A Book of Untruths
written and read by Miranda Doyle
This book is satisfying despite the lies that pull the narrative together. That said, Miranda Doyle promises that she “really, really will” tell the truth behind the fiction of her family’s story. At the centre is her father, a philanderer who remarried months after his first wife died giving birth. It was only after his death that his second wife (Doyle’s mother) discovered the “first untruth of their relationship”: she thought the mourning period had been longer. Guilt kept the pair together after an abortion, and later infidelity and other lies would damage their relationship and others’. Stitched into the memoir is research into lying. We are told the bigger the brain, the more frequent the deceit, and that children lie from the age of three. Lies beget lies, Doyle writes. They also led, brilliantly, to this memorable outpouring.