Some things you can't avoid
"Two Truths, Dana Carver’s first published novel, is going to surprise you.You’ll expect a relationship novel, and it is.You’ll expect a mystery and a romance and you’ll find it is those, as well.But you’ll also journey into past millennia, to mundane and exotic locales, into philosophy and history and religion, and into the hearts and minds of four extraordinary women as they search for Truth.
Mind reading, Gods, gifts, Truth, danger, three daughters and their mother are all at the core of this constant surprise of a novel. The four women are all protagonists, each with her own motives, each searching in her own way for Truth. The worlds of each contain their own cast of characters in their own settings. Lake Tahoe, Cincinnati, New Zealand, New Haven, Atlanta, Jekyll Island, and Paris are a few of the settings as the characters break from each other, reconnect, and journey again on their individual paths. Riding a strong current of dread, the final pieces of the puzzle come together with a satisfying snap. Might there be room for a sequel?
Chapters are short, all in third person, and each devoted to one of the protagonists. Each chapter is labeled with the character and setting, making it easy to follow. Plot and character are developed largely through dialogue. I found the novel to be timely as it explored mindfulness, meditation, the attraction to death, desire for power, manipulation by means of fear, social divisions, secret societies, sexuality and more." - Susan Coffman.
After the mysterious death of her husband, Renee Morgan is determined to protect her three daughters, forcing her to face a history she has spent a lifetime avoiding.
Groomed by her father to join the most elite of secret societies, Brett knows she is destined for something great. But her ambition demands a high price.
Sara is ready to avenge her father at any cost. When she finds herself swept up in conspiracies and family secrets, her search for answers uncovers a primeval power.
Hadley watched her father die and now he won’t leave her alone. Guided by his ghost, she begins to experience memories of past lives.
As the journeys of Renee, Brett, Sara and Hadley converge, two Truths are revealed that change everything they knew about themselves and the world they live in.
Holly Quigley, Columbus Ohio
"The story opens with a funeral. Always an attention grabber! From there it unfolds through the voices of a mother and three daughters. Each character's journey represents paths we can choose in life. And life is expanded to encompass past lives as well, back to the beginning of time. It's quite an interesting concept– it tackles faith, power, good/evil, purpose and origins of knowledge.
I enjoyed the way the story was set up. A lot of little nuggets of truisms were sprinkled throughout– which I found helpful in applying to my own life. There is nothing like reading philosophical discussions to evaluate your own belief systems. I talked to a friend of mine about some of the themes and it led to an interesting conversation about the origins of man/knowledge and made me wonder where the author found all the info. It made me want to research on my own.
I really liked this book, it piqued my interest and kept it!"
Hamish Hodgson, Lincoln NZ
“I found myself intrigued reading this book as it is not a genre that I would normally go for. And once I started getting into the book, I found it harder and harder to put down. Some of the characters I found easier to relate to than others, but they all had interesting stories and points of difference. I found myself completely changing my mind about how I perceived them to be numerous times during the book, which made it even harder to put down.
All in all, I would definitely describe this book as an interesting read and the creativity of the author is to be commended. For a book that would normally fall outside of my “normal” reading selection, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to others.”
Adam Barker, Auckland NZ
“Dana Carver’s first foray into print follows four family members on separate pathways to discover the novel’s titular Two Truths. Their journeys proceed along different pathways as their motivations guide them to seek answers in their own ways. The reader’s own journey takes a turn halfway through when the book’s underlying premise is revealed. From that point on the author builds on the motif with a series of plot twists and deft touches before guiding the story to its conclusion.
Two Truths will find favour with connoisseurs of a variety of genres. Followers of Dan Brown will enjoy the twists of the plot line while fans of Jane Austen will equally enjoy seeing the characters develop through the pages. Add a dash of adventure and a generous dollop of mythology and you have a rich mixture to please most readers.”
Ciarán Tully, Ngatea NZ
“Two Truths is a page turning read, where the lives of a mother and her three daughters compete with each other, and ultimately complete each other, on a journey to discover themselves. When reading this book, I imagined a Rubik's Cube being worked on all sides at the same time. Eventually, as the story progresses, some sides near completion while other sides become more jumbled and unordered. The cube is finally completed to show the changes that are possible as the truth is discovered. Such is the complexity of the relationships between the characters.
I would recommend this book to someone who has an interest in the relationships and dynamics of power and love. It dabbles in politics and the corridors of power, it touches on the occult/afterlife and would be a good toe in the water for someone who hasn't explored these genres. It looks at the dynamic relationships between parents and siblings. It causes the reader to question everything, in effect, to discover their own truth.”
"Two Truths is an ambitious novel that no doubt has fallen short in some places. Attempting to weave sixteen themes into four characters spanning 500,000 years was always a ridiculous endeavor. But thanks to many people, I managed to stay dedicated to the idea and created the book I always dreamed of, the Bohemian Rhapsody of novels (as my good friend Liz calls it).
Several brave souls volunteered to read the manuscript. Thanks to those of you who took the time to critique it: Damien Barr, Sam Cormack, Mel Escott, Andrew Fraser, Hamish Hodgson, Belinda Jeursen, Caroline King, Deirdre Kirk, Jill Kuyper, Shelley Lovegrove, Katherine McCusker, Neil Carver, Jill and Brian McNaughton, Sarah Paterson-Hamlin, Juan Pellegrino, Holly Quigley, Lola Reynolds, and Ciarán Tully.
Special thanks to Adam Barker, who took an interest in the book at a critical time of waning motivation, and not only offered sound insights but convinced several of the above to read it as well, all of which offered valuable perspectives. Liz Blakemore took more interest in this book than I had any right to expect and has kept me going on many a dark day. Her enthusiasm and can-do attitude never cease to amaze me. Thank you, Liz! Thanks also to my sister-in-law, Nicole, who encouraged me through the horror-house of querying agents; to Lee Cowan for saying it was “proper brilliant” on a day when I was sure it would be better used as toilet paper; and to Susan Coffman for starting me on my writing journey.
Thanks to both my editors, Donna Blaber and Caroline Simpson, who combed through the manuscript with care and dedication. This was not an easy book to edit, with multiple dialogue styles, several historical references, and reincarnated characters. Thank you for your persistence!
And thanks to Tony, my wonderful husband, who would rather suffer a cold, rainy day with a broken tractor and flooded paddocks than read a book, much less discuss literature. Thank you for staying awake while I read aloud to you in the evenings, for accepting the frequent solitude needed for my creativity, and for steadfastly believing in me."
Dana C Carver