- Random House, 2000
This masterful novel exposes the dying heart of a marriage and the dark underside of beautiful ideals.
For forty-five years, Dugald Laird and Francesca Morrow have had the perfect marriage, united by romance and a common purpose. Together they have held up the beacon of art, truth, poetry, classical learning and Greek myth in a tiny school on the edge of upper-class Toronto, devoting their lives to rescuing and redeeming the outcast children of the well-to-do. But the effort and the cracks are finally starting to show.
The catalyst is a new girl at school, Cassie, an ungainly outcast with an eye for unpalatable truths. Swiftly recruited by Vida (tiny, intense, a natural leader), Cassie becomes the propulsive force behind the school’s rebel girl gang. The other trouble zone is Dugald, who is increasingly haunted by memories of the wife and children he abandoned almost half a century ago for his beautiful wife.
But the inexorable Francesca manages to carry them all away on the school's annual pilgrimage to Greece. And, at Delphi, in the bee-kissed glades and among the ancient stones, the world as they've known it ceases to exist. As Cassie whirls in flames, both the perfect marriage and the template of the school shatter in a burst of truth-telling that releases them all to their fates.
"[A] grand and comic, richly patterned novel."— Time Magazine
"[Govier's] narrative voice confidently guides us through the tale with canny insights into the dreams, desires and fears of her characters."— Time Magazine
"THE TRUTH TELLER possesses the intelligence and emotive power of a novel of ideas grounded in its characters' psychology and vivified by its language."— Time Magazine
"[THE TRUTH TELLER] is the prolific Govier's sixth novel and finds her in full flight."— Time Magazine
"THE TRUTH TELLER is a well-written and inventive piece of fiction by a writer at the height of her creative powers...Its themes are the very stuff of life itself."— The National Post
"THE TRUTH TELLER is a pleasurable and stimulating read. Katherine Govier is at the top of her form -- clever, subtle, observant."— The Globe and Mail