Inventive, electrifying and daring, True Story is a novel like nothing you've ever read before.
*One of Entertainment Weekly's top five reads of the summer*
'A mind-blowing page-turning un-put-downable heartwarming empathetic formally inventive horror suspense thriller, with a life-affirming and timely feminist message' Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot
'This debut novel unfolds like a mystery, flitting between genres to weave an inventive tale' Buzzfeed (29 Summer books you wont be able to put down)
After a college party, two boys drive a girl home: drunk and passed out in the back seat. Rumours spread about what they did to her, but later they'll tell the police a different version of events. Alice will never remember what truly happened. Her fracture runs deep, hidden beneath cleverness and wry humour. Nick - a sensitive, misguided boy who stood by - will never forget.
That's just the beginning of this extraordinary journey into memory, fear and self-portrayal. Through university applications, a terrifying abusive relationship, a fateful reckoning with addiction and a final mind-bending twist, Alice and Nick will take on different roles to each other - some real, some invented - until finally, brought face to face once again, the secret of that night is revealed.
Startlingly relevant and enthralling in its brilliance, True Story is by turns a campus novel, psychological thriller, horror story and crime noir, each narrative frame stripping away the fictions we tell about women, men and the very nature of truth. It introduces Kate Reed Petty as a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Provocative, courageous and timely—this is one of the most remarkable debuts we’ve read. In 2015, Alice Lovett is a ghostwriter, troubled by events in her past. Sixteen years earlier, during a school lacrosse team party, Alice passed out and was taken home by two male members of the team. Soon rumours emerged that the pair committed a sexual assault against Alice—although, she as no memory of the night. Kate Reed Perry crosses genres—revenge thriller, feminist literature, crime noir, horror—as she tells the tale with excerpts from emails and essays alongside plenty of heart-pounding prose. What emerges is a riveting and thought-provoking meditation on truth, trust and identity that will stay with you days after you read the final line.
In Perry's captivating debut, 30-something ghostwriter Alice Lovett is haunted by what happened at a lacrosse party 16 years earlier in a Baltimore suburb. In 1999, Nick Brothers and his high school lacrosse team are known for their legendary post-championship parties, usually followed by a midnight recap at their favorite Denny's. After one party his senior year, Nick shows up at Denny's with his crush Haley Moreland just in time to catch two of his teammates bragging about what they did with a passed out private school girl whom the reader eventually learns is Alice in the back of one of their cars. The facts of what happened that night morph as the story spreads through their suburban community, and the consequences will shape Alice, Haley, Nick, and his teammates over the following decades. Perry eschews conventional structure, replacing parts of the narrative with drafts of Alice's college admissions essays, her emails to Haley after an abusive relationship as an adult, and Alice and Haley's teenage screenplays to incendiary effect, and they mix seamlessly with the nimble prose. Though the plot sometimes wanders, Perry's page-turner is as sly and devastating as the nature of truth.