The May Book Club Choice in the Great Thoughts’ Great Readers Facebook Group is Lies and Other Acts of Love by Kristy Harvey. This is Kristy’s second book and it is just perfect. Just read the Elin Hilderbrand blurb on the front. Wow!
I was honored to do a cover reveal for this book. Read that post here.
Our book club will begin on May 25th at noon CST and continue through 5 pm on May 26th. Kristy will join us on Facebook. This is a laid back book club where you just chime in on the Facebook thread as you have time. If you’d like to join us, request membership here.
Enter here to win one of five copies of Lies and Other Acts of Love:
I asked Kristy to share here the story behind the story:
My four-year-old son loves Animal Planet. Recently, we were watching a show about otters. Alligators are one of the otters’ main predators, and, when an otter is alone, it’s toast. That alligator will have gobbled it up before it can turn to run. But when an alligator is up against a whole family of otters, it doesn’t stand a chance. Because, together, they are such an imposing force (And so annoying! Seriously.) that the alligator has no choice but to retreat.
This, in a nutshell, is why I write about families.
I’m an only child situated in a very particular spot between a mother with three sisters who talk to each other every single day and a father with one brother who’s more the see-you-at-holidays-and-when-we-go-skiing type.
I thought I had a boring childhood. Now I see that it was boring in the really amazing way. My parents still love each other after thirty-five years and there was never much to worry about. I had great friends. My grandparents lived down the street. It was an idyllic situation by all accounts, which, of course, as a kid, you find totally uncool. I remember growing up thinking I must be the only girl in the world without a “crazy uncle” or that family member.
And I think maybe that’s where the idea for Lies and Other Acts of Love came from. What would happen if a girl, sort of like me, had had this golden childhood and kind of always did the right thing—until she really, really didn’t. And what if, in the wake of all that disappointment, she realized that her picture-perfect family? Well, let’s just say there are some skeletons. And not like little rat skeletons. Like, full-sized human ones.
But then, what would happen if none of that mattered? What would happen if love really did prevail? What would happen if love was big enough and great enough to transcend pretty much anything?
I wanted to write a different kind of love story, one about grit and commitment, one about what having a life and a family really means, one that was about sticking it out through the inconvenience of it all, not just in the easy parts with roses and love songs.
I am extremely close with my grandparents and always have been, so the relationship between Lovey and D-daddy, the grandparents in this book, was a bit influenced by them. My grandfather was always this invincible man, this sort of larger-than-life, incredibly powerful pillar. I used to laugh when people would tell me how intimidating he was in business because, to us, he was a teddy bear. I always saw him as the strong one in the relationship, but, as his health has faded in his old age and my grandmother has taken over the role of head of the family, I have gotten to see how unbelievably strong she was all this time. She is unwavering in her commitment to him and to her family. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, in fact.
The influence of her on the character of Lovey is undeniable. And all of the advice woven through the book is something that my grandmother has taught me, so, in that way, Lies and Other Acts of Love is incredibly close to my heart.
Annabelle, Lovey’s granddaughter and the other protagonist in this book, muses about perfect families, and I have to say that I really do believe in them. Perfect people don’t exist. No way. But, somehow, when you get a big, huge group of people together with the same DNA they start to become something different, they morph into something greater than the sum of their parts. Where one has weakness, the other has strength. Where one feels helpless, the other feels in control. And little by little, bit by bit, you begin to realize that, together, they are able to take on the world in a way that, apart, they never could. Just like those otters.
That’s what Lies and Other Acts of Love is about, really. It’s about those people in your life, same DNA or no, who make you better than you are, who are `there for you even when it’s inconvenient, who stick up for you when the chips are down. They’re those people you can call at three am when you have a flat tire. Or, if you’re an otter, when that alligator is chasing you.
Either way, if you live long enough, you will inevitably find something to run from. And, in life and in Lies and Other Acts of Love, it’s the people who are right there, running beside you, who mean the very most.
What are you reading and where are you going?