Book Recommendation: “Still True” by Maggie Ginsberg

Recommended by SALLY COLLINS, Peninsula Pulse contributor 

Set in the fictional town of Anthem, Wisconsin, Maggie Ginsberg’s award-winning debut novel, Still True, peers into the complicated private lives of three individuals. 

Those individuals are Claire Taylor, an unemployed newspaper reporter who was recently relocated to the small town with her husband and 10-year-old son, and Lib and Jack Hanson, a married couple of three decades who live in separate houses.

The story begins when Lib’s troubled 40-year-old son shows up on her porch, seeking an explanation for his mother’s decision to abandon him as an infant. Lib is forced to confront a traumatic past she has long hidden – and is still trying to hide – from Jack. Meanwhile, Claire attempts to escape her unhappy marriage and feelings of inadequacy with alcohol and flirtatious encounters with Lib’s son.

A quietly observant yet engrossing work of fiction, written in deft, gorgeous prose, Still True features multiple points of view that examine themes of grief, addiction, loneliness and trauma. The nuanced characters are sympathetic and relatable as they go from trying to appear ordinary and carefree to making desperate, self-sabotaging and sometimes dangerous decisions.

Throughout, readers will wonder: “When does a secret become a lie?”

The book will especially appeal to Door County’s visitors and residents, not only for the memories Jack and Lib made on the peninsula and regularly recall, but also for the spot-on depiction of life in rural Wisconsin.

For example: “[…] their homeland was gorgeous, remarkable, and more or less taken for granted by the humans that lived here now, who were as used to postcard vistas as they were to finding world-class cheese at the gas station.”