Quick Summary: Lowen Ashleigh is hired to complete a bestselling author’s series, but as she delves into the author’s notes, she discovers sinister secrets that blur the lines between fiction and reality. Twists and suspense abound in this chilling tale to present readers with a climax that anyone hardly expected.
Verity Full Summary
“Verity” is a thrilling psychological suspense novel by Colleen Hoover. The story begins with Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling writer on the brink of eviction, witnessing a horrific accident on her way to a critical business meeting.
During the incident, she encounters Jeremy Crawford, a man deeply affected by recent tragedies in his own life. Unbeknownst to both, they are headed to the same destination.
At the meeting, Lowen is presented with a career-changing opportunity to complete the remaining three books of a popular series, The Noble Virtues, written by Jeremy’s wife Verity Crawford, who is incapacitated due to a suspicious car accident.
Facing financial difficulties, Lowen seizes the opportunity and agrees to travel to Vermont to gather Verity’s notes.
Upon arriving at the Crawford residence, Lowen meets Crew, the couple’s only surviving child, and embarks on her mission to complete Verity’s series. However, she stumbles upon a manuscript titled “So Be It”, which she believes to be Verity’s autobiography but is actually an exploration of violent impulses intended to enhance Verity’s character development skills.
The shocking revelations in the manuscript cause Lowen to suspect Verity’s involvement in her own daughters’ deaths.
Meanwhile, Lowen and Jeremy’s relationship intensifies, causing an even greater sense of unease as Lowen becomes increasingly threatened by Verity’s presence. They share personal traumas and nearly share a kiss, further complicating the situation.
The manuscript delves into Verity’s troubled relationship with her daughters, Harper and Chastin, her dreams of Harper murdering Chastin, and a failed attempt to kill Harper.
The chilling revelations lead to Verity’s decision to get pregnant with Crew, ostensibly to pacify Jeremy, who suspects unequal treatment of Harper.
As Lowen’s 32nd birthday approaches, her relationship with Jeremy crosses boundaries, leading to them being intimate, even under Verity’s watchful gaze. Lowen vows to complete the manuscript before revealing its dark secrets to Jeremy.
The manuscript continues with the tragic tale of Chastin’s death due to an allergic reaction at a sleepover and Harper’s subsequent drowning, raising more suspicions about Verity.
Jeremy decides to move Verity to a nursing facility, relieving some of the caregiving burden and allowing Lowen to stay longer. Their relationship advances, resulting in unprotected intimacy.
When Jeremy is away taking Crew for medical attention, Lowen confronts Verity and leaves a baby monitor in Verity’s room. The manuscript ends with Verity contemplating suicide after Jeremy questions her involvement in Harper’s death.
Upon Jeremy’s return, a confrontation ensues between him, Lowen, and Verity. The situation culminates in Jeremy forcing Verity to choke on her own vomit, replicating Verity’s earlier attempt to kill Harper.
Lowen and Jeremy agree to silence about the incident.
Fast forward seven months; Lowen, pregnant with Jeremy’s child, discovers a letter from Verity, revealing that the manuscript was a writing exercise aimed at understanding her characters better.
She uncovers Jeremy’s role in staging the car accident, Verity’s own plans, and hints of her mental manipulation.
Faced with this revelation, Lowen decides to destroy the letter and carry the secret to her grave to protect Jeremy’s peace, culminating in a deeply unsettling ending.
Verity Book Review
After delving into this first of the hopefully many thrillers by one of my fav authors Colleen Hoover, I found myself engulfed in a whirlpool of intense emotions, dark secrets, and shocking twists. Hoover, already acclaimed for her poignant romance novels, stepped into the psychological thriller genre with this novel and has demonstrated an unexpected versatility that truly captivated me.
The story unfolds from the perspective of Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling writer who is presented with the offer to complete the remaining books of a successful series written by the renowned, but incapacitated, author Verity Crawford.
The plot takes a dark turn when Lowen stumbles upon Verity’s chilling manuscript, leading to a series of revelations that effectively straddle the line between reality and fiction.
The twisted romantic element between Lowen and Jeremy Crawford, Verity‘s husband, added depth to the narrative, with the subtle build-up of their relationship proving both compelling and unsettling.
Despite the morally complex nature of their romance, I found myself rooting for them, which is a testament to Hoover’s nuanced character portrayal and skillful writing.
Hoover’s strength lies in her ability to create an atmosphere of simmering tension and creeping dread. Reading about the content of Verity’s manuscript was like peeling back layers of a rotten onion, each layer more disturbing than the last.
It brought forward a haunting question: could a mother actually harm her children?
The exploration of this dark side of maternal instinct was an emotionally jarring experience that kept me on tenterhooks throughout.
However, I do believe the ending was perhaps too abrupt and neatly tied up, and it left me feeling a little dissatisfied. Although the final revelation, a shocking twist involving a letter from Verity, was compelling, the aftermath felt rushed.
Perhaps this is a deliberate choice by Hoover, a final unsettling note to leave her readers questioning the truth of everything they’ve read.
In conclusion, “Verity” is a gripping psychological thriller with a potent blend of horror and romance that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is intense, shocking, and strangely enticing.
1. The Power and Danger of Assumptions
In the story, Lowen discovers an unsettling manuscript and makes assumptions about Verity‘s character and involvement in her daughters’ deaths.
However, she later learns that these were explorations of violent impulses as a writing exercise.
This showcases the danger of forming judgments based on limited information, which is an important lesson about the necessity of comprehensive understanding before leaping to conclusions.
2. The Complexity of Human Emotion and Relationships
Throughout the story, the complex emotional dynamics between characters demonstrate that relationships are multifaceted and often complicated.
The developing relationship between Lowen and Jeremy, rooted in mutual grief and growing affection, conflicts with Lowen’s growing suspicion about Verity.
It’s a reminder that human emotions aren’t linear and relationships can be complex and fraught with contradictions.
3. The Thin Line between Truth and Deception
Lowen is led to believe Verity is responsible for her daughters’ deaths, which is later revealed to be a part of Verity’s creative process.
Furthermore, the twist involving Jeremy’s attempt to kill Verity indicates how appearances can be deceptive, teaching the reader to question perceived realities and to understand that things are not always as they seem.
4. The Impact of Secrets on Personal Relationships
Jeremy’s secret regarding the car accident and Lowen’s decision to keep Verity‘s letter a secret highlight how concealed truths can alter the course of lives and relationships.
These instances stress the significance of honesty and transparency in maintaining trust within relationships, and the potential harm that can come from concealment.
Despite the slightly rushed ending, the novel is a testament to Hoover’s storytelling prowess, her ability to delve into the darkest corners of human psychology, and her mastery at crafting complex characters that keep you hooked from beginning to end.
Definitely a recommended read for those who enjoy thrillers with a touch of the macabre.
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