Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley *Stephanie’s Review*


I’ve been interested in Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley since I first read the synopsis a few years ago. There just aren’t a lot of books written about the years between the end of WWII and contemporary fiction. I think it’s why I enjoyed The Help so much.

Reading about Civil Rights and events such as Virginia schools being forced to integrate really brings it to life. During my lifetime the majority of the Civil Rights movement was over. (There is still room for improvement!) It made me understand that 40 to 50 years ago life was far form what my life was like. I was so uncomfortable reading this book. I can’t tell you how many times I cringed when I read about how the first few black students were treated; how teachers ignored the things that were happening.

I feel like the story arc of sexuality distracted from the integration story arc. Not only did we have integration to conquer but sexuality as well. In 1959 that would have been considered two strikes against a person. That doesn’t mean that I think there weren’t people who faced these social issues at that time. It felt disjointed. I don’t feel like the sexuality aspect was terribly realistic in a book that was pretty realistic about integration. I felt like something was being added because it sounded good but wasn’t fleshed out enough.

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