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An absorbing, moving, ruefully tender, witty and wise novel of marriage, motherhood and the paths we navigate through both, for fans of Ann Patchett and Anne Tyler.

Journalist and single mother Suzy Hamilton gets a phone call one summer morning, and finds out that the subject of one of her investigative exposes, 25-year-old wellness blogger Tracey Doran, has killed herself overnight. Suzy is horrified by this news but copes in the only way she knows how – through work, mothering, and carrying on with her ill-advised, tandem affairs.

The consequences of her actions catch up with Suzy over the course of a sticky Sydney summer. She starts receiving anonymous vindictive letters and is pursued by Tracey’s mother wanting her, as a kind of rough justice, to tell Tracey’s story, but this time, the right way.

A tender, absorbing, intelligent and moving exploration of guilt, shame, female anger, and, in particular, mothering, with all its trouble and treasure, The Truth About Her is mostly though a story about the nature of stories – who owns them, who gets to tell them, and why we need them. An entirely striking, stylish and contemporary novel, from a talented new writer.

Find out more here.



Jacqueline Maley is a columnist and senior writer for the Sydney Morning Herald and Age newspapers, where she writes about politics, people and social affairs. She has also worked on staff at the Guardian in London and at the Australian Financial Review, as well as contributing to numerous other publications including Gourmet Traveller and Marie Claire. In 2016 she won the Kennedy Award for Outstanding Columnist. Together with Kate McClymont, she won a Walkley award in November 2020 for their investigation exposing sexual assault allegations against former High Court justice Dyson Heydon. She lives in Sydney with her daughter and partner.




‘This is one of the joys of being a publisher: when you present to the world a writer who is instinctively so confident, so polished and just so ready. Of course I knew and admired Jacqueline’s award-wining work as a journalist, but when I read the manuscript for her debut novel, it floored me. How was it possible that she was this good, straight off the bat? I fell in love with this novel from the first few pages, because Jacqueline has just got this wonderful, intelligent, intensely human voice – sharp, clever, witty, compassionate, tender, rueful, knowing. This whole novel is so intensely relatable yet so readable. As a reader you just gulp it down greedily but there’s so much there to unwind and think about.  Who among us is not guilty of something?  Who among us has not felt that sting of shame? Which of us working mothers has not felt that familiar bitter taste of anger, of guilt? We don’t just read, we empathise … The tension of the novel slowly builds until it’s near unbearable, but the deep work of the novel is in the characters and their emotional shifts – and the ending is unexpected and powerful. As I read it, I kept thinking of writers like Anne Tyler, Ann Patchett – to me, that’s where Jacqueline Maley sits, in their company.  The Truth About Her is layered, humane, insightful, written with intelligence, heart and wit – just a joy to read.’
—Catherine Milne



We have 10 reading copies of The Truth About Her to give away!
Please email your request to HarperCollins.





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