What Remains True by Janis Thomas

What Remains True

In this mesmerizing drama, one life-altering event catapults a family into turmoil, revealing secrets that may leave them fractured forever . . . or bind them together tighter than ever before. From the outside, the Davenports look like any other family living a completely ordinary life—until that devastating day when five-year-old Jonah is killed, and the family is torn apart. As the fury of guilt engulfs them, the Davenports slowly start to u...

Details What Remains True

TitleWhat Remains True
Release DateDec 1st, 2017
PublisherLake Union Publishing

Reviews What Remains True

  • Tulay
    Excellent novel.This book was free with Kindle First pick for November, glad picked this one to read. I'm not a person to read and cry, but I did. How each family member is dealing with the loss of a loved one, even Shadow, the dog written as a first person. These characters will be with me. This book is definitely five carats diamond studded five star. But if you have stormy dark clouds over head, don't read this book now, wait for a sunny day.
  • Sarah
    I only made it through a few chapters. I enjoy a well-written book with multiple narrators. I can even handle a ghost narrator. But when one of the narrators is the family dog? No thanks.
  • Catherine McKenzie
    A book about a family devastated by the loss of their five-year-old and what led to his death. You might think it's a heavy read, but Thomas brings a light touch to the subject. Especially charming are the sections narrated by the child himself as he lingers in the family home.
  • Franny Burd
    Where to begin? This book should have been a short story...a VERY short story. The novel, of the aftermath of the death of a child, is told from various perspectives; husband, wife, aunt, daughter, dead son, psychiatrist and family dog. Yes, I said family dog. The author tries to capture the voice of each narrator, but I found her efforts to be cringe-worthy. The 5th grade daughter thinks phrases such as, "that's so beast". The dead Kindergartene...
  • Amy's Book Reviews
    3.5 STARSFive-year-old Jonah is dead and the Davenport family is falling apart. Rachel pops pills and barely leaves her bed. Her husband Sam is a zombie, drinking and sleeping on the couch. Ten-year-old Eden needs her parents. Even Shadow, the dog, feels the loss. Aunt Ruth’s attempts at being helpful fall flat.WHAT REMAINS TRUE is a bleak, bleak story dripping with sadness and guilt. Janis Thomas’s glimpse inside a once-happy family is a rea...
  • Cynthia Sillitoe
    Sigh. Another Kindle first choice that I would like back. The characters were not complex enough and then the resolution was too easy.
  • Melissa
    I was hesitant to read Janis Thomas's latest novel because of the subject matter. It's hard to think of losing a child when I am a mother of three. However, I have read other books that had similar situations and got through them okay, and I knew Janis would handle the topic sensitively, since she is a mother. She definitely proved me right in that regard.From page one, I was completely absorbed in this story of a family tragedy and its aftermath...
  • Liz
    I got this free through Kindle's monthly First Read. While the idea of the book is solid-a family dealing with grief and personal guilt the story itself lacked depth leaving the characters shallow and unlikeable. The voice of the dog was silly and in my opinion took away from the raw emotion of the actual story. Not my favorite and not one I would recommend, however, I do see how it will appeal to some readers.
  • Dorie
    “I could shelve my personal problems, slough off any issue that was plaguing me, allow the stress to seep from my pores as my work enveloped me and carried me away. But this is not a problem I can shelve, nor an issue I can slough off. This is not stress. This is grief. Overwhelming and insidious grief that refuses to be ignored or denied or temporarily tucked away.”What Remains True was a very heart wrenching, emotional read for me. I alread...
  • Amber Myott
    A bit of a disappointment for me ...... whilst the subject matter is heart breaking, and I truly believe that dogs do understand our emotions ( I know my beautiful one does ) I found this book to be a littleSlow and the ending contrived . Unfortunately I didn’t find Jonah’s voice convincing , and I felt THE LOVELY BONES , did this concept much better even though the tone of the books were very different .
  • Dana Blazsek
    4.5 overall I received What Remains True as an ARC on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Five year old Jonah is dead. And each member of his family is hurting. Each member also blames themselves for the death of Jonah in some way-- thinking their one action led Jonah straight to his grave. Told from alternating perspectives-- his dad, mom, sister, aunt, dog, and Jonah himself-- we are slowly brought to the worst moment of this family's l...
  • Merrie
    I really enjoyed reading What Remains True by Janis Thomas. It's the story of a family dealing with the death of their 5-year-old son/brother/nephew/pal. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a family member. Even the family dog, Shadow, and the dead boy, Jonah, share their perspectives. I thought each perspective was unique and the voices sounded different from each other. The author had did a great job with Jonah's voice. He really sound...
  • Irene
    What Remains True is a novel that drops you into the middle of a family in crisis. It is told from multiple points of view, even including the family dog, and the poor little boy who lost his life far too soon. Normally I would say too many cooks spoil the pot but in this case I think it was a brilliant way to express what every family member went through after Jonah's death. The only thing I really didn't care for was the therapist's point of vi...
  • Fanna
    This book is one of those that I really liked for the plot and story, not much for the writing though. Let's start with the positives, of course—Jonah is a 5-year old child who dies. No, I didn't mean that's positive, but can you feel empathetic? I bet you can because look how fragile the concept is, it's hard not to feel sad. The story goes about with all the characters who were related to Jonah, present their views and share their grief for t...
  • Mel
    The format here confused me. Every character gets to narrate multiple chapters, so the timeline moves perpetually forward but by switching up POVs which seems to have disallowed me to really connect with any of them. I probably should have known that when the dog was one of the narrators the story wouldn't be for me.In the first minutes Jonah (5 years old), narrating, admits to being dead. The rest of the book details one day several weeks after ...
  • Renita D'Silva
    Loved this. A beautiful story about grief and its aftermath.
  • Linda Qbq
    The book is the story about a family where a 5-year-old boy dies in an accident. It was a Kindle First book and it looked most interesting of the 6 choices. I struggled through the first half of the book. Everyone was sad. No clues given as to how the 5-year-old died, just that he died and all were sad and blamed themselves. I persisted and halfway thru, the family members finally started talking to the therapist and each other. Then it got inter...
  • Judy Churchill
    This started out slow, but picked up and became a wonderful story of the grief process. The dynamics of a grieving family are perfectly laid out along with its path to healing. Beautifully written.
  • Sara
    I just can’t get past the unnecessary inclusion of the dog’s point of view. It was laughable, which made it, in my opinion, inappropriate for a book with such a serious theme. I sort of understand what the author was going for, with everyone, including the dog, feeling a sense of guilt and a profound life change after young Jonah passed, but it just didn’t work for me. I could have done without the Jonah chapters, too, as the author couldn...
  • Val
    If you enjoy a recreation of an event from multiple vantage points, you might like this book. The family suffers an unthinkable loss, and you the reader get to experience what each family member saw and thought and felt about it. Not just the human family members either. You even get the dog's vantage point.I was skeptical of including the dog's perspective, but the author wrote very realistically what has to be going through a dog's mind, as I r...
  • Taylor Feighner
    In "What Remains True", Janis Thomas has given readers a rich, complex novel about grief and, ultimately, hope.When Jonah – a sweet, thoughtful and vibrant five year old – passes away, his family is overcome with sadness that permeates every facet of their lives. The laughter and togetherness they once shared is replaced with distance and loneliness.Rachael was once attentive and vivacious with an entrepreneurial spirit, but she now refuses t...
  • Jennifer
    Real tear jerkerAs a parent reading this book was one of the hardest one's of all. Although I have never lost a child, I can feel the pain of each character described. Janis Thomas did an amazing job portraying each character and I can feel every emotion described. I always think to myself, if an author can have me genuinely cry, laugh, even hate a character, they've done a great job. Strong emotions from words spewing from their mind has fulfill...
  • Kerry
    This book was quite different. I'm sure there are other books written this way, but I've never read them. Written from the point of view of each family person, including the dog and later the therapist, it took on a whole other life for me. I was able to feel the way each person was feeling, so much pain and guilt.
  • Becky
    If I could, I would rate it 3.5 stars, but am rounding down. This story is sad, but I loved reading the different perspectives of each family member and how deeply they cared for each other. I cannot imagine enduring this kind of grief.The book is deeply touching and poignant but certain parts drug on (specifically the dogs perspective) so dropped the rating down a bit.
  • Michelle Montgomery
    What Remains True was a great read , but a hard read . I couldn't put it down but at times I needed to because it hit me so hard and I got quite emotional over it. It was hard to read at times because of the sadness in the book and how raw and real it felt. I recommend this book , and have a box of tissues ready !
  • Kassi
    I understand the premise of the book. Walking through each family member's grief process certainly makes for a good, if not somewhat morbid, story. I also really enjoy books where the narrator changes from chapter-to-chapter. I honestly just didn't care for this author's writing. The ghost narrator was weird to me (it reminded me of Lovely Bones, except I somewhat enjoyed that book). And what was up with the dog perspective? The writing just seem...
  • Maureen
    Excellent writing, lovely character development and a luminous story.
  • Kindra
    This book was really good. I didn't give it five stars because I wish it would have went more in depth.
  • Kelby Grimm
    A beautiful book of grief, loss, sadness and recovery. I recommend reading if you've experienced any of these. Esp. if you have children or are thinking about it.
  • Judy Collins
    Review to follow.