She makes everything flow, but keeps the reading rate constant with unexpected twists that make you live the story with intensity just like its protagonist. True to Me is a beautiful novel about the family love, secrets and their way of conditioning our life. But it’s also a story about forgiveness and second chances. Highly recommended.
LGHudson 25 days ago
WHAT IS THE TRUTH?? Imagine your Mother is dying and her last words are a confession that the man you thought was your deadbeat dad wasn’t even your real father at all. That news would be difficult to absorb even if you were somebody who seems to have their life plan all on track. Quinn Maquire is that person and because of that news she travels to her Mom’s native homeland of Maui in an attempt to find any and all information about her true family. How long will it take her to find the truth about her real family? Will she be happy with the truth she finds? Will she want to go back to any of her old life? How will she be changed by what she finds? Kay Bratt has a way of writing that truly delves into her characters deepest inner core. She allows readers to feel as though they know the characters as they would a friend - all the good & all the bad. This particular book is insightful as it reveals all the multiple layers of deceit brought on by nothing more than pure greed. The lessons learned from withholding the truth in TRUE TO ME apply to many real life situations. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Lake Union Publishers and NetGalley. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.
Anonymous 27 days ago
True to Me is the first book I have read by Kay Bratt. This book takes place in Hawaii on Maui. The main character, Quinn, has recently lost mother and learned that her father was not who she thought. She makes a trip to Maui to try and learn more about her family and to spread her mother's ashes. Not only does she learn about her family ties, but she also experiences personal growth as well. I liked this book a lot. I learned a lot about Maui and Hawaiian culture. The mystery of Quinn's heritage kept me turning the pages, and the characters were interesting and realistic. I was more than satisfied with the ending of the story and will be interested in reading future books by this author. I read this book compliments of Net Galley. All my thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
suesue62 28 days ago
WOW! This book, this story, was amazing! A wonderful page turner that masterfully manages to weave many components together without feeling fractured at all. Genealogy plays a key part in this story as does self discovery. Mystery, friendships, relationships, forgiveness, and a touch of romance. I'd love to see a sequel focusing on Quinn's best friend, Maggie and her story!
Teri1957 3 months ago
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Every emotion in your body so will arise as you read this stupendous book! The writing is superb with a prodigious lead character. I highly recommend this book! Enjoy!
Julia_R 3 months ago
Quinn Maguire's world is rocked when her mother makes a confession on her deathbed. Her whole life, she has felt resentment to her absentee father. Now she finds out that this man is not actually her father. This leads her to Hawaii on a search for answers. The island home she buys sight unseen is full of surprises also. Will she get the answers she desires? Will her fiance be understanding of her wish for answers? This story kept me engaged. I really enjoyed it.
ScotsLass 3 months ago
Kay Bratt’s new novel True To Me is a beautifully written novel about the emotional quest for true identity and family. Quinn’s mother, on her deathbed, has tasked Quinn to return her ashes to Maui, Hawaii, her homeland and to scatter the ashes there. She also tells Quinn that the man ,who she thought was her father, was not. Emotionally sent into a tailspin, Quinn sets out to find out who she really is. Quinn has been raised my her loving mother but without any extended family even talked about. Quinn is also quite insecure but decides that this is something she needs to do without the help or direction of her long time fiancé, Ethan. Here begins Quinn’s search for who she is and where she really fits in. It is a search for herself, family and connection. Kay Bratt’s characters seem to come to life as your read, fully developed with problems and emotions of their own.They all fit together to add to complexity to Quinn’s search. However; her search may uncover things in others lives that might be best left undiscovered. Ms. Bratt’s descriptions of Maui are so vivid and detailed that I was transported back to the places I had enjoyed on a vacation there. I especially enjoyed the Hawaiian history, events, traditions and ceremonies that were woven into the story. You can truly “see” the beaches, surfers, waterfalls and twisty roads as you read and understand the life and culture of the Hawaiian people. DNA testing also has a part in the quest and is handled and explained well with all the implications a test like this can have on a family. From the first page of this book, I was drawn into the story and never let down. Quinn’s quest for an answer became my quest for a resolution to her identity and a family of her own. I want to thank NetGalley and Kay Bratt for the advanced copy to read and review. This thoughts and opinions within this review are my own.
KerryACroucier 3 months ago
Quinn McGuire has had a good life. She has a fiancé and a successful career. Growing up, her mother worked hard and did her best as a single parent; the only thing really missing in Quinn’s life is her father. As an adult, Quinn tried locating the man that her mother said lured her from her home on Maui and then left her with a child to raise, with no luck. Left reeling by not only her mother’s death, but the confession that preceded it, Quinn is left with questions but no way to find answers. All she does know, is that her destination must be Maui, and she has to go alone. Arriving on Maui with lots of questions and a new house, nothing goes quite as expected .With new and old friends, Quinn embarks on a journey to uncover her past and find her future. What she finds is so much more than she ever thought possible. Bratt has created wonderful characters with depth and a storyline that will keep you engrossed and turning pages. Her descriptions and writing style will make you feel that you are right there with Quinn in Maui. If you have never read any of Kay Bratt’s work, this is a great one to start with. Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own. #TruetoMe #KayBratt #LakeUnionPublishing
lsmoore_43 3 months ago
TRUE TO ME by Kay Bratt Another beautiful book by Kay Bratt. Her books leave you breathless and with tears in your eyes. Both tears of sadness and joy. Heartache and happiness. Such emotions make her books some of the best I’ve ever read. Through in a laugh or two and you have a wonderful, heartfelt, touching, loving, story. Ohana, means family. All Quinn wanted was a big family. Sisters and brothers. A dad who was there for her. What she had was a mother who would do anything for her. Anything to keep her safe. She loved her unconditionally and with every part of her. On her death bed she made a confession to Quinn that would change everything that she thought she knew about her and her mother. Quinn goes to Maui to take her mother’s ashes home. That was her mother’s wish and being the kind of person she was Quinn was determined to grant her mother’s last wishes. Little did she know that her life was going to make a dramatic turn. Changes were coming for her that she would have never believed. She was leaving behind a life she thought at the time was what she wanted. Engaged to a man she thought she loved so much and would do anything for. In Maui she found her true self. Her strengths. She met people who changed her life in ways she never would have dreamed of. Sounds a bit like paradise to me in many ways. This story is told in a way that you truly feel like you are there. The beauty of the water. The paths through the woods. The buildings and the house that changed Quinn in many ways. The family that lived in the house that is. She found so much that she never realized was missing and more. They all became family to her. This is a story of a love so deep and moving that it will take your breath away. The love of strangers and family and a best friend. Unconditional love. The only true kind. This story made me have lots of ugly crying tears. Not all in a bad way either. The joys and happiness. The ups and downs. The breakups and losses. Family can be such a beautiful thing and it’s not just blood that makes a family. It’s in your heart. Kay Bratt has a way with words that will have you reeling from chapter to chapter. From one thing to the next. Her books always leave me feeling full. I can’t wait for the next book now to see who we meet and who comes together. Yes, Ohana means family. A huge big family that were strangers just a few days before. I loved this book from the first word to the very last. It pulled me in and pulled at my heart. It kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. The characters were so likable and you will feel like they are old friends. With the exception of the fiancé, Ethan. I didn’t like him at all. Nothing about him. But all the rest were so loving and kind and felt like family and old friends. Thank you to #NetGalley, Lake Union and Kay Bratt for this ARC. This is my own review and is from my heart. I give this one 5 stars and a high high recommendation.. A must read.
ganderson523 3 months ago
I was first drawn to this book because of the cover when I saw it on NetGalley and then I saw all the four and five star reviews, I decided to read it. I am glad that I did. Quinn Maguire's family has consisted of just her mother and herself her whole life. When her mother died of cancer, she was heartbroken. Before her death, her mom told her that the deadbeat dad that she can't remember was not actually her father. She asked that Quinn return her ashes to Hawaii where she and Quinn are from. In an unusual move, Quinn decides to buy a house in Hawaii when her mom leaves her a small inheritance against her controlling fiance's insistence. Thinking she could fix it up and rent it out, it would be an investment. Quinn felt strongly that she needed to find out if she had family in Hawaii and wanted some space alone to do the exploring. She encountered lots of obstacles when she arrived at her sight unseen home purchase, in the form of a family living in the house. That was just the start of the course her life took trying to find her roots. Quinn finds herself at crossroads in her life on many levels and hers is an emotional journey that she is on alone. Out of desperation, she reaches out to an old friend who comes through to help her walk through everything but she is in for some hard facts to face. This is a great read that pulls you in and holds you in to the end. Quinn is someone that you feel her pain and will cheer on. I received a complimentary ARC from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine only.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I don't even know where to begin with all the ways in which this book was wonderful. Grateful to the author and publisher for allowing me to read an ARC of this upcoming novel. Kay Bratt is one of the best in her genre. The loss of a mother, a deathbed confession, a trip to scatter her mother's ashes. The journey leads our main character to places she never thought possible. It forces her to reevaluate her life, her relationship and who she is. There is awful betrayal in this book, secrets, but so much love, hope and happiness. I laughed and I cried. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and did not want it to end. I do believe there will be a sequel and I will wait impatiently for it to come around. This book is a must read.
Lsmdtb5 3 months ago
What a beautiful story. Quinn has quite a time figuring out her family history. Lucky her, it was all in Maui! It was interesting reading about Hawaiian customs. I really enjoyed this book. Kay Bratt made me feel as if I were there. Well done. I
Nanna51 3 months ago
Since this is the first book that I have read by Kay Bratt, I didn’t know what to expect, but I must say I was blown away with her ability to paint a picture with words and to draw me into the story quickly. Quinn’s mother whispers a long-held secret on her deathbed, sending Quinn on a quest to discover her heritage. Her search takes her to the island of Maui, where she meets Liam, her guide who becomes her friend and helper in her quest. This is a magical look at one woman’s search for her ancestry and her discovery of so much more. The words used to describe the island of Maui and its people took me on a virtual journey there because they were all so alive and full of color. It was obvious from the descriptions that the author didn’t just research for this novel, but she traveled there and shared part of her heart for the place with her readers. Filled with a history of the culture and traditions of Hawaii, this book is to be read and enjoyed by anyone who likes women’s fiction and romance. The captivating story took me to places I have never been and showed me those places through the eyes of a woman named Quinn, someone who was trying to discover her past but found her future, also. I loved this book and highly recommend it! Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Annette5151 3 months ago
A very good story about a girl trying to find who her father is! This book sucked me in from page one! It was so good I read it in one afternoon! If you haven’t read a book by this author, you need to run to the nearest bookstore or better yet preorder this one! It’s book one in a series and I can’t wait to read the next one!! Loved the characters and the story! Definitely recommend! Thanks to Netgalley,Lake Union Publishers and the author for this early copy
Mommagabs 4 months ago
A tale of finding oneself after a lifetime of believing you know yourself. Quinn had a loving mother her whole life, and a missing father. Or so she believed. The discovery that this wasn't true, on her mother's deathbed, rocks her world. She determines to go to Maui, where her mother grew up, and seek the truth. Little does she know how many tangles she will have to unravel in her search for her true father. Complicating matters are a possessive and controlling fiance who doesn't want Quinn to strike out on her own in search of the truth. and an issue with the house she impulsively buys on the island. Kay Bratt writes from her heart. She imbues each work with a piece of her heart, and this one is no different.
lauriesophee 4 months ago
"Whatever you find at the end of the day, it will not change the person you are. But you may need to dig deep and find forgiveness for all that has transpired." This quote is the theme of this beautifully written novel. Quinn goes to Hawaii following her Mom's death. She needs to find an answer to her mom's final statement that her father was not her biological father. The answers and peace that Quinn seeks must be in Maui where her mom grew up. However, this trip is way more than Quinn will ever imagine! You will find heartbreak, love, family, friendship, forgiveness and mystery throughout this incredible journey. Well written and heartfelt, I found myself emotional so many times as I was reading. I definitely needed tissues! I loved it! Well done!
LoriKB 4 months ago
You had me at Maui and genealogy. My favorite place and the study I find fascinating. This book sucks you in at the beginning and holds you until the end. Just unbelievable enough to be totally believable. Quinn and her mother are very close. But, on her mother’s deathbed, Quinn is told something that rocks her world; the story she has been told all along about her father is a lie. This starts a mystery Quinn needs to unravel herself. This starts her impulsive decision to buy a house, site unseen, and fly to Maui, a place very special to her mom. From here, the story unfolds with many heartbreaking twists. This was my first book by Ms. Bratt, and I look forward to reading more. Her writing and storylines flow effortlessly and she brings her characters to life, with all their flaws and strengths. She describes the beauty of Maui perfectly, making you feel like you are there. Aloha! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC. Opinion is mine alone.
Christianfictionandmore 4 months ago
As Christians we know that we are to be true to who God created us to be; if we accomplish that we are being true to ourselves as well. How often do we allow ourselves to be shaped in the image of who someone else says we should be? Parents, spouses, significant others, even friends may set up expectations for how we should live our lives. Some of that may truly be good, but are we cognizant of when boundaries are breached? If so, do we allow that to occur, or do we reestablish those boundaries? Traveling along with Quinn Maguire as she discovers her true self may help readers explore such questions. Quinn's story is compelling. While I most often review Christian fiction, I did enjoy this secular, contemporary tale. Kay Bratt's works are always fully engaging, and transport me into the characters' world. They give me pause to contemplate some of the social and personal issues of our day. True to Me is no exception. I am very grateful to have received a copy from the author and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and received no monetary compensation.
LindaSanTan 4 months ago
This book surprised me when I had become convinced I wouldn't be surprised. Quinn lives in Savannah with her fiance. Her mother has just died leaving her with an inheritance she didn't expect along with a cryptic message. Her absent father, and the guy listed on her birth certificate, isn't her father. But her mother wouldn't tell her who her father actually is. Quinn decides to go to where her mother grew up to try to find answers. She uses part of her inheritance to buy a house in Maui where she finds big surprises awaiting her that she certainly didn't anticipate. I went through the best part of the book being convinced I had guessed the ending which was disappointing to me at the time. Too predictable, I thought. But I was wrong. I was pleasantly surprised when things went in a direction I didn't anticipate. That's a really good thing for me. There is also a potential love story here. There is certainly a big mystery. And you will grow to like the main characters as you root for them to be successful. There are definite hints of a sequel here. But that's not to say this book didn't conclude satisfactorily. In other words, there were no big cliffhangers here. All in all, I ended up really liking this book and will be reading any sequel(s) that may follow. Thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy, and this is my fair and honest review.
Margaret Yelton 4 months ago
I received the ARC of True to Me from NetGalley and the publisher and this is my honest opinion of this book. My first book by this author, and I found it amazing. It contained so many emotions from deceit, betrayal, forgiveness and redemption. Quinn is determined to find out whom her birth father is after her mothers death, I thought the book was so well written it seemed like I was right there in the book following along beside Quinn to find out what would happen next. I would highly recommend this book to others.
teachlz 4 months ago
Kay Bratt, author of "True to Me" has written an intriguing, captivating, emotional and magical novel. The story takes place mostly on Maui, and the timeline for the story is set in the present and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters or the events. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Women's Fiction, Romance, and a touch of Magic. The author describes the characters as mostly likable, complex and complicated. The main themes in this novel are family secrets, forgiveness, and second chances. I also appreciate that the author discusses the importance of family, friends, neighbors, love, and hope. Quinn Maguire finds out on her mother's death bed, that the man she thought was her father that abandoned her wasn't. Quinn also has her mother's ashes and is bringing them to Maui, where her mother's childhood home was. Quinn is hoping that she can uncover secrets and discover the truth about her life. On the island, Quinn starts to feel the magic and meets interesting people. Is it possible that Quinn will learn who she really is? I would highly recommend this entertaining and thought-provoking and emotional novel.
MKF 4 months ago
Quinn's mother blew her away when she made the deathbed confession that the man she thought was her father was not. Her mother's request that her ashes be scattered on Maui leads her there to find out more about her mother, as well as her father. Would that we all be so lucky as to be able to afford a house there, sight unseen or not. The complication that there's a family living in the home seemed a contrivance but it did help to round out the chartered. Quinn's fiancé Ethan is a worm but she doesn't seem to realize this til she's in Hawaii. This nicely written novel is really about a woman who remakes her life and finds her feet after a surprise and a move. Thanks to Netgalley for the ArC.