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The Camera Never Lies

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  418 ratings  ·  165 reviews
Daniel, wife Kelly, and daughter Milly appear to be the perfect family. But an old camera will expose secrets no one wants developed.

Daniel Whiteley is a successful marriage counselor and bestselling author, yet his own marriage is in crisis and his daughter is drifting further away each day. To make matters worse, the deadline for his second book has come and gone, and h
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published December 3rd 2019 by Thomas Nelson
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
2.5 stars rounded up
Rawlings has an incredible imagination and his themes are spot on, as it was with his first novel. This book explores the theme of secret keeping and the effects that has on relationships and a person's entire life. Keeping the secrets becomes more and more difficult as time passes. Overall, this book is worth reading because that message is powerful. Loved the idea of this magical camera that sees the truth.
However, the novel had a few issues for me. The characters seemed mo
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Australian author David Rawlings has just won a 2019 Christy Award for his debut novel, The Baggage Handler, so I wanted to find out how his second novel fared in comparison.

Personally, I think it’s even better.

Now, not everyone will agree with me. One of the strengths of The Baggage Handler was that so many readers could find themselves in one of the three characters: the ambitious businessman, the harried housewife, the teen trying to find his own definition of success. The Camera Never Lies h
Randi Sampson
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Coming from Thomas Nelson- a Christian publisher, I expected that The Camera Never Lies would be much more faith based with a supernatural twist. I was rather surprised that God was- to the best of my recollection- not mentioned at all. Nor was faith really. If they were, they were so little of the focus that I failed to remember those instances anyway. I say this not as a negative, just a surprise to me. Though I DO personally enjoy stories with more Christian content, I know that that is not t ...more
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
There was an old Twilight Zone episode back in 1960 that had a camera that took pictures of the future. The camera in this novel takes pictures of what might be the future, or what might have been the future, for the characters in the story. An odd man in a camera shop, who develops the pictures the camera takes, is a sage of sorts, enlightening those who will listen as to the importance of telling the truth and not keeping secrets.

Yes, this book has a message, or actually lots of messages for
Sep 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
After his beloved grandfather's funeral, Daniel Whitely receives the prized and mysterious camera his grandfather purchased a decade ago. Seeing the photos developed over the next three weeks, and guided by a charismatic - if not slightly mysterious - photo lab technician, Daniel embarks on a journey of discovery and clarity.

The idea for this book felt original and fantastical, but the narrative was very repetitive with poor character development. The characters lacked tangible depth and substa
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like it when a novel challenges me to live a better version of myself. This novel did that in the realm of keeping secrets. Rawlings portrays well the desire to keep secrets in order to maintain one's reputation, status in society, income, etc. There is generally a high cost in revealing secrets, however, and I was disappointed Rawlings failed to ultimately portray that. I feel the struggle does not end when secrets are revealed but does include the task of picking up the shattered pieces of l ...more
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

While this book may seem like a fast and easy read, I suggest you take your time with it. The wisdom found in this book could save you a lot of trouble. The story is about a marriage counselor and his family. He is a successful author but is pressured into writing another book. He has trouble coming up with a new idea. While he struggles with this, his life, his family, and all those around him are spiraling out of control. This book deals wi
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings is a powerful contemporary novel about the importance of truth and integrity. As with the previous novel, The Baggage Handler, this book has the potential to change lives if we would just apply the advice given.
The Bible declares that ‘the truth shall set you free’, why then is it sometimes so hard to do? “Truth cannot simply be avoided, covered up or ignored.” Do we prefer to hide the truth because of embarrassment? Or fear? Or something else? We must be
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings.

It's an intriguing philosophical story that really makes you think.

How many secrets do we all hold? What would we do if each and everyone of them was revealed to show our inner truths?

Could this really help us resolve them?

In The Camera Never Lies, Daniel is left a gift of an old, dusty suitcase which contains his Grandpa's Olympus HS-10 camera. It's heavy, black and silver, inscribed inside with 'No matter what you think you might
Becca-Rae Weidel
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book hit me more deeply than I would ever like to admit. It wasn't so much the storyline with the individual characters, because in all honesty I didn't really relate to them. I actually felt pretty distant from them, but maybe it's because of what I was really focusing on. The biggest takeaway from this novel was from what was learned from the camera. It's not just about keeping secrets from others--but refusing to see the truth ourselves. It's the hiding behind a smile because you don't w ...more
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 star
The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings is a profoundly moving story. The camera is a bequest from Gramps after he passes away. It shows the whole truth of the lives of those whose pictures are taken. Rawlings has written an extraordinary book that grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go. I have never read another book quite like this, which considering how many books I have read is astounding!
The only negative aspect of this book is the length. It is quite a short book so it does
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

From beginning to end I was intrigued with this book. David Rawlings took a new and unique approach in asking the reader what if cameras captured whats in our soul instead of what we see with our eyes because in this book, Rawlings plays around with what is in our eyes and things might not always be as we see them but when they are shot with a camera, they ne
Nov 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
This novel explores the importance of facing the truth of your life/actions, whether you want to or not. The author employs a magical camera as the vehicle for this morality tale, so you have to suspend your disbelief to get through the story. The writing was pretty good, but I felt that the moral of the story was extremely obvious and a bit heavy-handed. I did enjoy the reactions of people to someone using an actual camera with actual film, versus the digital world we are generally in these day ...more
Allyssa (Book Ally)
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
This one is a tough one to review. The idea of it was cool and the underlying message was good but the execution in my opinion was poor.

I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again. Not much happened and yet it managed to drag on for so long.

Daniel was a horrible character and so self absorbed I was really just hoping Kelly would leave him the whole time.

I honestly feel like I will have forgotten about this book in a week which is sad because like I said the underlying message w
Connie Saunders
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Daniel Whitely ia a successful marriage counselor, an author of a best-selling book, and he, his wife, and twelve-year old daughter should be living the dream. Instead, their family seems to be falling apart. When his grandfather dies and leaves him a letter, a photo album, and the camera that he had used to take so many pictures, Daniel finds himself unnerved by what the pictures show. He discovers that Gramp's older camera is extraordinary because it produces final photographs that are nothing ...more
Jan 02, 2020 marked it as to-read
I've never read this author before but I really liked this book. You don't have to like the characters or connect with them to enjoy a book.
This really is a well written story with flawed characters of all sorts including Daniel and his family.
In my opinion the camera was really the main character or thing that this story focused on.
For cameras never do lie. And if given the chance they can also ruin people's lives. Especially if they're keeping secrets from their loved ones.
Daniel is the per
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was intriguing. Daniel, a counselor, and his wife Kelly, a pharmaceutical sales rep, both are hiding secrets from each other and the world around them. All families have problems, and Daniel is just chalking theirs up to stresses of daily life. However, when his grandfather passes away, and he inherits the old camera his grandfather owned, his viewpoint is altered. It's very interesting how the camera took pictures of what was going on in their hearts and not the outward appearance. As ...more
Suzie Waltner
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
In his sophomore release, David Rawlings once again challenges readers to hold up a mirror and take stock of what’s happening in their lives.

When he inherits a camera from his grandfather, Daniel Whitely has no idea of the upheaval it will cause in his life because, as the title states, the camera never lies. The photographs taken with this camera wash away the professional, personal, and relational facades so carefully put in place by Daniel and his family. Those photos reveal long-held secrets
Kathleen Gray
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Daniel is surprised and (to be honest) a little creeped out when he realizes that the photos he takes with his grandfather's camera show what the subject feels (go with the idea) more than their physical representation. He's been struggling lately-he's a marriage counselor who wrote a successful book but now has writers block and is unable to deliver his second book. He's also got marriage problems of his own, in part because of the secrets he's kept about himself as well as the lies he's told. ...more
MaryAnn Bell
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
David Rawlings, author of The Baggage Handler, returns with another probing story: what would you do if your secrets were revealed to those around you?

Daniel Whiteley is a successful couples counselor who regularly puts families back together, helping them face up to the things in life they hide. But his own marriage is falling apart.

His wife, Kelly, knows Daniel is hiding something from her, but she doesn’t dare probe for fear her own secrets will be revealed.

When his grandfather dies, Daniel i
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, netgalley, 2019
The Camera Never Lies is a novel that tells the story of Daniel, a marriage counsellor and bestseller author, who is going through some trouble in his own marriage. One day he inherits an unusual camera from his grandfather. A camera that will show him the truth about his life, his marriage and himself.

The Camera Never Lies is what I would call a “beach read”. It is an entertaining, well-written book with interesting characters, but I’ll forget all about it tomorrow. Definitely recommended if yo
Emily Yager
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The main theme of this book showcases how keeping secrets affect not only the person keeping them but also those around them. Also the importance of truth and honesty in marriage. This is the kind of book you'll want to take you time reading through as it has a great deal of depth within its pages. All woven together with a magical aspect.

I personally enjoy magical/supernatural stories that are clean and have a bit of meaningful depth to them.(There's honestly not enough of them). Entertaining
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a very interesting story with many life lessons and some magical elements thrown in. 

The story revolves around Daniel, a marriage counselor who is struggling in his own marriage. He has just received a camera from his grandfather, who passed away, and quickly finds out that "the camera never lies". 

There are great themes weaved throughout the story, the main one being honesty. Sometimes honesty is difficult but it is very important (as Daniel quickly discovers). 

This book raised a lot o
Tammy G.
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was one of the most interesting stories that I've read in awhile.
It's so interesting that a picture does tell a thousand words about us. So the camera never lies giving us all a new look at how our lives are being played out right before us in pictures.
Daniel Whitely inherits a camera and as he takes pictures and has them developed he begins to notice that his life is played out right before his eyes.
He also begins to see that he, his wife and daughter do not have the perfect life as they
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What happens when the photos you take reveal more than you want? We all hide things but what if we couldn't how would we live? This is the story of someone who is not ready to look at the truth but slowly has no choice but to do that. I loved the story but also made you pause and think about what photos the camera would show of my life. ...more
Ruth Hill
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

First of all, this is a clean book. No profanity or sex scenes. And even though God is not really talked about in the book, Biblical/Christian principles are promoted. There are some unexplained phenomena in the book, but that is a part of the charm of the book, I do believe.

This is a very unusual book, to be sure. I found myself captivated throughout most of
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book presents a very clever concept. A very old camera is bequeathed to Daniel by his grandfather, but the camera’s pictures show the hidden truths rather than what is visible through the viewfinder. Daniel’s personal and professional lives are all affected by this discovery. The novel is a very intriguing page-turner that had me considering what this camera’s pictures would show about my own life. Excellent! Thanks to NetGalley for providing a preprint.
Melinda Staley
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was excited to be able to receive an advanced copy of The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings. While I have not read his previous book (yet!!), I have heard great things about it.
In The Camera Never Lies, Rawlings weaves a tale about things that many of us harbor secretly. From the book description: “Daniel, Kelly, and Milly appear to be the perfect family. But an old camera will expose secrets no one wants developed.”
All of us know our own weaknesses. Many of us never take the time to think
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
David Rawlings does it again! He creates a book that is so relatable to any reader, I feel anyone could pick it up and connect after reading it in some way. He gives us just enough of the fantastical to give it an unexpected twist, and uses that twist to give us a very real and raw look at something we can all relate to. In this book we get a family wrapped up in the American dream, and how the camera shows the stark reality of each other's secrets that are tearing them apart at the seams. The b ...more
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Camera Never Lies is a complicated novel with complicated issues. It is a reminder that truth be told, sticking to the truth is often awkward and people rarely do it if avoiding it is easier.
You may have heard that the path to destruction is paved with good intentions and when your good intentions have their foundations in a lie, it is very hard to make things right. This novel reveals these things and more.
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65 likes · 9 comments
“I love the truth my cameras show. We can't trust our memories. They gloss over details, change words to ones we wish we'd used, and bury the secrets we try to hide. Photos give us clear memories and show us what really happened. The camera never lies, you know.” 1 likes
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