The Dazzling Truth
One Irish family. Three decades. One dazzling story.In the courtyards of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1978, aspiring actress Maeve meets pottery student Murtagh Moone. As their relationship progresses, marriage and motherhood come in quick succession, but for Maeve, with the joy of children also comes the struggle to hold on to the truest parts of herself.Decades later, on a small Irish island, the Moone family are poised for celebration but instead are struck by tragedy. Each family member must find solace in their own separate way, until one dazzling truth brings them back together. But as the Moone family confront the past, they also journey toward a future that none of them could have predicted. Except perhaps Maeve herself.

The Dazzling Truth Details

TitleThe Dazzling Truth
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 18th, 2020
PublisherGraydon House
ISBN-139781525815829
Rating
GenreFiction, Romance, Cultural, Ireland

The Dazzling Truth Review

  • Louise Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    Meave and Murtagh Moone live on a isolated island just west of the Irish mainland. They have four children. Murtagh is a potter and is devoted to Meave. We learn of how the couple met thirty years ago, right up to the present day. When tragedy strikes, it's up to Murtagh to hold his family together.This is a beautifully written story that will play with your emotions. The ending was covered sensitively. I liked all the characters, they were true to life and believable. The descriptions of Irelan Meave and Murtagh Moone live on a isolated island just west of the Irish mainland. They have four children. Murtagh is a potter and is devoted to Meave. We learn of how the couple met thirty years ago, right up to the present day. When tragedy strikes, it's up to Murtagh to hold his family together.This is a beautifully written story that will play with your emotions. The ending was covered sensitively. I liked all the characters, they were true to life and believable. The descriptions of Ireland were spot on. This is a thought provoking story that will stay with you long after you've finished it. I do recommend this book. I would like to thank NetGalley, Penguin UK - Michael Joseph and the author Henen Cullen for my ARC in exchange for an honest review
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  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    January 1, 1970
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ '𝑌𝑜𝑢 𝑛𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑜𝑟 𝑎𝑛𝑦𝑜𝑛𝑒, '𝑠ℎ𝑒 𝑜𝑓𝑡𝑒𝑛 𝑠𝑎𝑖𝑑, '𝑖𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑦 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑘 𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚.'The Moone’s first meet in 1978 when both are students at Trinity College in Dublin. The thing Murtagh notices initially is Maeve’s tomato-red suede platforms, her beauty, her low pitched whine and her American accent. He doesn’t realize it yet, but this woman from Brooklyn is fated to be his wife. An actress on scholarship for the summer via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ '𝑌𝑜𝑢 𝑛𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑜𝑟 𝑎𝑛𝑦𝑜𝑛𝑒, '𝑠ℎ𝑒 𝑜𝑓𝑡𝑒𝑛 𝑠𝑎𝑖𝑑, '𝑖𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑦 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑘 𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚.'The Moone’s first meet in 1978 when both are students at Trinity College in Dublin. The thing Murtagh notices initially is Maeve’s tomato-red suede platforms, her beauty, her low pitched whine and her American accent. He doesn’t realize it yet, but this woman from Brooklyn is fated to be his wife. An actress on scholarship for the summer is about to fall for Murtagh, future potter studying ceramics, and her future husband. Something about the man softens her rough edges, and he has no idea how much she has endured just to get to where she is now standing. In short time, Maeve decides not to return to America, to make a go of schooling at Trinity for her final year and to invest her heart in Murtagh. It is the first time she has been free of her former self, here she can become something other than the troubled girl.Murtagh would have her even if she were a complex puzzle missing all the vital pieces. He is besotted, even if she seems to push him away, mysteriously. He is going to learn how to love her, he won’t be put off, and it will be trial. Her truth will bond them closer, they will both be better for it.𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚 𝐰𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦.They make a decision to move to a cottage on the island of Inis Óg, a chance Murtagh would be crazy to pass up. Even if it means Maeve has to alter her plans, so he can have a thriving pottery business. Through it all she sees her dream of the stage fading away, but from the first this cottage feels like home. She refuses to indulge her sorrows, but they do return. The island itself lends a moody atmosphere. She finds an outlet for her creativity, her love of the acting, but will it be enough? Of course Murtagh feels it’s important for her to have something of her own. Years pass…2005 It’s Christmas Eve and Queen Maeve, as as Murtagh affectionately calls his wife, overseas their family’s many activities and traditions. Their children Nollaig and Siv (girls) and their twin boys Mossy and Dillon, are well tended by their mother who reigns supreme. Maybe it isn’t perfect, but it is a home of love, warmth. This morning as everyone awakens, Murtagh’s wife isn’t on her side of the bed. Surely if she slipped out for a walk, she’d be back by now. His nerves begin to rise as they look for her.We start at the beginning of their love, and the many trials in between. The family crashes into a wall of grief, but Murtagh’s journey must continue on and his heart alters them all in unpredictable ways. Shaking the foundations of the island and his grown children’s world, his affections give rise to many torments. Maeve may well have had many periods when ‘the crow came to sit on her shoulder’ (I can’t think of a more fitting symbolism for depression) times that stole her focus away from everything in her life, but she knew her family better than they knew themselves, her beloved Murtagh in particular. The children suffer, through no fault of Maeve nor Murtagh’s, how can you lay blame on a disease that most of us don’t understand. It’s the illness, there are times it overtakes despite her best efforts to remain on an even keel. There are good times, there are bad times. ‘These thoughts run relay races in my mind’, and Maeve can’t always master them. Pills aren’t always the answer, so she attempts to expunge these thoughts through her own methods. Sadly, some ‘spells’ last longer than others, and it’s exhausting for her. It’s so exhausting pretending she is fine, hurting those she loves. It’s nothing new, it’s always been a part of her life, the very darkness that worried her parents when she first traveled to Dublin as a young woman.Other strained relationships make more sense as the novel goes along. The beauty of the story is the hope of love, the refusal to abandon it. Loving people even when darkness descends, selfless love. We can’t cure all that ails us, anymore than we can save those we love from themselves, from their afflictions. But we truly never have to lose people if we can accept them, broken, lost, confused as they may be. Murtagh’s love for Maeve is never in doubt, not even at the end when it changes direction with the wind. It’s heartbreaking, Maeve’s dark crow times, how it affects the entire family and the struggles Murtagh confronts in trying to hold them all together. How he doesn’t always see what is in front of his eyes. It’s not about pity, it’s about one family’s journey. A story of loving differently, and how that challenges us all.Publication Date: August 18, 2020HarlequinGraydon House
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  • Susan Hampson
    January 1, 1970
    Although the story begins in the present day it feels like it is much further back in time. Murtagh, his wife Maeve and their four children live on a small island off the Irish coast, where life is pretty basic and the elements feel extreme. It seems more like the end of the story but tragedy is re-setting their lives in a new direction. The story drops back to how the couple met thirty years before, the obvious differences between them and the choices that take them to the island and their live Although the story begins in the present day it feels like it is much further back in time. Murtagh, his wife Maeve and their four children live on a small island off the Irish coast, where life is pretty basic and the elements feel extreme. It seems more like the end of the story but tragedy is re-setting their lives in a new direction. The story drops back to how the couple met thirty years before, the obvious differences between them and the choices that take them to the island and their lives together. You know early on that things are not normal in this household but there is a stigma that makes the family battle on turning a blind eye to gossip and accepting what life has thrown at them.Maeve’s thoughts and feeling pour out from the chapters, her battles that exhaust her mentally and physically. The author captures how the lives of this not so normal family are affected. It is beautifully written, it is raw, heartbreaking, full of love and moving on. It is fear of having what you have and fear of losing it. It is life.I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
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  • Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)
    January 1, 1970
    The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually by Helen Cullen will be published with Michael Joseph August 20th. Described as ‘a celebration of the complex, flawed and stubbornly optimistic human heart’ I can honestly say that half way through my heart was shattered.Set primarily on Inis Óg, an island off the west coast of Ireland, The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is the story of the Moone family. Twenty-seven years ago Murtagh Moone from Sligo met Maeve Morelli from Willamsburg, Brooklyn, New York outside Tri The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually by Helen Cullen will be published with Michael Joseph August 20th. Described as ‘a celebration of the complex, flawed and stubbornly optimistic human heart’ I can honestly say that half way through my heart was shattered.Set primarily on Inis Óg, an island off the west coast of Ireland, The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is the story of the Moone family. Twenty-seven years ago Murtagh Moone from Sligo met Maeve Morelli from Willamsburg, Brooklyn, New York outside Trinity College in Dublin. Maeve had just arrived, after winning a scholarship, to spend a summer at the Trinity Drama School and Murtagh was studying ceramics at the National College of Art and Design. The attraction was instant and that day a spark was ignited, one that would glow bright, but also be shadowed by a darkness.‘The pieces of the Maeve puzzle were intriguing and unnerving in equal measure. He felt so grey in the shadow of her Technicolor. If he were to hold her interest, he knew he would have to shake off the ennui that so often dogged him, that he’d need to achieve more than just getting by. Mediocrity would not the heart of Maeve Morelli win’When summer came to an end, a decision was made, Maeve had found her peace. Staying in Ireland with Murtagh was the calmness she needed. Maeve struggled with her moods and revealed to Murtagh how sometimes her mind travelled elsewhere. With a history of hospitalisation behind her in the States, Maeve felt that being with Murtagh was the ballast that kept her afloat and with the decision made, their fate was sealed.Murtagh was a very talented potter but had difficulty in achieving an apprenticeship. When an opportunity arrived for him to take over the business of a famed ceramics master on Inis Óg, the Moones decided to take a chance. It would be a big move, especially for Maeve, as she was leaving her beloved stage behind but it was a decision she willingly made for Murtagh. After a wedding back in Brooklyn, they moved to the small island to start a new life together but Maeve had a caveat, almost a premonition…“I’m in. I promise you. I know that there is more than one reason to go. But please can we be honest about how hard it’s going to be? You don’t have to always pretend you’re fearless about it, that it’s all going to be wonderful. I’d be much happier if we could admit it whenever we think it was all a terrible idea, which we will, without that having to mean we’re not going to stick it out. Do you get it? Let’s just be real about it. Otherwise, I know I’ll lose it altogether.”The pottery was a great success and Murtagh’s reputation was cemented well beyond the borders of the small island they now called home. With four children, life was very busy for the Moones but as wonderful as the highs were, there were also some heart-breaking lows. Maeve suffered. Her mental health deteriorated over the years. She had her really good days and then the darkness came. Her children knew their mother was different from the other school gate mums. They knew something was amiss but Murtagh always stepped up and protected them from the times Maeve took to the bed or her mind travelled elsewhere. Maeve was a very creative soul. She was a wonderful mother, when present, with an excitable and positive approach to life that made her children believe anything was possible but the dark load that weighed her down sometimes took over and Maeve was no longer emotionally present.When tragedy struck, the Moone family was ripped apart. The portrayal of this time is very vivid. The pain raw. The anguish pure heart-break. Helen Cullen’s writing, her descriptions, are truly breath-taking. It is a very emotional experience reading these pages as the descriptions create a very strong visual. I put down the book. I took a few deep breaths and I thought of everyone I love. A very affecting passage of the book.Murtagh Moone struggles through the next few years. His inability to move on, his feelings of inadequacy as a father capable of raising a young family are palpable off the pages. His children rebel and go their different ways in the world, apart from Nollaig, the eldest. Nollaig comes home from Galway and stays with her father, looking after him. But Nollaig has her own difficulties and being home helps her to keep busy and to push them away.As the years pass, a gentle light begins to shine and a sense of hope is unearthed in the most unexpected of places.The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually was a novel that took me completely by surprise. I knew I would be impacted by the story of Maeve and Murtagh but the scale of that impact was powerful. I devoured this book. My heart was battered on completion. I am Irish so I understood completely all the Irish references and it was very easy for me to visualise the island setting. The Currach boat was a powerful image on both the cover and within the story as was the weather, the islanders and the church.The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually deals with many difficult themes, which Helen Cullen sensitively handles. It is a deeply affecting read and the tragedy of this family is powerfully depicted. Motherhood is a challenge. Parenthood is a challenge. Mental health is a difficult issue to write about. Helen Cullen expertly weaves the threads of the Moone family together creating an almost overwhelming tale, one that will sit with me for quite some time.The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is a beautiful, enthralling and stunning piece of work, written with a very exquisite pen.I wish Murtagh well and hope that his new found optimism for life remains with him forever, along with his memories of the wonderful Maeve Morelli from Brooklyn, New York.“Here, people see the theatre student, the vinyl collector, the poet, Murtagh’s girlfriend, the American, the actress; so many different things, and none of them are the sick girl, or the far worse things we know some folk call me.I can’t express how free that makes me feel. My body now is a vehicle for me to live and be happy in; not something I inhabit resentfully, judging it based on how I see others judge it”
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  • Sarah D
    January 1, 1970
    “Darling I listen; and, for many a timeI have been half in love with wasteful Death,Call’d him soft names I. Many a musèd thyme,To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die,To cease upon the midnight weigh no pain”A book that at first wallows in the guilt and confusion that surrounds a death, but leads onto, back to and the beginnings of a true story of a family. A great read and a moving tale.
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  • Nicki
    January 1, 1970
    Helen Cullen is such a thoughtful and charming writer. I loved her first novel and this one didn't disappoint. Set over a thirty year period, following the family of an Irish man and American woman and their family, it is very different to The Lost Letters of William Woolf, which shows the authors emerging versatility. I will definately read more of what Helen Cullen produces in the future. Laying bare the issues of relationships, mental health and having to grow up, the writing was sensitive an Helen Cullen is such a thoughtful and charming writer. I loved her first novel and this one didn't disappoint. Set over a thirty year period, following the family of an Irish man and American woman and their family, it is very different to The Lost Letters of William Woolf, which shows the authors emerging versatility. I will definately read more of what Helen Cullen produces in the future. Laying bare the issues of relationships, mental health and having to grow up, the writing was sensitive and understanding. All of the characters were likeable and relatable. The descriptions of Dublin, Galway and an island off the west coast of Ireland made we want to return to Ireland and explore some more. I recommend this book and thank the author, the publisher and #NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review #TheTruthMustDazzleGradually
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOLI requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.One Irish family. Three decades. One dazzling story.In the courtyar When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOLI requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.One Irish family. Three decades. One dazzling story.In the courtyards of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1978, aspiring actress Maeve meets pottery student Murtagh Moone. As their relationship progresses, marriage and motherhood come in quick succession, but for Maeve, with the joy of children also comes the struggle to hold on to the truest parts of herself.Decades later, on a small Irish island, the Moone family are poised for celebration but instead are struck by tragedy. Each family member must find solace in their own separate way until one dazzling truth brings them back together. But as the Moone family confront the past, they also journey toward a future that none of them could have predicted. Except perhaps Maeve herself.I skipped and skimmed through this novel as it did not warrant my attention, it seems. I found the writing clunky and the story was just ... un-interesting. (I am sorry but I said that I would be honest!) As a librarian, if I do not learn something new or get engaged in the characters I did not truly read/finish the book (I skimmed through it) as there are too many good ones out there to read and review.I have found two listings for this book with different titles. (same cover)The Dazzling Truth - ISBN 9781525815829 andTruth Must Dazzle Gradually - ISBN 9780718189204...not sure what comes out where.you live!
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  • Cat
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes you read a book and know that it will stay with you for a lifetime. This is one of those books. It is profoundly moving about the complexities of the human heart and family dynamics and, on a personal level, it particularly made me feel differently about the difficult relationship I have with my mother.Helen Cullen is an incredible writer and this is such a beautiful, thought provoking novel that I can't wait to discuss with other readers. The story really evolves in an unexpected ways Sometimes you read a book and know that it will stay with you for a lifetime. This is one of those books. It is profoundly moving about the complexities of the human heart and family dynamics and, on a personal level, it particularly made me feel differently about the difficult relationship I have with my mother.Helen Cullen is an incredible writer and this is such a beautiful, thought provoking novel that I can't wait to discuss with other readers. The story really evolves in an unexpected ways but at the same time feel so perfectly right for the characters that I don't know why I was so surprised.I LOVED IT - I CANNOT RECOMMEND IT ENOUGH!
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  • CC
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a refreshing take on the nature of human relationships, filled with memorable characters and touching moments. I made no annotations to my copy because I just whipped straight through it, thoroughly enjoying reading about the Moone clan. I did feel at times it was a little neat, maybe a bit too on the nose now and again. The author is still without a doubt a great writer and her book is filled with seemingly reverential references to other works of note. But on the whole this is a This book was a refreshing take on the nature of human relationships, filled with memorable characters and touching moments. I made no annotations to my copy because I just whipped straight through it, thoroughly enjoying reading about the Moone clan. I did feel at times it was a little neat, maybe a bit too on the nose now and again. The author is still without a doubt a great writer and her book is filled with seemingly reverential references to other works of note. But on the whole this is a charming work by an author of real skill who was able to draw me in completely to both the passage of time within a family and within Ireland itself.
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  • Juliet Bookliterati
    January 1, 1970
    Helen Cullen is the author of last year’s bestseller The Lost Letters of William Wolf, that I was totally capitaved by, so I jumped at the chance to read her second novel, The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually. This book starts on Christmas Eve 2005, on the Irish Island Ines Óg, when the Moone family suffer a tragedy that will change their lives forever and fracture their family. The plot then goes back to when Maeve ane Murtagh meet in Dublin, fall in love and move to the beautiful Ines Óg where Murt Helen Cullen is the author of last year’s bestseller The Lost Letters of William Wolf, that I was totally capitaved by, so I jumped at the chance to read her second novel, The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually. This book starts on Christmas Eve 2005, on the Irish Island Ines Óg, when the Moone family suffer a tragedy that will change their lives forever and fracture their family. The plot then goes back to when Maeve ane Murtagh meet in Dublin, fall in love and move to the beautiful Ines Óg where Murtag works as a potter. We follow their story, the birth of their children, their ups and downs that ultimately conclude on that fatal night in 2005 and it’s lasting effects. A poignant tale of love, loss, family and forgiveness this is an wonderful and emotive read.At the moment the subject of mental health is very much at the forefront of our society, with more understanding and help than ever before. The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is an honest, raw and powerful portrait of how mental health can effect a family as well as the individual, at a time before it was really understood or talked about. Maeve is at the heart of this story, a drama student, feminist, wife and mother who is always followed by what she calls an ‘Old Crow’. The honesty and empathy in Helen Cullen’s writing of Maeve’s depression broke my heart; the image painted was powerful. I think many readers will identify with some of Maeve’s experiences as she questions herself as a wife, a mother and role model for her children. But what I found just as moving was how Helen Cullen then showed how this effected Murtagh, and their children Nollaig, twins Mossy and Dillon and Sive as well; how it ould disrupt their lives, always tryng to gauge the mood of the house, and having others calling their mother ‘mad’.Like The Lost Letters of William Wolf this is a very character driven novel, and Maeve, Murtagh and their family really got under my skin in a good way. Murtagh and Maeve are soulmates, and Murtagh blames himelf for bringing Maeve to the small desolate Island where she had to give up her acting dream to become a wife and mother. His love for Maeve shines through this book, his empathy and tenderness towards her when she is unwell is really touching. He is also a natural father, making sure his children are looked after epecially during Maeve’s illness. All four of the children are aware of their mother’s depression, but there is a lack of conversation around it, their father trying to protect them actually does more harm and causes more resentment. Little does he realise that his family are as fragile as the pots he makes in the kiln, and that it can fracture at any time. Helen Cullen’s focus on the family, showing how destructive mental illness can be, is refreshing and authentic.This book is not all dark, there is plenty of light and humour along the way, especially when the children were growing up. The beautiful and rugged landscape of Ines Óg, with it’s craggy rocks, beautiful flowers and green landscape is a stunning setting for this book. Helen Cullen includes the social and cultural ways of the islanders, their suspicion of strangers, their old wives tales, the weekly dances enjoyed by Maeve’s eldest daughter Nollaig and most importantly the sense of community. Love and romance, is also an important part of this book in it’s many different guises; familial, romance and friendship, all of which have the power to help heal and bring people together; the glue that will hold the Moones together.The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is a story of tragedy, loss but also hope. Helen Cullen’s portrait of a family dealing with mental illness and loss is authentic, raw but perfectly done. I am not someone who cries at books as a rule, but I have to say I found the end of this book so moving I had a tear run down my cheek. This is a breathtaking and inspiring read and one that is going to stay with me for quite a while; simply stunning!!
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  • Jo Barton
    January 1, 1970
    When ceramic artist, Murtgah Moone meets American actress, Maeve Morelli in 1978, outside Trinity College in Dublin, life for both of them is changed forever. Maeve, quirky and bold, and filled with a zest for life seems the perfect compliment to stoical and placid, Murtagh and yet, behind the facade, Maeve is battling her own dark demons. Fated to be together, Murtagh and Maeve settle into family life on the beautiful, but remote, Irish island of Inis Óg where Maeve raises their four children a When ceramic artist, Murtgah Moone meets American actress, Maeve Morelli in 1978, outside Trinity College in Dublin, life for both of them is changed forever. Maeve, quirky and bold, and filled with a zest for life seems the perfect compliment to stoical and placid, Murtagh and yet, behind the facade, Maeve is battling her own dark demons. Fated to be together, Murtagh and Maeve settle into family life on the beautiful, but remote, Irish island of Inis Óg where Maeve raises their four children and Murtagh makes his living as a talented potter. Life seems perfect until one Christmas Eve in 2005, when life for the Moone family is changed forever.The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is one of those slow moving but beautifully succinct novels which takes you into the very fabric of family life, revealing cracks which even the Moone's didn't realise were appearing in Maeve's life. Such huge divisions will tear the family apart and make them question everything they thought they knew about Maeve, both as a lover and life companion to Murtagh, and devoted mother to Nollaig, Dillon,Tomás and Sive.The author picks up the slow pace of island life quite perfectly, nothing much seems to happen and yet, the story is all the more mesmerising because of its slowness. It's beautifully introspective concentrating on thoughts and feelings whilst at the same time bringing snippets of everyday life into sharp focus and touching on mental health issues with compassion and sensitivity.The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is a thoughtful family drama which captures your heart and lingers in your mind long after the last page is turned.
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  • Shaz Goodwin
    January 1, 1970
    https://www.jerasjamboree.co.uk/roman...It’s going to be difficult to find the words that will express just how much this story has affected me. It’s so beautiful and yet utterly sad. My heart broke and then it healed …Where the story begins leaves us in no doubt about where we will be led. At first I thought this was a bit strange as where else could the story possibly lead us if we knew the ending already? Turned out, it might have been an ending but it wasn’t the ending at all.I had so much e https://www.jerasjamboree.co.uk/roman...It’s going to be difficult to find the words that will express just how much this story has affected me. It’s so beautiful and yet utterly sad. My heart broke and then it healed …Where the story begins leaves us in no doubt about where we will be led. At first I thought this was a bit strange as where else could the story possibly lead us if we knew the ending already? Turned out, it might have been an ending but it wasn’t the ending at all.I had so much empathy towards this couple. I was trying to hold myself back from the moment they met because I didn’t want my heart tangled up, but I couldn’t help myself. Life on the island as a family drew me in and always in the back of my mind, I wondered what the impact on their children would be. There are already glimpses – as much as I loved the scene where they’re camping outside – it was Sive’s answer to Maeve’s question that is telling. Bittersweet. I didn’t have to wonder for too long though as it’s clear as adults how the choices they made were related to that time. Maeve’s innermost thoughts in her diary explains so much and adds understanding. Honest, open and the truth, I thought this was sensitively portrayed by Helen Cullen. There are several scenes that made my throat ache from holding back tears but I finally let myself cry at the most beautiful scene on Christmas Eve 2015. Such a release of pent up emotion (for me)! It was exactly how it was meant to be.Be prepared to experience all the emotions.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is a lovely, passionate and sad novel that is all about the Moone family. It takes place in Ireland over a period of roughly 40 years, from when Murtagh and Maeve met in Dublin, their marriage and the tragedy that tore the family apart.The first part of the novel concerned Maeve and Murtagh, you saw how both of them got to know each other, fall in love and also her illness. I know nothing at all about her condition but I really appreciated how the author showed th The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is a lovely, passionate and sad novel that is all about the Moone family. It takes place in Ireland over a period of roughly 40 years, from when Murtagh and Maeve met in Dublin, their marriage and the tragedy that tore the family apart.The first part of the novel concerned Maeve and Murtagh, you saw how both of them got to know each other, fall in love and also her illness. I know nothing at all about her condition but I really appreciated how the author showed the affect it had on her and her family. As you read more, after the events on Christmas Eve 2004, the focus switched to the Moone children, how they dealt with their loss and felt about being in their childhood home.One of the reasons I liked this novel so much, was that there was no wrong way. In today’s society it is easy to judge and criticise. But with the four children, now adult, and Murtagh, they all coped with their grief in different ways. Not always right for each other, but right for the individual. I liked all of them but the two I felt more for were Murtagh and Mossy. It is difficult to say why, apart from I felt that both of them seemed much warmer characters. Especially Mossy the only one who had a family of his own.The book has inspired me to read The Lost Letters of William Woolf as quickly as possible.
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  • Jackie Murrell
    January 1, 1970
    Murtaugh and Maeve meet as students in Dublin, where he is studying ceramics and she has come from the US to do a course in drama. So begins an epic love story with a dark undercurrent, for Maeve suffers from debilitating periods of deep depression when she completely shuts down. They take a risk and marry, she giving up her potential career as an actress to move with him to a wild island off the coast of Galway, where he can pursue his dream of becoming a successful potter. Here they raise four Murtaugh and Maeve meet as students in Dublin, where he is studying ceramics and she has come from the US to do a course in drama. So begins an epic love story with a dark undercurrent, for Maeve suffers from debilitating periods of deep depression when she completely shuts down. They take a risk and marry, she giving up her potential career as an actress to move with him to a wild island off the coast of Galway, where he can pursue his dream of becoming a successful potter. Here they raise four children, and Maeve struggles to keep a hold on everyday life, but tragedy awaits and the family must find a way to move forward.The first part of the book was very engaging as the couple’s relationship develops and they struggle to hold their new life together. The effect of Maeve’s devastating illness and her terrible struggle with it is well portrayed and deeply moving, and the happier times shine out from the pages. The beautiful, simpler lifestyle of the small Irish community really comes alive. The second half of the book looks at the four children grown up and the aftermath of their mother’s decline, and here I felt it lost its edge, skimming over the lifestyle choices of the younger generation and giving Murtaugh a new beginning that I found rather jarring. A well-written and moving story that lost its way a little towards the end.
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  • Pam Robertson
    January 1, 1970
    This is an evocative and complicated read which takes a long look at a family across 37 years. It examines motherhood, marriage, sibling and parental relationships, love, mental health issues, unfulfilled ambition, loss and grief. The list goes on! The overall tone is a calm, quiet one. Despite the raw emotions which you see, there is little anger in the book. There is compassion and genuine selfless love. Yoiu know from the start how things are going to work out. It is a shock. As you then go b This is an evocative and complicated read which takes a long look at a family across 37 years. It examines motherhood, marriage, sibling and parental relationships, love, mental health issues, unfulfilled ambition, loss and grief. The list goes on! The overall tone is a calm, quiet one. Despite the raw emotions which you see, there is little anger in the book. There is compassion and genuine selfless love. Yoiu know from the start how things are going to work out. It is a shock. As you then go back in time and learn how Murtagh and Maeve met, you find them both to be well drawn and arresting characters. This feels like a bittersweet tale which alternates between forgiveness and guilt. When you see the effect of Maeve's condition on her children, your heart sinks for them, but then you see how they grow up and find their own way to cope. The most striking features for me are when you hear Maeve's thoughts through her diary and letters. This is a well written, emotional read which leaves you with food for thought. Highly recommended.In short: A bittersweet look at a family Thanks to the author for a copy of the book
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Another charming read from the incredibly talented pen of Helen Cullen. Set over a thirty year period, the story follows the lives of Maeve and Murtagh and their relationship as it progresses through marriage and the creation of their family; set against the backdrop of Maeve’s struggle with her mental health. It is a sensitive and powerful portrayal of a family devastated by a tragedy which has far reaching consequences for all of them.It is testament to Helen Cullen’s versatility that ‘The Tru Another charming read from the incredibly talented pen of Helen Cullen. Set over a thirty year period, the story follows the lives of Maeve and Murtagh and their relationship as it progresses through marriage and the creation of their family; set against the backdrop of Maeve’s struggle with her mental health. It is a sensitive and powerful portrayal of a family devastated by a tragedy which has far reaching consequences for all of them.It is testament to Helen Cullen’s versatility that ‘The Truth Must Gradually Dazzle’ is entirely different to ‘The Lost Letters of William Wolf, which, by the way, is also wonderful. There is the same graceful use of language and thoughtful character development but the subject matter is entirely different. I was completely invested in the story and the characters. It is a novel which will stay with me for a long time; simply beautiful. I cannot recommend it highly enough.Thank you to NetGalley and Michael Joseph for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • TJ
    January 1, 1970
    Unfortunately, this was not one book that I can give a glowing review. I did make it through because I kept waiting for something big to happen and I was completely surprised when it did and so disappointed that I had spent several hours in anticipation of the ending. This is a tale of a dysfunctional family where the father tries to hold it all together with a bipolar depressive disorder wife and mother. We follow their relationship and their challenges. I found nothing dazzling about any of th Unfortunately, this was not one book that I can give a glowing review. I did make it through because I kept waiting for something big to happen and I was completely surprised when it did and so disappointed that I had spent several hours in anticipation of the ending. This is a tale of a dysfunctional family where the father tries to hold it all together with a bipolar depressive disorder wife and mother. We follow their relationship and their challenges. I found nothing dazzling about any of the story and found the ending anticlimactic. Might work for some, but didn’t do it for me. Glad when it was over. I want to thank Harlequin and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book for my honest unbiased opinion. Best I can do is 3 stars.
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  • Eileen Kennedy
    January 1, 1970
    Maeve Moone ends her life rather than face the horrors of her debilitating condition. With her suicide she leaves behind a grieving, stunned and confused husband and four children. It will take years of pain and suspicion for her loved ones to accept and come to terms with their loss. In order for the reader to understand this complex woman’s life, Helen Cullen flashes back to Maeve’s and Murtagh’s early days first in Dublin then to an island off Galway where he can pursue his pottery as she aba Maeve Moone ends her life rather than face the horrors of her debilitating condition. With her suicide she leaves behind a grieving, stunned and confused husband and four children. It will take years of pain and suspicion for her loved ones to accept and come to terms with their loss. In order for the reader to understand this complex woman’s life, Helen Cullen flashes back to Maeve’s and Murtagh’s early days first in Dublin then to an island off Galway where he can pursue his pottery as she abandons her acting future to have a family and assist him in building a reputation. Their lives are challenged and the family suffers through the progression of her illness. It seems this challenge will follow them after her death, preventing the joy with life they thought they had. It takes a reunion to realize how she alone saw the truth, at times dazzling though it may be.
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  • Colleen Maclennan
    January 1, 1970
    This book demonstrated the painful consequences of suffering from mental health issues. The central character Mauve although a mother, wife, daughter and friend suffered painfully from deep anguish. Although loved by her husband , children , parents and friends her inner demons proved too much for her. Her death provided closure and relief for her but not for her family. This book showed how her death influenced her children and husband’s life. The pain is profound but eventually through time an This book demonstrated the painful consequences of suffering from mental health issues. The central character Mauve although a mother, wife, daughter and friend suffered painfully from deep anguish. Although loved by her husband , children , parents and friends her inner demons proved too much for her. Her death provided closure and relief for her but not for her family. This book showed how her death influenced her children and husband’s life. The pain is profound but eventually through time and events Mauve’s family came to terms with her death. This book also showed the remoteness of Ireland ‘s beauty and how living on a small island has its ups and downs. Really a sad not dazzling book on how sometimes love is not enough.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually by Helen CullenThe Moone family - Maeve, Murtagh and their four children - live on an island off Galway, Ireland. After a tragic event, the story unfolds of Maeve and Murtagh meeting each other, their life together and beyond. Wow, what a book! I loved everything about it and finished it in a day. I loved the Moone family and couldn't put the book down as I wanted to find out how it all turned out for them. The range of issues covered in the book is breath-taking The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually by Helen CullenThe Moone family - Maeve, Murtagh and their four children - live on an island off Galway, Ireland. After a tragic event, the story unfolds of Maeve and Murtagh meeting each other, their life together and beyond. Wow, what a book! I loved everything about it and finished it in a day. I loved the Moone family and couldn't put the book down as I wanted to find out how it all turned out for them. The range of issues covered in the book is breath-taking and they are all written about with such sensitivity and thought, humour and heartbreak. What an incredible writer Helen Cullen is! I highly recommend this book.Thank you to NetGalley and publishers Michael Joseph for an ARC of this book.
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  • Tamara Morning
    January 1, 1970
    Title: The Dazzling TruthAuthor: Helen Cullen Genre: FictionRating: 4 out of 5This book…is slow, atmospheric, and yes, dazzling. It’s a small family/personal story, yet it draws the reader into Maeve’s and Murtagh’s lives from the very beginning and keeps them entranced by the simple island life and experiences of the Moone family. The characters are vivid and so realistic I feel like I knew them personally. The story is engrossing, sad, magical…all at the same time, and I definitely recommend r Title: The Dazzling TruthAuthor: Helen Cullen Genre: FictionRating: 4 out of 5This book…is slow, atmospheric, and yes, dazzling. It’s a small family/personal story, yet it draws the reader into Maeve’s and Murtagh’s lives from the very beginning and keeps them entranced by the simple island life and experiences of the Moone family. The characters are vivid and so realistic I feel like I knew them personally. The story is engrossing, sad, magical…all at the same time, and I definitely recommend reading it.(Galley courtesy of Harlequin/Graydon House in exchange for an honest review.)More reviews at Tomorrow is Another Day
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  • Patricia Doyle
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed The Dazzling Truth. No wait … I loved it! I enjoyed the arrangement of the story, ie, starting with a date and its occurrence, backing up to years and years earlier, then soldiering on through, past the date of that occurrence and on to today. It’s about Maeve (American) and Murtagh (Irish) and their life together on an isolated island west of the Irish mainland. It’s about Maeve and Murtagh and their true and very real love for one another. Solid Murtagh and Maeve, the free I thoroughly enjoyed The Dazzling Truth. No wait … I loved it! I enjoyed the arrangement of the story, ie, starting with a date and its occurrence, backing up to years and years earlier, then soldiering on through, past the date of that occurrence and on to today. It’s about Maeve (American) and Murtagh (Irish) and their life together on an isolated island west of the Irish mainland. It’s about Maeve and Murtagh and their true and very real love for one another. Solid Murtagh and Maeve, the free spirit, could be ever so happy. Unfortunately, it’s also about Maeve, who endures the blackest of days sporadically.The writing was compelling and pulled me in with all my emotions. Sometimes, during those ‘black’ episodes, I had to remind myself to not get sucked under with gloom. I knew that if Maeve were real, I would not have been able to help her, and that was troubling. Although I would have wanted this story to end differently, I commend the author for the very sensitive and heartfelt way in which he drew this book to a close. Well done. When I finished the last page, I breathed a sigh that it was over.My only – and very minor – criticism would be that Maeve, the American girl from Brooklyn, would not have phrased some things as though she were from Ireland or the UK. She would not have said “the pair of you” when writing to her parents; it would have been “both of you”. She would not have said “two vanilla biscuits”; it would have been “two vanilla cookies”. And it wouldn’t have been “honey and lemon cough sweets”; it would have been “honey and lemon cough drops”. Again, very minor criticism, but it jumped out at me.Thank you so much to NetGalley and Ms. Cullen for allowing me to read and review The Dazzling Truth. I enjoyed it immensely.
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  • Helen
    January 1, 1970
    The sort of novel that will stay with you long after you've read it - and will probably make you cry. A sensitive, powerful portrayal of a family devastated by a tragedy, that has far reaching consequences for all those involved. Superb 📚❤📚
  • Sandra Pipitone
    January 1, 1970
    loved the story line But was just a book you have to finish. Really didn't understand the why's! But does show a healthy way to grieve!
  • Soph
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a gorgeous book on grief. I loved the slight nods to Virginia Woolf through the book, and the setting and themes also reminded me slightly of The Gloaming. I thought this book was incredibly moving, and a realistic portrayal of different manifestations of grief across different family members who have all experienced the same - and slightly different - losses. Five stars.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I do love a good multigenerational tale, and this was pretty charming, Some tough subject matter realistically addressed and a plot twist I did not see coming make this worth a read!
  • Louise
    January 1, 1970
    I laughed and cried along with this book.Some amazing characters,who filled the pages with love,grief and real feelings of family and belonging.I can't wait yo buy it for a few people.
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