True Story

A Novel

Kate Reed Petty,

True Story: A Novel
 
 
“Spellbinding.” —Megan Abbott, The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)

“Extraordinary . . . Fans of the formal inventiveness and twisty-turny narratives of Trust Exercise and A Visit From the Goon Squad will be immediately engrossed.” —R. Eric Thomas, Elle, “The Best Books of 2020 (So Far)” 

NAMED ONE OF THE HOTTEST BOOKS OF THE SUMMER BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY AND BUZZFEED

Tracing the fifteen-year fallout of a toxic high school rumor, a riveting, astonishingly original debut novel about the power of stories—and who gets to tell them


2015. A gifted and reclusive ghostwriter, Alice Lovett makes a living helping other people tell their stories. But she is haunted by the one story she can't tell: the story of, as she puts it, "the things that happened while I was asleep."

1999. Nick Brothers and his lacrosse teammates return for their senior year at their wealthy Maryland high school as the reigning state champions. They're on top of the world—until two of his friends drive a passed-out girl home from of the team's "legendary" parties, and a rumor about what happened in the backseat spreads through the town like wildfire.

The boys deny the allegations, and, eventually, the town moves on. But not everyone can. Nick descends into alcoholism, and Alice builds a life in fits and starts, underestimating herself and placing her trust in the wrong people. When she finally gets the opportunity to confront the past she can't remember—but which has nevertheless shaped her life—will she take it?

An inventive and breathtaking exploration of a woman finding her voice in the wake of trauma, True Story is part psychological thriller, part fever dream, and part timely comment on sexual assault, power, and the very nature of truth. Ingeniously constructed and full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the final pages, it marks the debut of a singular and daring new voice in fiction.


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