Book Review Time: Verity 

The fervent and polarizing reaction to Colleen Hoover’s Verity on several bookish social media sites was my first warning. And then, later on, when I asked two friends who had already read the novel, what their opinion of it was, my query was met with wide-eyed silence and a noticeable wringing of hands. They didn’t know where to begin and clearly wanted to change the subject. That was my second warning. I didn’t wait around for a third. I’m hard-headed and entirely too curious. Plus, Target has a whole section of shelves devoted to the works of Colleen Hoover, so I figured why not? 

I need a drink after this read!

Verity tells the story of a struggling writer, Lowen Ashleigh. Reeling from the recent death of her mother, and beset with financial burdens, Lowen reluctantly accepts a job offer that could potentially change her fortunes. She has been hired to write the remaining books in a series created by famed author, Verity Crawford. A recent accident has left Mrs. Crawford incapacitated. But the show must go on, and Verity’s publishers are willing to pay handsomely for Lowen’s services. Though she has her reservations, Lowen concedes in part because she is drawn to Verity’s grief-stricken husband, Jeremy.

In order to prepare for the assignment, Lowen spends time in the Crawford home. And as she grows closer to Jeremy, she also discovers the dark side of Verity Crawford, by way of an unfinished autobiographical manuscript hidden in Verity’s office. The contents of this manuscript are disturbing to say the least; personal confessions that most wouldn’t dare put to paper. With such damning information literally in the palm of her hands, Lowen is conflicted on how to proceed. An argument can be made that some secrets should remain hidden. By keeping these particular secrets, Lowen would be protecting Jeremy and the memory of his beloved wife. But if Verity’s true nature were to be revealed, it would not only be painful for those involved, it could also be potentially dangerous.

Several years ago, after I read the novel Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, I remember declaring I would never read another book by her. I try not to use the word “never.” It’s so inflexible. And if we’re being honest with ourselves, we can’t really know with certainty what we’ll “never” do. When I was younger I often said I’d never eat brussel sprouts as an adult. Now it’s one of my favorite vegetables. So you understand what I’m getting at? Gone Girl was so disturbing to me that I decided right then and there that I would never read another book by Gillian Flynn. It’s extreme. I admit it. But my Godfrey, have you read that book?

Anyway, just when I thought nothing could shock or disturb me more, I read Verity.

I find it very difficult to review this novel or add anything to the discussion that hasn’t already been said. Verity is not a book for everyone. It is unsettling. It is sexually explicit. There’s graphic language. There are scenes of child abuse and neglect. The plot is shaky. The ending’s infuriating. And the writing, quite frankly, isn’t good. But for whatever reason something draws you in and you begin to question your own sanity as you bear witness to the chaos. What’s the term for that? Fascination with the abomination? Whatever it may be, I know one thing for sure. I will NEVER venture into the imagination of Colleen Hoover again.


3 thoughts on “Book Review Time: Verity 

  1. I did not have this experience with Verity but I had it with her other book It Ends With Us. After that book, I immediately took off all other books from Colleen Hoover from my TBR.

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