Review of A Fearful Lie by Jean Fournier Johnson

A Fearful LieA Fearful Lie by Jean Fournier Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gloria is a forty-four year old married mother with two twenty-something girls. We first meet Gloria when she stops at a local bar for drinks, gets behind the wheel of the family mini-van, hits and kills a neighborhood child, and flees the scene. She rationalizes leaving the dead three-year-old on the sidewalk, where his mother will eventually find him, by convincing herself no good could possibly come from turning herself in to the authorities – after all, “the child is dead, so calling an ambulance is pointless”. Gloria also has her own family to think about, so she goes about her life, living a fearful life.

When I first began reading A Fearful Lie I groaned – it’s written in my least favorite tense and POV – present and first person. I also wondered how far I’d get after reading that a woman – a mother herself no less – had struck and killed a child and went on with life as usual. But, as I read further I realized this book is so much more than that. Gloria doesn’t go on with life as usual. She’s sentenced herself to live the rest of her life in a prison of her own making. I quickly forgot about tense and POV and was able to breeze through the story in one glorious day.

I LOVED A Fearful Lie. It was touching and heartbreakingly beautiful. Jean Fournier Johnson is a wonderful writer, who definitely has a way with words. Her characters have depth and substance. Her descriptive prose expertly put me right into the story. I had no choice but to immerse myself in her story and quickly become invested in the outcome. She made me feel the pain Gloria lived with. I was extremely surprised to find out that this is the author’s first novel.

I would highly recommend A Fearful Lie to readers. I will certainly look for more from this amazing author. received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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