Is incest ever okay? The most natural and usual response, is “no way”! But then, a book like The Lies Between Us by Yolanda Olson comes along and gives you pause. In fact, your answer, after reading the story of Gracie and Jori might not be quite what you would have instinctively given. 

If you can hold off making judgement calls for now, enter the strange, broken lives of these two young adults who cling desperately to each other in a world that has hurt each of them terribly, a world so full of lies they cannot function without each other. Gracie’s father is awaiting execution on death row for having killed Gracie’s mother. Gracie hasn’t seen him in a decade, but her memories are of a good man, a good father, one of only 2 men she has ever loved. The other man is Jori who loves her almost to the point of obsession.

With her father’s execution imminent, Gracie decides she must see him. She needs him to tell the truth about the murder. Though he doesn’t want to go, Jori feels compelled to accompany her. And now, as each of them, along with her father, takes turns telling readers what really happened when Jori and Gracie were barely teens, the truth is about as ugly as it gets and we understand why both these kids are so messed up mentally. Yet, in each other’s love, they find sustenance and the strength to survive.

For some readers, the details of Jori and Gracie having sex will be too explicit. Skip those pages if you must. But don’t stop reading the rest of the story because The Lies Between Us is absolutely haunting. The events and the  characters stay with you long after you put the book down. 

It’s easy to see why Yolanda Olson is an award-winning author. Jori, Gracie and her father touch parts of us we didn’t know we had or believed we could condone. Don’t be surprised if, when you’re done, you find yourself rethinking your stance on many social issues, including incest. A touching, riveting story that just might be closer to truth than to fiction!

©Viga Boland, 2018 

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