BERRY, Julie All the Truth That’s In Me HarperCollins, 2013 310pp $19.99 pbk +e ISBN 9780732298067 SCIS 1626740
In a small rural community, Judith’s disappearance for two years is regarded as shocking. She is an outcast, diminished by everyone, including her widowed mother. When the village is attacked, Judith returns to her captor to get help, and the village is even more convinced that Judith is a bad girl. Her actions have involved the love of her life, Lucas, who is also brought before the community and accused of fornication. Both Judith and Lucas are innocent, and the true perpetrator of crimes is finally exposed.
There are shades of the Salem trials, Judith is dumb for much of the book, there are vindictive women and old crones rampaging throughout, and plot weaknesses. If Judith is able to walk or ride to her captor’s hide-out, why didn’t she escape? She tried once, we are told, but was recaptured. For a feisty girl with a strong sense of justice, the reader could expect better of her. And why does it need just one supporter to encourage her to speak after years of silence? It is interesting to see this Puritanism at work in America’s early days, although exactly when, or where, is not clear. However, the romance between Lucas and Judith is well done, and Judith is an appealing heroine. SL