One Great Lie

by Deb Caletti

Atheneum, 2021

YA Contemporary

Summary: Charlotte wins a chance to work with her favorite author, Luca Bruni, in Venice. At first, it’s a dream come true but as Charlotte gets to know the author she finds darker secrets. As she gets to know the city, she is able to find out more about one of her ancestors, one of many women poets her family wants to learn more about.

Overall this one is a difficult one. It does take on sexual assault and harassment. It also takes on the dark history of women in convents and women poets. It hurt to read about how some of them were treated. And for some we just don’t know much about them and their poetry may not have survived.

I was undecided about Charlotte at first. She isn’t unlikable. But she is like a high school senior impatient for the rest of her life and when she goes home, her parents are usually in conflict. So she keeps a lot in and there are things she does at first that aren’t morally wrong but they are selfish. But as she interacts with the other young writers in the program and as she explores Venice she comes more into her own as a person.

I also found the writing atmospheric and reflective which I always want when Venice is the setting.

Plus I like that Charlotte delves into history, especially women poets. It isn’t easy to learn about sometimes but it continues to fascinate me.

There is romance in this book but I wouldn’t say that it is the focus of the book.

3 thoughts on “Review: One Great Lie

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