BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Truth She Knew’-By Author, J. A. Owenby . . .



Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me.

For eighteen-year-old Lacey, life at home is a rollercoaster. She doesn’t think she’ll ever be good enough to truly deserve Mama’s love.

But when Lacey enters college and meets Walker, everything starts to change. Suddenly, Lacey is face to face with the realization that maybe what she’s always seen as normal really isn’t. Her entire life—and everything she’s ever believed about herself and her family—is abruptly hanging in midair.

Lacey is left facing two paths, and she has to make a choice. The first means walking away from everything she’s ever known. The other means never really knowing the truth.

The Truth She Knew offers an honest and powerful glimpse into mental illness, the meaning of true love, and the psychological waltz that a daughter dances as she endures her mother’s unpredictable emotions, manipulation, and abuse.



Rating: 5 Stars
An Amazing Story Of Contemporary Fiction with a Message.

I was very excited to be picked to receive an early copy for an honest read and book review.

With that said, this book is painful, in-depth, and even though it is a piece of fiction, it comes with several strong messages.

One? Parents? Listen to your KIDS.

As a childhood sex abuse and parental trauma abuse survivor myself, I have to share I was at times when reading the abusive and explosive dysfunctional relationship between Lacey and Mama; it had transported me back in time to my painful teen years. Not a bad comment, this proves the author did her job as a writer well. As this is an exceptional look inside mental illness and will help many.

What takes place in this dynamic storyline is real and are serious topics. The way the author formed and wrote her characters, narratives and fiction storyline gives a hint she has been through something like this herself or with a loved one. It can be a daunting task and fine line when writing about topics like mental health & illness, addiction and recovery and others without the reader feeling lost or disinterested.

That does not happen in this book! It grabs you from beginning to end and makes you want ‘Book Two’ in this series ready to read NOW. It too is a love story and will make you feel like I did, on a roller coaster of emotions. The read made me giggle, shed some tears from the pains Lacey had, and so much more. That tells me the author as a “writer” did her job with “passion.”

An excellent read I Highly Recommend for all and especially women!


J.A. Owenby’s Book is Available At These Locations:

Goodreads link


Barnes & Noble



Visit her Author Website to learn all about the author:


A bittersweet story of young love independence and soul-crushing manipulation. Just as Lacey is finding herself in life, growing in independence, and finding the sweet taste of love for the first time, her mother’s claws grow tighter and more painful as if she were trying to choke the life out of Lacey and completely break her spirit. A confused Lacey tries to make her mother love her through trying to anticipate her mother’s moods and desires and doing everything she can to please her.

These attempts are futile because her mother’s actions become increasingly more insane and erratic.. At the same time, Lacey both loves and hates her mother. Lacy lives a double life, trying to be a normal young woman with her abundance of friends, at school, and at work; and then living a horrific life at home. I fell in love with Lacey’s character and with Emma, her true friend. The author, JAOwenby, does a superb job of developing the characters and mixing normalcy with insanity throughout the plot. On the one hand, Lacey is an adorable and lovable young woman, and on the other hand, she is the victim of craziness and mind-numbing manipulation at home.

Even though she lives in an out of control situation, Lacey is strong and she consistently tries to make sense of her life and to figure out the truth of what is really going on. Lacey must find her strength to break out of her family pattern and become the person she truly wants to be. This bittersweet story makes you cry, laugh, get furious, and ultimately you feel like you want to rescue anyone who is living like this. You end up cheering for Lacey and wanting the best for her. Lacey’s family could be your neighbors- normal on the outside and deep darkness on the inside. This compelling novel, The Truth She Knew, shines the light on the impact of mental illness on family members and makes you want to know more about what happens to Lacey next.  —Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, PhD., Professional Life Coach


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