What We Both Know by Fawn Parker

What We Both Know explores the MeToo movement and how power imbalances can shift.

Synopsis

With her father’s health condition deteriorating, Hillary Greene recently moved in to help care for him. During his career, he was a celebrated author. Now, with the help of his daughter, he wants to write a memoir documenting his life.

However, since her father’s memory is declining, Hillary is the one writing the memoir. While he watches his old interviews and writes disjointed notes, Hillary intimates to the publisher that it is solely her father’s work.

The more she writes and delves into her memories, the more she learns about the heinous truth of her father’s past.

Being back in her family home and delving into research brings up a shore of memories for Hillary, not all of them good. On top of everything, Hillary is still grieving the recent passing of her sister Pauline.

With all these thoughts churning, Hillary must decide whether to reveal her father for the revolting man he is or preserve the last of his reputation.

Review of What We Both Know

This novel shares similar themes with My Dark Vanessa, but I’d say this is the more literary version. The writing style is easy to read, but it is also very distant and, at times, disturbing.

There’s this overarching sense of gloominess and uneasiness throughout the book. I was expecting a big reveal, but it never came.

I wonder if I missed something too. Hillary constantly calls her father baby, both in her own narrative and when speaking to him. I am sure his name is Marcus, but the baby thing threw me off every time. Maybe calling him baby made it easier for her to disassociate his present and past selves. In any case, it was strange.

I did find the story compelling, hence the three stars, but I was expecting more.

If you enjoy slow, literary, slice-of-life books where not much happens, then this is the book for you.

CW: SA, animal harm (disturbing).

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Expected Publication: 03 May 2022

Thank you to McClelland & Stewart for providing an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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