BOOK STEW REVIEW: ‘The Dazzling Truth’ by Helen Cullen

Below is the latest Book Stew Review from Eileen MacDougall, the host of the 80+ episodes of Book Stew, a 30 minute video and podcast devoted to writing in all forms, featuring authors, playwrights, voice artists, and journalists.

‘The Dazzling Truth’ by Helen Cullen

This lovely novel really captures the “black dog” of depression and its impact on all surrounding family members. Maeve, an American studying drama, and Murtagh, an Irish potter, meet in Dublin in 1978, fall in love, and move to Inis Og, a tiny island, where Murtagh takes over a thriving pottery studio and Maeve tries to lose herself in him and in their four children. With no other outlets for her creativity, Maeve fights waves of bleak moods over and over as she tries to justify staying alive for her family and finally fails. Murtagh and the four children’s next chapters are surprisingly authentic and believable, and the story is a deep dive into a family of strong individuals who are able to use Maeve as a beacon rather than a reason to despair, although it’s far from an easy task.

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