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TEAM ZOELLA MAY 5, 2021

April Book Club: The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson

Touching on race relations, family ties, motherhood, class and what it means to be black in America, Johnson’s timely debut novel is a heartfelt portrayal and a deeply necessary book for all readers.

Nancy Johnson’s, The Kindest Lie, tells the story of Ruth Tuttle, a young black Yale-educated chemical engineer tethered to her past by a burning family secret not even her husband knows.

Touching on race relations, family ties, motherhood, class and what it means to be black in America, Johnson’s timely debut novel is a heartfelt portrayal and a deeply necessary book for all readers.

If you’re looking to diversify your reading list by exploring new voices and learning about perspectives and cultures that differ from your own, The Kindest Lie is a great book to pick up.

Here’s a reminder of the blurb and a look at the team’s reviews for this dazzling debut.

A promise could betray you.

It’s 2008, and the inauguration of President Barack Obama ushers in a new kind of hope. In Chicago, Ruth Tuttle, an Ivy-League educated Black engineer, is married to a kind and successful man. He’s eager to start a family, but Ruth is uncertain. She has never gotten over the baby she gave birth to and was forced to leave behind when she was a teenager. She had promised her family she’d never look back, but Ruth knows that to move forward, she must make peace with the past.

Returning home, Ruth discovers the Indiana factory town of her youth is plagued by unemployment, racism, and despair. As she begins digging into the past, she unexpectedly befriends Midnight, a young white boy who is also adrift and looking for connection. Just as Ruth is about to uncover a burning secret her family desperately wants to keep hidden, a traumatic incident strains the town’s already searing racial tensions, sending Ruth and Midnight on a collision course that could upend both their lives.

Powerful and revealing, The Kindest Lie captures the heartbreaking divide between Black and white communities and offers both an unflinching view of motherhood in contemporary America and the never-ending quest to achieve the American Dream.

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