Book review: 'The Ordinary Truth' tells story of love, loss and loyalty

Published: Saturday, Nov. 10 2012 4:00 p.m. MST

"THE ORDINARY TRUTH," by Jana Richman, Torrey House Press, $16.95, 368 pages (f)

There are many different kinds of secrets.

Some are fun. Some are dark. Some are personal.

The secrets on Baxter Ranch have been piling up for more than 36 years, and they are tearing a family apart.

When Henry Jorgensen is killed in a hunting accident, his wife, Nell, buries him with a secret. That secret caused an already distant relationship between Nell and her daughter Katie to completely dissolve.

Years later, Cassie, Katie's daughter, decides it's time to repair the damage that has been caused in the years since Henry died and uncover the secrets that are forcing her family apart. But the kind of information Cassie wants comes with a lot of hard memories and forces a lot of long unspoken words to come to the surface.

Author Jana Richman writes each chapter of "The Ordinary Truth" from the perspective of one of the many family members connected to Baxter Ranch. By giving space to hear the innermost thoughts of each character, Richman helps readers understand and feel deeply each side of a complex story. The format allows readers to become part of the family and feel the loss they experienced more clearly.

Just when you think you've figured out some of the secrets of Baxter Ranch, Richman throws in information that gives the reader enough doubt to create a page-turning story — compelling readers to discover the truth.

Richman gives new thought to the old cliche, "The truth will set you free."

"The Ordinary Truth" is set in the beautiful desert ranching district of Nevada, adding a component of simple charm and memories for any Utah reader who is in love with the desert.

This story contains profane language and sexual references that may not be appropriate for young readers.

If you go ...

What: Jana Richman book signing

When: Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Hikari Loftus is a graduate from the University of Utah.

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