True Confessions of a Heartless Girl


212 pages
ISBN 0-88899-476-1
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Laura M. Robinson

Laura M. Robinson is assistant professor of English, specializing in
children’s literature, at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario.


Martha Brooks’ finely-wrought narrative that weaves in and out of the
various characters’ perspectives is heart-wrenching and profound. Into
a small community where despair seems to be the only emotion, enters a
seventeen-year-old pregnant woman, Noreen, running from her boyfriend
Wesley. She is taken in by Lynda, only to cause one mishap after
another—a sick dog, a caved-in wall, a fire. Out of this destruction,
however, grows community spirit, connection, and love. Overworked single
mother Lynda finally connects with Del, whose brother drowned after a
nasty fight with him years before. Elderly Mary finally confesses to her
best friend, Dolores, that she had had a stroke. Noreen reconciles with
first with her sister and then with Wesley. This novel is about the
redemptive power of love, but not in a clichéd, hackneyed way. Brooks
keeps it fresh through the third person limited narration that moves
from character to character, ultimately emphasizing a multiplicity of
voices and perspectives. This is a complex book that plunges the reader
into the anguish of life to emerge breathless with hope and optimism.
Highly recommended.


Brooks, Martha., “True Confessions of a Heartless Girl,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024,