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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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Book Review: ‘Verity’ by Colleen Hoover (SPOILER ALERT!)

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I learned of the word-of-mouth hype surrounding Colleen Hoover’s Verity just a few years ago. 

Once I heard of the book’s re-release this year and talks of a possible film production, I dove right in, and I’m glad I did. It’s a page-turning, mind-boggling psychological thriller that will dominate your time until you reach its unforgettable twist. 

The book powerfully opens with a New York City pedestrian being hit by a truck. His blood is splattered on Lowen Ashleigh, a writer and severe introvert, setting the stage for an ominous tale. 

Lowen, who is on her way to an important meeting, is quickly assisted by Jeremy, who takes her into a coffee shop bathroom to offer her his shirt, which is free from blood. They both share something in common — Lowen just lost her mother and Jeremy just lost his twin daughters. 

There is an instant connection. 

Just a few blocks away, Lowen, who will soon be evicted from her apartment, attends a meeting at her publisher’s office. Lo and behold, Jeremy – who is married to bestselling author Verity Crawford, is present. We come to learn Verity has been in a terrible accident that’s left her unable to complete her series. Jeremy and the publishing house are willing to pay Lowen to not only complete the series, but to study Verity’s work in hopes of mastering her very distinguished form of writing – from the villain’s point of view. 

After weighing her options, Lowen accepts the offer and prepares to stay a few nights at the couples’ home in Vermont where she will study Verity’s work in hopes for a successful completion of the series. In doing so, Lowen stumbles upon Verity’s rather gruesome autobiography where she vividly describes trying to abort her twins, a disconnect from her children, an unhealthy obsession with Jeremy, and how she killed her daughter. 

As the days turn into weeks, Lowen finds herself more and more uncomfortable in the house. Yes, Verity is believed to be lifeless, as she has a nurse caring for her, and is unable to move, stuck in an emotionless state. However, Lowen isn’t convinced Verity is as helpless as she may seem. Strange things start to occur, with the latter half carried by use of art as coping mechanism demonstrations and how sometimes reading someone’s autobiography should not be automatically taken at face value. It’s a story that will follow you beyond the final chapter. 

Verity leaves the reader accepting one of two “truths.” I personally believe Verity’s autobiography is one no mother can make up, not even as a coping mechanism. In my opinion, the expressive language used to describe such malice towards her babies could not have been exercised merely to better her writing skills, as she claimed. Verity was a deep, dark, manipulative soul. 

Colleen Hoover masters thrill writing. After finishing the book in what I consider personal record time, I kept pondering on the outcome trying to make sense of all the twists and turns. If there is one thing that I am certain of: I was a former avid reader, and Hoover definitely just re-lit an old flame. I feel as though she has revived a part of me that needed awakening. 

For that, I am beyond grateful.  

Deana D. Boles
Deana D. Boleshttp://www.messengerpapers.com
Deana D. Boles joined The Messenger as a contributing reporter in February of 2022. Now a staff writer, she covers a wide variety of topics, including entertainment, politics, health and parental guidance - in addition to conducting food reviews of local restaurants as part of her weekly column, "Dining with Deana."