The Truth About Forever

8 Jul


I love Sarah Dessen and it’s not just because she’s from North Carolina and all her stories capture the emotional feeling of a part of the country that is near and dear to my own heart.  And, it’s not just because it was my 15-year-old sister, Maggie, who introduced me to Dessen with Dreamland, Dessen’s riveting novel about a teen girl’s experience in an abusive relationship.  I don’t just love Sarah Dessen’s writing because it brought forth a space for connecting with my sister and more so for raising her awareness of an alarmingly relevant issue. I love Sarah Dessen because every time I read one of her books it is familiar and satisfying yet intriguing and surprising. Which is exactly how I felt about The Truth About Forever when I read it a few summers ago – after finding at a yard sale. Oh, summer fun!

Since Dreamland I have read quite a few of Dessen’s novels but this was the first to touch me as deeply yet in a very different way. Macy is bummed because her boyfriend is away all summer at smart camp, she is stuck working at the library with the snotty, smart girls who resent her for dating in their clique, and, in addition to being a 16 year old girl and dealing with that, she is everyday coping with the loss of her father. Not to mention navigating the very different emotional responses her Mom and sister are having to moving forward as a family. When Macy is introduced to the members of Wish Catering she is introduced to an entirely new way of relating to the world. Oh yeah, and a really cute boy.

As someone who spent years working in restaurants, I appreciated Dessen’s ability to accurately invoke the chaotic essence of the service industry lifestyle while also presenting, and respecting, the intimacy of food preparation and family traditions built in kitchens. That Macy would discover this in a moment when her family traditions are dismantling is the first of many serendipitous moments that weave together her life-changing summer. It is a love story but a love story that reaches beyond romantic and into the deepest place your heart can go – into the heart of another.

The ultimate story is how life is full of unexpected opportunities and family can be born anywhere love thrives and love can, and does, thrive everywhere. Over the course of the summer, Macy falls deep into love with friends and family and, in the process, finds some of that love for herself.

Alicia’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Speak (April 2006)

3 Responses to “The Truth About Forever”

  1. Jeff Rivera 09. Jul, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    I haven’t read this one but it looks like a nice story. I heard Sarah Dessen is a talented writer and I want to read her story. Thanks for sharing it with us! This is a must read book!

    • pop! goes alicia 09. Jul, 2012 at 9:23 am #

      Yes, Jeff, definitely a must read..one of her best! Let me know how you like it!

  2. Nancye Davis 09. Jul, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    This is a GREAT book! I LOVE all of Sarah Dessen’s books! I can’t believe we have to wait until next spring for her next book—that’s WAY too long!!

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