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The Truth of the Matter    by Robb Forman Dew order for
Truth of the Matter
by Robb Forman Dew
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Shannon Bigham

In Washburn Ohio, Agnes Scofield becomes a widow when her charismatic husband Warren dies in a one-car accident in 1930. Since Warren does not leave Agnes and her four children in a financially comfortable position, she takes up a position as a schoolteacher to make ends meet. Fortunately, she has both emotional support and offers of financial help from family and friends - one of the friends being Will, who cares for her deeply.

Agnes is an interesting character, more complex inside than meets the eye. Her children, now adults, idolized their father and Agnes has always been more of an afterthought from their perspective - although she is the one who raised them. When the Scofield household disbands - the sons go off to World War II and the daughter, Betts, heads to Washington D.C., Agnes has a new freedom to act as she pleases. When the children later return, all their lives have changed. Marriage vows have been taken, babies have been born, and Agnes has changed too (despite her sons' and daughter's assumption that she should 'stay the same').

The Truth of The Matter is the second novel in Dew's triology, following The Evidence Against Her. Agnes is an interesting character, as are her children (and their eventual counterparts), and I enjoyed reading about the well respected and revered Scofield Family, who are treated like minor royalty by the Washburn community. Fans of Robb Forman Dew will enjoy the continuing story of Agnes's personal journey, and that of the entire Scofield clan.

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