Book Review

Still True- by Maggie Ginsberg

A masterful, lyrical novel set in rural Wisconsin, Still True tells a simple story of complex characters whose lives interweave in poignant, engaging ways. Jack and Lib have been married thirty years and are still passionately in love, though each maintains a separate home miles apart. Claire, Dan, and their boy Charlie are new residents of the small town and Claire is suffocating in a marriage that has sapped her spark for life, as she turns increasingly to alcohol to shut down the voices inside her head telling her there is more to life than this. And then the inevitable stranger comes to town in the form of Matt, Lib’s son, whom she abandoned forty years before and has hidden from Jack all this time.

I gave myself the luxury of reading only a few chapters of this wonderful book a night, hoping this story would never end but just go on spooling out, filling my thoughts, touching my emotions, feeding me bit by bit the saga of these endearing, enduring people who came to mean so much to me. Very little “happens” in the sense of dramatic action scenes, yet in the way of great literature, everything does—jealousy, hurt, joy, connection, comfort, rage, and ultimately forgiveness.

If you’re a reader who’s tired of characters who come off as caricatures, plots too convoluted to ring true, and stories that veer away from exploring genuine human emotions in favor of off-the-cuff superficial fluff, this is the book for you. And if you’re a fan of Larry Watson, William Kent Krueger, and loved Chris Whitaker’s We Begin at the End, this belongs on your TBR list.