The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings: Book Review
About the Book
Book: The Camera Never Lies
Author: David Rawlings
Genre: General fiction/allegory/magical realism
Release Date: December 3, 2019
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 inherits an old SLR camera from a time when cameras pointed away from the person taking the photograph. On the camera is an inscription: “Use this camera wisely and remember, regardless of the picture you think you took, the camera never lies.”
When Daniel first uses his new camera he finds someone has already filled the roll of film. Annoyed, he processes the film and finds photos of a secret that he’s been hiding from his wife and daughter.
He has no idea who took them.
Now every time he uses the camera, the photographs reveal another secret about himself the he is desperate to keep-as well as those of his wife, which he is desperate to uncover.
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What happens when you are faced with your own secrets? What happens when those secrets threaten everything you know and love?
There is a lot to unpack in The Camera Never Lies and I would rather you read it for yourself and see what ‘truths’ come to your mind.
Daniel touts the line “No Secrets” but he’s carrying around a heap of secrets, as are his wife and daughter.
A hard-hitting novel full of truths and a touch of the speculative, which showcases the power of secrets and what they can cost us.
David Rawlings writing style and prose are right up my alley. He’s not afraid to dig deep and show readers some hard truth wrapped up in a beautiful literary work.
Not everyone will enjoy the speculative side, but I loved every aspect of the camera, the film shop, the characters, everything. Daniel, Kelly, and Milly were real, raw, and hurting. They needed each other but were so afraid of someone learning their secrets they pulled away instead of pulling together.
Writing a story about a marriage counselor who’s own marriage is failing might seem a bit on-the-nose, but having that familiarity allowed me to engage more with what wasn’t being said than what Daniel kept projecting through voice and language.
Needless to say, I loved this novel. At times, it was hard to like Daniel. The author played heavily on Kelly’s insecurities and added a troubled daughter to an already unstable dynamic. But everything worked. The characters fed on each other’s guilt and problems while trying to cover their own in a realistic view of how life can fall apart when we leave God out of the equation.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
David Rawlings is an Australian author, and a sports-mad father of three who loves humor and a clever turn of phrase. Over a 25-year career he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication. Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face.
Read an Excerpt
Read an excerpt of The Camera Never Lies here.