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As Good as True

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  5,155 ratings  ·  488 reviews
A powerful and haunting novel of a woman’s broken past and the painful choices she must make to keep her family and her home.

August 1956. After a night of rage and terror, Anna Nassad wakes to find her abusive husband dead and instinctively hides her bruises and her relief. As the daughter of Syrian immigrants living in segregated Alabama, Anna has never belonged, and now
Paperback, 380 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by Lake Union Publishing (first published February 1st 2018)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,155 ratings  ·  488 reviews

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RoseMary Achey
Feb 01, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Every novel needs balance. The timing and pace should be appropriate for the story being told. Unfortunately this book fails on all those tenets.

As Good as True deals with domestic violence, segregation and extremely complex family dynamics. While author Cheryl Reid clearly produced a book with significant depth a bit of good news would have been welcomed.

After several days of extreme misery I was so hoping the protagonist would find some joy. The ending was ambiguous and a major let down. I
Melissa Leatherwood
I finished it, but I didn’t love it. I admire the perseverance and the strength portrayed here, yet the clinginess to guilt over things completely out of her control was tiring and incongruent. The understanding of complex race relations I have no experience with in a time I wasn’t there for was what I was after. A woman beating herself up for not being a better mother, when she did just fine, and her spoiled brat ridiculous daughter holding her mother accountable for her father’s horrid mistake ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Really not my cup of tea....very disappointed. I thought it would be such a great read from the description but instead it was slow, repetitive and downright boring in my opinion. I couldn't finish it (got just over half way through). I don't know if it was just how I was interpreting it but the main character just seemed to be whining all the time....I imagined her voice to be whiny and pathetic....which I suppose was what the author was trying to portray due to the nature of the story (now tha ...more
Bonnye Reed
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
GAb As good as True is a wonderful novel. Cheryl Reid brings to us the pain and joy and love of childbirth and motherhood, the duties we owe our parents, the necessity of familial bonds, and the injustice and repercussions of segregation of all sorts. Until we can all live as one family we are bound to fail at the art of humanity.

Prime January free Kindle 01/01/18
Was not able to review on B&N until 2-1-18
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This story beautifully illustrates a family torn by cultural experience, racial issues and difficult topics. The author is a powerful writer and I cannot wait for her next novel. This book was not what I expected, it was better.
Dorothy Tracey
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poignant but powerful book about a Syrian woman who has been mentally, physically, and sexually abused all her life by her husband. The story takes place in the late 1950's when racial segregation was still considered the norm. This was a January Amazon First Reads choice (bought in hardback). Other reviewers have commented on the behaviors and attitudes of Marina (the daughter) as being bratty and abhoring..but I thought the personalities of the two children were wonderfully developed. Both kid ...more
Dee Cherry
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Sad story as Anna's life was on display. I kept wondering when things would turn around for her. Well written ...more
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

This started out as a beautiful tapestry of tragedy but somewhere near the end, I started to find Anna loathsome. Someone asked me, and now I really need to know if the author intended for the character to be unlikeable. It’s difficult to believe that a character who grew up motherless and then became a victim of domestic violence could be anything but sympathetic. As her story unfolded, I found her to be selfish and her stubbornness wasn’t endearing. The book might’ve been saved with s
Christine Roberts
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: net-galley-read
While "As Good As True" has an interesting premise and a well thought out cast of characters, it just wasn't a hit for me. I found it plodding and dull, and I really couldn't find the desire to care about the main character in the book.

Thanks to NetGalley, Cheryl Reid, and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Quite a tough read.

There’s a lot going on here. A story of segregation and female oppression, domestic violence, anger, death, grief...I could go on.

I found it quite a slow read and was expecting the story the really kick-start for most of the novel. It was only when I reached the 80% mark that I realised that it wasn’t actually going to really go anywhere. The flashbacks of Anna’s life were a happy (although that’s a poor choice of words given that nothing about this story made you feel happy!
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This was a free ebook from Amazon won through Goodreads. Wonderful writing, and interesting story, had me engrossed from the beginning. The daughter of Syrian immigrants, Ana lives in Alabama. Segregation, racism runs deep even today with people of "colour" and what countries their ancestors came from. Her husband dies. Did she kill him? An angry community takes action. Ana has an inner strength and had me turning the pages eagerly awaiting justice. ...more
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some good writing and world-building, but needs more plot and less violence. I actually feel kind of bad giving this 2 stars, because the setting and characters were so interesting, I thought the protagonist was relatable, and there were some really well-done passages. But I couldn't read the whole thing due to the gratuitous, graphic depictions of domestic violence and psychological abuse. Also, the book tended to be repetitive, circling back on itself and re-explaining already familiar ground. ...more
Cindy Marsch
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't start highlighting until halfway through my Kindle edition, but my large collection of highlights from the second half explains how powerful this book was to me. Anna/Vega and I have a strange overlap of life experiences--I have a wonderful husband, for example, but have suffered wrong from others that makes so much of this novel a poetic expression of my own heart cries. Reid deftly captures the sudden shadows of clouds passing quickly over the sun in a high wind, as her characters def ...more
Marsha Lambert
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book drew me in and kept me reading until finished. Family pride and prejudice, mistakes from the past, common decency shown to someone from another culture, all collide together and make one realize what the really important things in life are.
sherry flanders
Jan 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Depressing as hell

Not one happy moment in the entire story. Yuck! I couldn't wait to finish it. This book is terrible. Yuck
Feb 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite

Unfortunately for me this was a miss. It was very very over detailed and the ending fell flat for me too. There was no real resolution.
Scottsdale Public Library
A beautiful debut novel about a Syrian women who grew up in Alabama in the days before the civil rights movement. Anna, the daughter of Syrian immigrants, grew up in Alabama in the era of segregation. Neither white nor black, she never felt she belonged in either world. Raised in the black area of town, she moved to the white area after marriage to another Syrian immigrant. A random act of kindness toward a black man she knew as a child results in a chain reaction of troubles.
Told from both pas
Jessi Fuller
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
As Good as True, Cheryl Reid’s debut novel, elucidates the harsh truth of motherhood. Desire is not enough to form a relationship; physical presence today won’t eliminate previous absences. Anna Nassad does not understand this. Growing up motherless, the idea of physicality became all-encompassing. She deified a mother she didn’t know, and in so doing created a role of mother that revolved around duty. Mothers marry fathers. They have babies. Everyone is happy.

Without any concrete memories of
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Props to the author for not sparing the blood and gore of childbirth. There's not enough of that to counter the constant stream of sappy droolings about motherhood. Most importantly, it did not feel like a didactic tale telling everybody to go and procreate like rabbits. It was a painful story of a mother in one helluva giant shitstorm. The kids mattered to *her* and that was all.

When I say shitstorm, I mean a shitstorm. If you expect some coddly nonsense of reprieves between reality hits, don't
Kristi Duarte
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I’ve read recently, and am impressed that it’s Cheryl Reid’s first (published) novel. For once, I wasn’t constantly looking for how many more pages until the end, wishing the book would come to a close. Instead, I enjoyed the ride very much. I will definitely look out for more of her work.

The story is both multi-layered, deep, and effortless: just the kind of writing style I like. It truly makes you think about your perceptions of the strangers you meet. Perhaps th
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A powerful book which addresses many different themes

This book revolves strongly around two key themes: Grief and domestic violence. Although many other themes play a strong part, such as racism and alcoholism.

Vega's (Anna) late mother is at the forefront of her mind throughout the story and well into her adulthood. It is clear from the get-go that losing her mother has greatly impacted her life, and that of her father who struggled to cope with his wife's death. Having denied his kids any memor
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this. The description sounded promising. Unfortunately, I felt everything about this novel was mediocre. This was one of those books that I finished more because I had to than because I wanted to. It just did not deliver. It was slow moving and did not hold my attention. Much of the plot points were rather obvious considering the subject matter and setting. I also had a hard time sympathizing with the main character. I will say that it does illustrate the extent to which dom ...more
Kathy Averbeck
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This story intriqued me from the first page but by about half way through, I was about ready for the book to be over. I did not find the main character a very sympathic person even though her story was quite traumatic. I felt that she brought a lot of it on herself and did not deal with her circumstances very well.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can not read another word of this depressing story. The spoiled, self-centered daughter was enough to make me want to stop reading. The mother, who is the narrator, wouldn’t leave her abusive husband because her 5-year-old daughter “would never allow it.” Really? She’s five!!! I just find this story and the characters unbearable.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was excited for this book, but it fell flat for me. I do not think the blurb on the back captured the essence of this book, implying it would be more about the relationship between Anna and Orlando. Instead,5)8/ just became the inciting incident for violent act after violent act. The author tried to tackle everything from abuse to broken families to mother-daughter relationships to racial tensions, and it was just too much. As another reviewer said, a good book has balance, but this book was h ...more
A'ndrea (Auni)
I won this book on Goodreads, and promised to give an honest review. I liked this book, the story, the characters the ones you should like and root for the best. Even the evil doings by so many, the detail in which the author made you dislike them was done really well.

I did feel however, that I was reading so much of the thoughts of the main character over and over.

Masterful storytelling by Cheryl Reid and a profound look at the dark life of a Sirian immigrant woman in America.
Anna Nassad’s life is filled with loss, pain, hate, tension, regret, physical abuse in the hands of her husband and mental and psychological abuse by his family. Racial discrimination is a main theme throughout the book and our main character finds herself at the center of it.
It’s a heart-wrenching story you need to have a strong stomach to read. It’s thought-provoking, informative
Nicki Gunn
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book

I wasted too many months putting off reading this. Once I started I couldn't stop. Gripping story. Great characters. I loved that I couldn't tell when it took place until I was told the year. The family issues, cultural issues, and societal issues could have happened anywhere and any time. Well done.
cecelia niezgoda
Great read

Totally enjoyed this book. It was frustrating at times that Anna/Verga was so accepting of husband's bad behavior, until you put it in perspective. Not a big difference between the Old Country and Alabama in the bigoted 1950s . Everybody was supposed to know their place and suffered the consequences if they tried to change the status quo. A likeable heroine . . .
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“She loved him as I loved my children, but she burdened us with the depth of her love. It went as deep as misery.” 1 likes
“I was shocked to see my beautiful Marina in such a mess, no makeup and her green eyes bloodshot. Her ebony hair, usually smooth and swept up in a French twist, was disheveled and damp. She wore one of Michael’s button-downs and rolled-up blue jeans, not one of her smart and tidy dresses. To my surprise, she wrapped her arms around me and held tight. Heat emanated from her body.” 1 likes
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