Postechian’s Pick: Verity
Postechian’s Pick: Verity
  • Reporter Kim San
  • 승인 2023.09.06 11:12
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▲Verity (2018)
▲Verity (2018)

  Say all you want about Colleen Hoover, but that lady knows how to tell a story. The book hardly contains deep philosophical messages, but the page just flips and the story develops like a train with no brakes. This is one of those books that would get people out of reading slumps and put them straight back into the habit of reading. The title, Verity, is pretty much a foreshadow of what the entire plot revolves around. The main theme of the book is about Truth and the fabrication thereof. Published in 2018, the book may as well be seen as an allegory of sickening fake news and disinformation that are getting into the ways of our lives and are changing the course of human history by swaying public opinions and meddling with elections.
  The story begins with a pop – a pop of a human brain in downtown New York as the protagonist witnesses a graphic accident between a pedestrian and an oncoming truck. Lowen is a mediocre writer living in New York on her way to a meeting with a publisher for a new contract before she gets splashed with lukewarm blood. The new contract – she later finds out – is to co-author a bestselling series and finish the remaining two books. She reluctantly signs the contract thinking about the piles of bills left unpaid on her kitchen table. She is bewildered by the reason why they chose a mediocre writer like herself to coauthor such a successful series.
  The original author, Verity, had a severe car accident several months ago and has fallen into a coma since then. She spends most of her days in her bed with day-carers occasionally moving her posture to prevent bed sores. Her husband Jeremy invites Lowen to their house as all of Verity’s notes and materials are in her study. Verity's family has recently gone through several tragedies: the deaths of their two young daughters shortly after one another, and the near-death car accident of Verity that knocked her unconscious probably for the rest of her life. All that is left of Jeremy is his son Crew.
  Verity’s notes are overwhelmingly extensive. They take over the entirety of her study. Lowen quickly realizes why Jeremy invited her over to their house instead of sending copies of the notes over the post – that would simply be impossible. Among them is Verity's autobiography which gives detailed descriptions of her life leading up to her accident. The rest of the story unfolds with two parallel narratives – one of Lowen's own, and the other of Verity's recollection of which, to be accurate, Lowen is reading. The story develops as Lowen unwillingly discovers Verity’s forbidden secret.
  What Lowen finds in the manuscript is Verity’s account of how she met her provokingly handsome husband, and how she over time became obsessed with him and his body. As their relationship grew more intimate, they gave birth to two twin daughters. Her morbid obsession with Jeremy, however, transformed into an inexplicable jealousy as she realized her daughters now consume most of his attention. She furthermore goes on to confess her detailed attempts of miscarriage by shoving the sharp end of a cloth hanger up her bottom. After their birth, her jealousy elevated into profound resentment which eventually led her to murder her daughter.
  Throughout the novel, Hoover extensively explores the idea of the unreliability of human memory and the fragility of what individuals believe to be True. As Lowen gradually pieces together the family’s secret only to be completely contradicted at the end of the book, the reader questions the reliability of her very narrative and the accusations she has made throughout towards Verity. After all, what we believe to be true about Verity’s family is only a figment of Lowen's imagination based on what she pieced together from Verity’s autobiography. This is perhaps an allusion to the credibility – or the lack thereof – in the sea of information online. What we read and see may not be the whole Truth because looks can be deceiving sometimes.