James, Holly. Nothing But The Truth. Dutton, 2022. ISBN 9780593186503. 304 pp. $17
What a wonderful premise: on the eve of her 30th birthday, publicist Lucy Green sips a cocktail confection while she waits for her boyfriend at an LA Bar and wishes for a perfect day: a proposal, a promotion, and successful moving in with her soon-to-be fiance. However: the next morning she wakes up unable to lie, and takes on the patriarchy, women’s restrictive clothing, diets and cheat days and carb counting, the conformity of makeup, her mother’s desire for a grandchild, and utmost honesty in dealing with her relationship and her sensitive and eccentric celebrity clients.
I cheered Lucy in her au natural hair, bohemian sundress and comfy shoes, and settling into a style more her and still socially (careeraly?) acceptable, her ordering a full breakfast and skipping spin class, and felt her rage and pain at having to work twice and hard and be criticized twice as much to get ahead.
Unfortunately, some of the charm is lost in the repetitive railing against bras, heels, food, and mascara. It’s almost redeemed in a successful outcome for allegations of sexual misconduct by the CEO at the PR firm Lucy works for. Is the the Hot Bartender who coincidentally keeps crossing her path inevitably going to be her True Love’s Kiss?
I received an advance reader’s review copy of #NothingButTheTruth through #NetGalley