July 29, 2014 6 Comments

‘TRUTH BE TOLD,’ BY CAROL COX. Review of the historical novel by the Bethany House author. All review text © Rissi JC

Trying new authors always suggests there is some kind of “risk” involved. Either we’ll walk away with a beautiful new story to fill our minds for times to come and a new favorite pen to share about with friends or we come away disappointed. Whatever the case, sometimes the happy medium is just enjoying an easy story.


STORY: This book introduces us to Amelia Wagner, a smart, opinionated daughter of a journalist father. Ever since her parent’s separation, Amelia has lived with her mother in the city, enjoying every advantage most society girls dream of. Only Amelia isn’t like most girls. She’d rather follow in her father’s footsteps and when she returns to Arizona to learn that her father is ill and soon after he dies, she decides to take up not just his mantle but also the story he was chasing about the Great Western company – a story that leads her straight into the path of Ben Stone, a “company man,” who has his own task to accomplish. 

Truth Be Told, by Carol Cox | Book Review

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Considering I haven’t read any of Carol’s books (I own two), I thought reading one of her novels might be fun. Unfortunately, I just didn’t find this one interesting. It has a nice message and some of the morals it explores are solid, there just doesn’t seem to be the same kind of depth most of its peers have. For starters the characters don’t shine. Amelia has a moment in the beginning when she puts a young flirt in his place, so the further I read into the story, the more I expect a spunky character. Only she never really becomes “real” beyond that point. Same goes for Ben. Sure, I like him and respect him for respecting Amelia, but again, he never really “came off the page,” which is something we should search for and not unrealistically expect of a good novel.

What is interesting is the embedded message in this novel about searching for and following our convictions of truth no matter where it leads. In this, there is no disconnect, however the plot overshadows the ability for the reader to connect with its protagonists.

Amelia’s journey led her to the right place, which is nothing to undermine and while I have no intention of doing that, in some ways, the greatest of her strengths was also the overall downfall of the idea. With little time left in the story, there is some breath-catching will-they-or-won’t-they in determining if a dire situation will be resolved with a happier conclusion. There are some cute bits of banter including a consistently interrupted kiss. If you like the western genre or the popular, Mary Connealy, check into Truth be Told. It just may be the summer read you are looking for.

About the Book:

Author: Carol Cox
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2014
Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon | Goodreads | Novel Crossing | WordPress
Find the Book Elsewhere: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Historical, Inspirational
Rating: 3 out of 5

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Tressa S July 31, 2014 at 5:21 AM

    Hmm. I love Mary Connealy, but her characters always have spunk and there's always plenty of humor and danger and romance. I'll have to think about this one. Thanks for the review, Rissi!

    • Rissi July 31, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      Cool, I'm glad you like Mary's novels, Tressa. I read one of her series way back when and they weren't favorites, though I agree, probably her characters were spunkier! ;)

  • Bekah M. August 1, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    I was wondering is I should give this one a shot, but I'm glad I read your review because I've read too many books lately that I just couldn't get interested in and this one sounds like it would be the same with me! Thanks for the review, Rissi. :)

    • Rissi August 1, 2014 at 8:23 PM

      It wasn't my kind of book… though I'm sure lots of readers really enjoyed it! Thank goodness we don't all like the same thing I always say. ;)

      Thanks for reading, Bekah.

  • LJ Bayer August 5, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    I like to try new authors, and maybe I will give her a shot one day but one thing I love in a book is characters that leap off the page. By following your blog I have noticed we have a lot of the same taste in books and authors so I will probably skip this one but may try a different book by her in the future.

    • Rissi August 5, 2014 at 7:46 PM

      For me, this one just didn't "work," LJ, but I know readers who do enjoy Carol's novels. It's fun to know we have similar tastes – always cool to have that in common with fellow book readers. :)

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