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
GenreFiction, Did Not Finish, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Heartful Dodger
    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...
  • Christine Lowe
    Excellent Family DramaWhen I first started reading What Remains True I thought I made the wrong choice for my Kindle First Pick for November. The beginning is heart wrenchingly sad. The story centers around Jonah who knows he's not alive but wonders why he isn't in heaven. The story is told from each family members point of view: Mom, Dad, Aunt, Big Sister and even Shadow the family dog gets to tell their side of the story. The reader knows Jonah...
  • MJ
    This book was incredibly well written, heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. The altering perspectives made the story truly unique and gave the characters a depth that would have otherwise been predictable. I have lost many family members and friends and this book was one that I feel truly captured the multitude of emotions that I have experienced. I don't know how much more to share that won't give away any of the amazing plot twists....
  • Andrea
    One of the reviews of this book said that it is difficult to put it down, and I agree. Somehow the story captivated me and I wanted to find out more about the characters. The book is written from the perpectives of all the main characters, which is quite good, though I would have liked different styles of writing for each character. What I didn't like at all, was the dog's perspective. I didn't feel it added anything to the book, I didn't find it...
  • Val Wilkerson
    This is an amazing story about the Davenport family. When 5 year old Jonah dies the family falls apart, and this story is told from each family member, his older sister who is in 5th grade, Sam his father, Rachael his mother, and Rachael's sister Ruth, even shadow the dog. Each one of them is suffering in a different way, and until the end you don't even know what happened to Jonah on that "Bad Day." Jonah even talks to the reader throughout the ...
  • Lois Keel
    I loved this book.This was my first time reading this author and I like her style of story telling, with each chapter being narrated by one if the characters even the dog Shadow gets in in the storytelling. A family suffers from one of the worst things that can happen to them and they slowly take us through their pain and guilt as the story unfolds. I recommend this book and I plan to find another by this author and let myself get carried away in...
  • Kristie
    BeautifulI loved this book. The way the character era are each given their own voice. It made it more realistic to me. Like each was telling their own story and view of the sad event that occurred. I did like how I was kept in suspense on what the even was... till later in the book. I am only giving this book 4 stars because of the lanugauge. I would have given it 5 if the f~word hadn’t been used so much. I did notice a type error in the last h...
  • Nancy Silk
    "A Very Moving Story Of Surviving Loss"This is a mesmerizing novel where one life altering event throws a family into turmoil. Secrets may never be revealed and maybe these secrets may bind them together if they are revealed. To others, the Davenport family looks very normal until 5-year old Jonah is killed. Guilt engulfs every member of the family and things unravel. His parents, Sam and Rachel, try to remain strong. This story is told from many...
  • Lyndsay
    Wow. Just wow. This book had me hooked immediately. I continued to think about the characters quite a bit when I wasn't even reading it! The family resonated with me so much and I felt like I was reading about my own life at times because I was so engrossed in the story. I loved each character. It was truly amazing how the story jumped around, but you knew exactly what was happening. I cried, smiled, laughed, and assessed my own thoughts througho...
  • Tansy
    Didn't quite make up my mind yetThis is the first book I read by this author. I thought it was a quick read. There was something about it that didn't quite sit right with me as far as the writing goes. I'm not sure if it was some of the repetition when describing Jonah. Maybe the way it switched back and forth from the characters. All in all I still liked the book and it's lesson. It's just one of those books I need to think about for a few days ...
  • Patricia
    When people die I think the first thing that happens is always some kind of guilt. Usually it because of something we should have done while they were alive. This book addresses that problem beautifully. I'm not sure what happens to a person when they die, sometimes I think they do remain for a while but maybe not as long as Jonah remained. It also addresses how easily we can get caught up in an affair whether we complete it or not. Janis Thomas ...
  • Cindy Bates
    WowWas not sure how I was going to feel about this book. I recently lost my brother who was mentally handicapped and lived his entire life with my parents and me. There were some things in this book that shamed me because of the way that I treated him when I was younger. I loved the way this book was presented. I loved the chapters about the dog. Makes me wonder what goes on in my mutt's mind! I loved how the characters were laid out to us. What ...
  • Angie
    Laughter, longing, fear, happiness, and absolute sorrow are just some of the many feelings this book took me through. It is tough, a story about a child dying is expected be tough, but at times even tougher than one imagines. That said, I also read it every free time and chance I got. Admittedly by the 60% mark, I made time. I needed answers. Why the guilt? Why the blame? Why the anger? What did he do? Will they recover? I'm happy to report that ...
  • Jean Thiessen
    Review for What Remains TrueThis has a very different story structure, narrating from 6 points of view, including the dog. The fact that someone died is not the end goal, but serves to create suspense; how did he die? What caused his death? Who was at fault? Characters are well-developed because of the different points of view. The novel might serve to guide someone through the grief process, or at least demonstrate the importance of talking abou...
  • Kathy
    A sad story of a family's griefFor my November Kindle Prime choice, What Remains True is so much sadder than I thought it would be. It was well written but I chose not to give 5 stars due to the foul language. It was very different reading a book from all the characters' point of view including the dog telling how they were coping with the death of five year old Jonah. I was ready for the story to progress so the family could start healing. The a...
  • Brenda
    Couldn't put it downThis is a wonderful story that really brings you into this family's life. You feel the warmth and happiness of the good times, and the horrible grief of the bad times. This has elements reminiscent of "Lovely Bones" and of "The Art of Racing in the Rain", two books I thoroughly enjoyed.I really enjoyed my time with this book, would definitely read another by this author.
  • Laura Nale
    Love in a DreamThis is a sad struggle of a family mourning a tragic death. I could relate how they all blamed themselves for the accident. I loved that Jonah had not left the family until he could let them see it was no one's fault. I also loved that the dog had a story to tell too. Some parts I felt were a little repetitive and I would have liked to read about Jonah as a ghost a bit more but overall it was a good read.
  • C.j. Williams
    4 1/2 StarsAlmost a 5, but only because there were parts I wish were shorter, but believe me when I say that I loved the story. I only give 5 stars when I read each page & don't mind taking the scenic route. Be that as it may, I love the way the author brought all the character's perceptions of the 'very bad' day and gives a complete picture at the end with Jonah giving his final goodbye. Beautiful story.
  • Lauren Harris
    Wow! This is a powerful book.This book is written from all of the characters point of view. Each chapter is from a different person. I love the way it's laid out and the character development is perfect. I highly recommend this book. I could hardly put it down, I wanted to find out what would happen next. This book grabbed my attention from the very first sentence. It will make you think and hug your loved ones even closer. This book made me laug...
  • Becky
    The first part of this book was so depressing, i almost stopped reading. Each chapter was written from the perspective of a family member of a five year old boy who died. The grief was palpable. But when the family went to see a grief counselor, the story wasn’t so grim. And it was interesting seeing an outsider’s perspective of the characters and seeing the family slowly recover. How the boy died isn’t truly revealed until the end. A tear ...
  • Deborah
    Great StoryI lost my 19 month old grandson last year so I was hesitant to read this book. This book gave me a better understanding of the guilt you feel over losing a child. In this book I could feel the reasons the characters blamed themselves and was glad to see them begin to heal. I know it isn't easy to recover from the loss of a child and the time frame for healing isn't as quick as it is in this story but it gives me hope that my son will h...