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BOOK REVIEW:Three Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley

In my experiences last fall getting my book Trapped out to market, I had the pleasure of meeting Maine author Betty Culley and appearing with her for a book talk sponsored by The Briar Patch of Bangor, Maine. To prep, I read her YA novel in free verse titled Three Things I Know Are True.

Image of book cover for Three Things I Know Are True by Betty Culley

I won’t tell you the three things in this review, but I will tell you it’s a poignant, heartbreaking, and hopeful novel. When Liv’s brother accidentally shoots himself with an unsecured gun in the attic of his friend Clay’s house, the shock waves consume Liv and her mother, her permanently disabled brother, and Clay and his family.


Even though I enjoy writing poetry and teaching others to write poetry, I didn’t think I’d like the free verse format. Instead, I loved it. Betty’s poetry is the perfect way to portray the deep emotions that underpin this story. And I love that Maine’s iconic Kennebec River plays a central role and unifying role in the novel.

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