This novel is powerful, moving, deep, and marvelously infused with the author’s faith. It grabbed places in my psyche that I barely knew were there, and it has refused to let go.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a personal friend of the author; we have known each other since college. Thus, any positive comments I have may be partly due to my personal bias as her friend. I will do my best to avoid this bias, but doing that perfectly is impossible because if she were not my friend, I would never have known this book existed.
The author achieves many great things in this novel. She created flawed yet compelling characters, moved me to admire Elliot, and took this reader through the growth and maturation of her characters. Running through these achievements are many motifs, including abandonment, rescue, faith, God as father, and uncertainty.
Regarding my admiration for Elliot, some explanation is required. Like Silas, I enjoy words, am an astronomy buff, and have long hair. I was bullied in high school, and several of those bullies were football players. In Elliot, Sommers created a character so realistic and yet contrary to stereotypes that I admire the football player more than the long-haired astronomy buff! That is an amazing achievement.
I think her greatest achievement is getting me to join in her characters’ emotions and growth, but I cannot detail that without spoilers.
You may be wondering if I liked or enjoyed this book. My answer is that those not the right words; they do not have enough gravity, power, or depth to accommodate the emotional and spiritual wallop contained in Truest. I was moved, amazed, surprised, and deeply touched by this novel. It was far deeper and more powerful than I expected. She has crafted a parable (or series of parables) that honors her faith and respects her readers.