The Truth About Delilah Blue (Blog Tour)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Title: The Truth About Delilah Blue
Author: Tish Cohen
Pages: 409
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Harper Perennial (Harper Collins)
Release Date: June 8, 2010

The Truth About Delilah Blue was a somewhat melancholic read about a young woman who has grown up without her mother who seemingly abandoned her. The absence of her mother has plagued "Lila" and has diminished her ability to achieve a confident self-identity as she enters her 20's. Lila starts secretly modeling nude for art classes as a way to make some extra money and to achieve an education in art that her father refuses to pay for, believing she should pursue a business degree. Then Lila's mother unexpectedly re-enters her life, providing Lila with the maternal love she's so longed for. But what does this mean for her father who has raised her all this time? What secrets will Lila learn about both her parents, and how will this affect what she believes about herself and about family?

What follows is a fairly paced story about about Lila and her journey to figure out more of who she is and who her parents were. She's forced to face a variety of truths that she may not be ready to see. In the meantime, her father starts to succumb to Alzheimer's which complicates matters even more. There are two main secrets or "truths" to be found out in Delilah Blue. The first is extremely obvious; I question whether or not it was meant as a secret to the reader too or just to Lila. Ultimately, I believe in this case, due to its transparency, that the reader was given an omniscient view of the situation and allowed to merely watch until Lila learns the secret for herself. The second "truth" wasn't quite as conspicuous but was implied by prior foreshadowing. Nevertheless, these secrets lent themselves to interesting and well-defined characters that made the book a thoughtful and quick read.

It surprised me, however, that this turned out to be a fast read for me because the pace was slower than I expected and the mood more morose. The narrative switched back and forth from Lila's view and that of her father's. And interspersed among these narratives was a separate point of view, though still from the father's -- this narrative explained the couple weeks leading up to the apparent abandonment of Lila by her mother when Lila was 8-years-old. The entire truth is then revealed over time to the reader. This narrative style likely made it a quicker read because it maintained my interest maybe more than it would have otherwise.

Although the characters were well-defined, as I stated earlier, I really had trouble with them. I despised the mother (though I'm sure most will); I found my frustrations with and sorrow for the father coinciding and conflicting; and Lila's significant lack of self irritated me -- but then again, she's only 20-years-old! I'm sure I was like that too at 20. My favorite character, and one which I would have loved to learn more about (though I suppose it wouldn't have fit in this specific story) was 8-year-old Keirnan Scarlett (with two T's, she says) Lovett. Her precocious and overly mature ways were adorable (wearing school uniforms just because she's more comfortable in them, etc.) as were her other quirks.

In all, while there were moments in this book that were sort of dull for me, I inevitably fell for the characters and story and they have stayed with me since closing the book. The Truth About Delilah Blue is a good example of thoughtful women's fiction.

This review is part of TLC Book Tours.
Follow the rest of the tour at the following stops:

Tuesday, June 29th: Galleysmith
Wednesday, June 30th: Write Meg
Thursday, July 1st: 1330v

Or go back and catch up from the beginning:

Tuesday, June 8th: Confessions of a Bookaholic
Monday, June 14th: Chefdruk Musings
Wednesday, June 16th: Books By Their Cover
Thursday, June 17th: Cindy’s Love of Books
Tuesday, June 22nd: Crazy for Books
Wednesday, June 23rd: Books Like Breathing
Thursday, June 24th: Jenn’s Bookshelves


Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

I read this novel too, and I thought it was a good one. Delilah's lack of sense of self, which was a major focus of the story, didn't bother me. I was just as adrift at 20, and my life was a lot less confusing. ;-) Actually I'm still working on developing my sense of self now at -- ahem -- 43!

nomadreader said...

I had a similar reaction to you. I don't consider myself a fan of women's fiction, but I do like coming of age stories. I read the novel quite quickly (the first half in one sitting), but I wasn't terribly engaged. Ultimately, for me, there was no surprise, and knowing what was going on before the characters did got old quickly. I enjoyed Cohen's writing, but the story and characters were a little dull for me. I do agree fans of women's fiction and older teen readers would like it more than I did.

Trisha said...

Very well-written review Jenny! I don't read chick lit very often as it tends to be too cutesy for me; quirky on the other hand I love, so maybe I'll pick this one up.

Zibilee said...

Wonderful review! I am sort of on the fence about this one, but there are somethings I definitely think sound interesting to me. I think I am going to have to research this one a bit further and continue to follow the tour to see if this is the right book for me. Thanks for the excellent review on this book!

Jenny said...

Stephanie -- yeah, I shouldn't let that bother me. I'm definitely still developing mine, haha!

Nomadreader -- I agree with you that the lack of surprise made it sort of dull. And I couldn't totally tell if it was the intention or not for us to be surprised or not.

Trisha -- thanks! yeah, I wouldn't consider this one cutesy like a lot of chick lit is.

Faye said...

I love Cohen's other book Little Black lies. I definitely have 2 read this one! Great review.

Connie said...

I love that you called this book "thoughtful." From that turn of phrase I feel like I have an idea of how this book would read, and I have to admit I'm intrigued.

Thanks for posting this review!

heathertlc said...

It seems that her parents caused mixed feeling in many readers, at least in the reviews I've seen.

I'm so glad that you really enjoyed this one in spite of the flaws. Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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