One Great Lie by Deb Caletti | Book Review

I’ve been reading Deb Caletti’s books since I was a young adult myself. Thus, I found myself really looking forward to delving into One Great Lie. I think that Caletti has this spectacular way of exploring issues that affect girls and women in a way that feels realistic. Although certain elements of One Great Lie were a bit outside of reality (the writing fellowship in Venice with the world famous author and scholarship), the really important parts definitely could have been ripped from real life – particularly from the experiences of #MeToo.

One Great Lie is about Charlotte, a girl from Seattle who is unassuming and quiet. She dreams of being a writer. Charlotte applies for a writing program where she will be mentored by her favorite writer, Luca Bruni, in Venice. Of course, she gets in and has a scholarship. At first, it is a dream come true. Only, then things change. You see, Luca is not to be trusted. He uses his position to take advantage of girls, chews them up, and spits them out as Charlotte and her fellow participants will discover.

Interspersed with what happens at the writing program is a subplot. The subplot involves Charlotte looking for the work and truth of a relative who was a female poet in the 1500s. She has received no recognition for her work. With the help of a new friend, Dante, and an Italian professor, Charlotte looks to the past and sees she is not the first girl to have a powerful man wreck her dreams. She sees a whole history of women who never received the recognition the men of their time did. Instead, these women were sent to convents, accused of using magic, as well as of being prostitutes. Some even saw their work stolen and taken credit for by the men.

I think that the themes within One Great Lie are extremely relevant to today. With Luca Bruni, you can see the parallels to Harvey Weinstein, among other examples. The setting for this book is immersive and interesting. I also liked the history that was added, particularly about Venice and the different festivals. However, the pacing is a bit slow. I also never totally felt engaged while reading. The themes within of power and control are very important, however, and I do think that this book definitely deserves a read.


The following two tabs change content below.
April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

%d bloggers like this: