This is a review on…Secrets of Truth & Beauty
Dara Cohen is your average seventeen-year-old…or is she? As a project for school, she has to do an autobiography. Dara, who used be a pagent girl, uses audio clips from an old pageant DVD to make a statement about society’s fear of weight. Unfortunately for Dara, the project goes misinterpreted by her English teacher, and it lands her in the counselor’s office. This gets her parents involved, and they decide to pull Dara out of school.
Dara doesn’t want to go on living with her mom, whom Dara refers to as the “control freak”. So she contacts an older sister—a sister she’s never met before. Dara’s sister Rachel is thirty-four. When Dara asks her parents about Rachel, her mom vaguely explains that she ran away before Dara was born, and that it’s all in the past. Dara’s parents didn’t want Rachel to contact Dara, so they tried to erase her from their lives, hiding all evidence of Rachel’s existence.
When Dara inadvertently finds her sister’s birth certificate (something her mom hadn’t hidden) Dara’s curious. Despite the fact that her parents aren’t happy about it and she and Rachel might not even get along, Dara drives out to a goat farm in Hollis, Massachusetts, where Rachel is.
What follows is a summer of romance, friendship, and a sister bond. Dara learns a lot about farm life, and discovers her mom was wrong about Rachel. Dara’s mom said Rachel ran away, but in reality Rachel was kicked out of the house by her parents for being gay. So she ran to the goat farm. She’d heard of it and she knew she’d be accepted there. The goat farm is a refugee for gays and lesbians to go when they’ve been kicked out.
I really liked this book and I’m glad I picked it up. It’s three hundred and forty-seven pages, and it’s very easy to read.