the totality of a lie

How far would you go to cover a lie? One lie often leads to another, and another, and another. And where does it end? What if that means you break a law? What if that means you break your spouse's heart? How far are you willing to go? 

Kit McCall is willing to go just about anywhere, to see a solar eclipse, that is. He keeps a map labeled with every eclipse in his lifetime. His first eclipse was with his dad and his twin brother when he was a kid. Now Kit is an adult, in a relationship with Laura Langrishe , and he draws her into his love of eclipses and wants to share them all with her. The eclipses are like festivals, with people traveling from far and wide to share the eclipse, the totality (where the sun is covered by the moon), and to celebrate the amazing experience. So of course, it's at the eclipse where everything starts to go wrong. 

Laura and Kit climbed to the top of a truck to try to catch the eclipse through the clouds. But after they come back down to earth, Laura sees a couple in a delicate situation, and based on their facial expressions and body language, she thinks it's a rape. She immediately springs to help the woman, and continues to help her through the trial and the man's threats of an appeal. But her choices and her involvement put both her and Kit in danger, even mortal danger. So she lies to Kit, now her husband, and keeps her secrets locked inside, where they fester, only shining out as extreme anxiety. 

As the years go by, Laura's secret threatens everything she holds dear. How long can she hold on to her secret? Or will it break out and destroy them all? 

Meanwhile, Kit has secrets of his own. He knows more about what happened after the eclipse then he has told Laura about. He has his own lies, his own choices, his own dangerous and potentially deadly consequences. 

When everyone has a secret, when everyone is lying to protect someone else (or themselves), who do you believe? How can you find out what the truth really is, when what he said and what she said don't agree? 

Erin Kelly's mesmerizing new novel, He Said/She Said is powerhouse of a novel, told in perfect portions, layers of truth and secrets, down through to the essence of a relationship, to the essence of a person's relationship with the truth, to our relationship with ourselves. It is as close to perfect a book as I've read this year, and I recommend this one wholeheartedly. Clearly, there is some difficult material, so this isn't for everyone. But it a spectacular novel, and one most definitely worth picking up this summer. 


Advance reading copy of He Said/She Said provided by Minotaur Books, with many thanks.