Firstly I wish to thank Syria Vardaharajan for inviting me on this Blog Tour for The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually by Helen Cullen.
On an island off the west coast of Ireland, the Moone family are shattered by tragedy.
Murtagh Moone is a potter and devoted husband to Maeve, an actor struggling with her most challenging role yet – being a mother to their four children. Now Murtagh must hold his family close as we bear witness to their story before that tragic night.
We return to the day Maeve and Murtagh meet, outside Trinity College in Dublin, and watch how one love story gives rise to another. And as the Moone children learn who their parents truly are, we journey onwards with them to a future that none of the Moones could predict . . .
Except perhaps Maeve herself.
The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is a celebration of the complex, flawed and stubbornly optimistic human heart.
Although the story begins in the present day it feels like it is much further back in time. Murtagh, his wife Maeve and their four children live on a small island off the Irish coast, where life is pretty basic and the elements feel extreme. It seems more like the end of the story but tragedy is re-setting their lives in a new direction.
The story drops back to how the couple met thirty years before, the obvious differences between them and the choices that take them to the island and their lives together. You know early on that things are not normal in this household but there is a stigma that makes the family battle on turning a blind eye to gossip and accepting what life has thrown at them.
Maeve’s thoughts and feeling pour out from the chapters, her battles that exhaust her mentally and physically. The author captures how the lives of this not so normal family are affected. It is beautifully written, it is raw, heartbreaking, full of love and moving on. It is fear of having what you have and fear of losing it. It is life.
I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Cullen is an Irish writer living in London.
Her debut novel, THE LOST LETTERS OF WILLIAM WOOLF was published in 2018 by Penguin Random House in the UK, Ireland, Australia and South Africa and published in the USA by Harper Collins in 2019. The novel has also sold in translation to numerous foreign markets including Germany, Italy, Greece, Russia and Israel.
In addition, Lost Letters has been optioned for television by Mainstreet Productions whose past successes include Downtown Abbey and Broadchurch. Helen was also shortlisted as Best Newcomer at this year’s Irish Books Awards.
Helen’s second novel, THE TRUTH MUST DAZZLE GRADUALLY, will be published in May 2020 by Penguin Random House in the UK, Ireland, Australia and South Africa and in August 2020 as THE DAZZLING TRUTH in North America by Harper Collins.
Before writing, Helen started her career with Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE (Ireland’s national broadcaster) where she worked in radio broadcasting before moving to London in 2010. She subsequently worked for companies such as the BBC and The Times before her most recent role in Google where she worked before signing her publishing contract.
Helen wrote the first draft of her debut novel, The Lost Letters of William Woolf, while completing the Guardian/UEA novel writing programme under the mentorship of Michele Roberts. She holds a B.A. Communications from Dublin City University, an M.A. Theatre Studies from University College Dublin and an M.A. in English Literature at Brunel University in London.
Helen is now writing full-time, working on her third novel and will commence a PHD in 2020.