Summary of “Verity”, a novel known for its gripping narrative and psychological intrigue written by Colleen Hoover. The story revolves around a struggling writer who gets an opportunity to complete the remaining books of a successful series by an injured author, Verity Crawford. As the writer delves into Verity’s unfinished autobiography, she uncovers disturbing truths that blur the lines between fiction and reality. This book is often praised for its suspenseful plot and unexpected twists. Hoover’s storytelling in “Verity” is typically described as captivating and thought-provoking.

Short Recap of The Novel

In “Verity”, Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling writer, is hired to complete the remaining books of a successful series by Verity Crawford, who is incapacitated due to an injury. Lowen moves into the Crawford home to sort through Verity’s notes and outlines. While there, she grows closer to Verity’s husband, Jeremy, and becomes involved in the family’s troubled dynamics.

Verity by Colleen Hoover: Summary, Interesting FactsLowen discovers an unpublished autobiography by Verity, revealing dark secrets. The manuscript describes Verity’s manipulative and sociopathic tendencies, as well as her involvement in the deaths of her daughters. Lowen is horrified but also skeptical about the truthfulness of the manuscript.

The plot thickens when Lowen finds out that Verity, though severely injured, might be conscious and aware of her surroundings. Lowen and Jeremy’s relationship deepens, but the situation becomes more complicated with Verity’s presence in the house.

In the climax, Lowen confronts Verity, leading to a confrontation where Verity’s true nature and the validity of the manuscript come into question. The story ends with Lowen finding a letter from Verity, which contradicts the autobiography, leaving readers to question what was true and what was fiction. The book concludes with a haunting ambiguity, keeping the readers guessing about the real story.

Chapter-by-Chapter Plot Summary of “Verity” by Colleen Hoover

Chapter 1: A Tragic Encounter and a Fateful Meeting

Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling writer, witnesses a horrific pedestrian accident in New York City. Covered in the victim’s blood, she meets Jeremy Crawford, the husband of successful author Verity Crawford. Jeremy offers her a job to complete Verity’s book series, as Verity is incapacitated due to an injury.

Chapter 2: The Crawford Home – A Place of Tragedy

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home to sort through Verity’s notes. She learns about the family’s tragic past, including the deaths of their twin daughters, Harper and Chastin. The house and family dynamics exude an eerie atmosphere.

Verity by Colleen Hoover: Summary, Interesting Facts

Crawford home

Chapter 3: Discovering Verity’s Dark Autobiography

While going through Verity’s office, Lowen finds an unfinished autobiography manuscript. It contains unsettling details about Verity’s life and her first encounter with Jeremy, revealing a darker side of her personality.

Chapter 4: Obsession and Manipulation

The manuscript uncovers Verity’s manipulative nature and her fixation on Jeremy. It describes how she intentionally got pregnant with their first child, Harper, to cement her relationship with Jeremy, raising concerns about her mental stability and intentions.

Chapter 5: Disturbing Maternal Instincts

Lowen reads further into the manuscript, which becomes increasingly sinister. It narrates Verity’s experiences of motherhood with the twins, highlighting her lack of maternal instinct. The narrative suggests Verity’s potential involvement in the tragic accidents that affected her daughters.

Chapter 6: A Growing Connection and Haunting Discoveries

Lowen finds herself increasingly drawn to Jeremy, despite the complex circumstances. Her immersion in Verity’s manuscript continues, revealing more unsettling aspects of Verity’s personality and history. The tension in the house grows as Lowen uncovers secrets that challenge her perception of the Crawfords.

Chapter 7: Dark Revelations About the Twins

The autobiography delves into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the Crawford twins. Verity’s account suggests a chilling lack of empathy and hints at her possible involvement in the accidents. Lowen is horrified by these revelations but questions the truthfulness of Verity’s words, given her manipulative nature.

Chapter 8: Unveiling Verity’s Manipulations

Further reading of the manuscript exposes the extent of Verity’s manipulative behavior in her relationship with Jeremy. Her calculated actions and deceitful tactics are detailed, painting a portrait of a deeply troubled and deceptive individual. Lowen struggles to reconcile these revelations with the woman lying comatose in the house.

Chapter 9: Consumed by the Manuscript

The more Lowen reads, the more she is consumed by the dark world of Verity’s mind. The manuscript continues to depict a twisted and disturbing view of Verity’s life, her marriage, and her approach to motherhood. Lowen’s fascination with the manuscript’s contents grows, even as it disturbs her.

Chapter 10: Ethical Dilemmas and Emotional Turmoil

Lowen wrestles with the ethical implications of her discoveries. She debates whether to reveal the contents of the manuscript to Jeremy, fearing the impact it might have on him and their growing relationship. The ambiguity of the manuscript’s truthfulness adds to her inner conflict, leaving her uncertain about how to proceed.

Chapter 11: Deceit and Desire

As Lowen continues reading Verity’s manuscript, she discovers more disturbing details about Verity’s past actions and her twisted view of motherhood and marriage. Meanwhile, Lowen’s attraction to Jeremy intensifies, leading to a passionate encounter between them. This deepens her moral quandary, as she feels conflicted between her desires and loyalty to the comatose Verity.

Chapter 12: The Shadow of Guilt

The manuscript reveals Verity’s possible involvement in the accident that led to her daughter’s death, suggesting a shocking level of malice and premeditation. Lowen is tormented by these revelations and begins to view Verity as a malevolent presence in the house. She struggles with feelings of guilt over her relationship with Jeremy.

Chapter 13: Disturbing Confessions

Verity’s autobiography takes a more sinister turn, with confessions that suggest she may have deliberately harmed her children. Lowen is horrified and starts to fear for her own safety, suspecting that Verity might not be as incapacitated as she appears.

Chapter 14: A House of Horrors

Lowen’s paranoia grows as she becomes more entangled in the Crawford family’s dark past. She begins to suspect that the house itself holds secrets related to the family’s tragedies. The tension escalates when she experiences a series of unsettling incidents, making her question her own sanity.

Chapter 15: Uncovering a Chilling Reality

Lowen finds evidence that suggests Verity has been awake and aware of her surroundings, despite her comatose state. This revelation is terrifying, as it implies that Verity might be manipulating events from her bed. Lowen feels trapped in a nightmare, unsure of whom to trust and what to believe.

Chapter 16: Confronting the Past

Lowen grapples with the shocking realization that Verity might be conscious. She reflects on the manuscript’s revelations and her own experiences in the Crawford house, piecing together a terrifying picture of Verity’s true nature. Lowen’s fear intensifies, but she feels compelled to uncover the whole truth.

Chapter 17: A Tangled Web of Lies

The manuscript reveals more of Verity’s manipulative behavior, including lies she told Jeremy and others to maintain control. Lowen sees the extent of Verity’s deception and how it has impacted everyone around her, especially Jeremy and their son, Crew.

Chapter 18: The Burden of Secrets

Lowen is burdened by the knowledge she possesses from the manuscript and struggles with the decision to tell Jeremy. She fears the consequences of revealing the truth and how it might shatter the fragile stability of the household.

Chapter 19: A Haunting Discovery

Lowen uncovers additional evidence in the house that corroborates the disturbing events described in the manuscript. This discovery solidifies her belief in Verity’s malevolence and makes her more determined to protect Jeremy and Crew from the truth about Verity.

Chapter 20: Crossroads of Morality and Desire

As Lowen and Jeremy’s relationship deepens, she finds herself at a moral crossroads. She must choose between revealing the horrifying truth about Verity and protecting the man she has grown to love. Her emotions and sense of right and wrong are in conflict, leading to a pivotal decision.

Chapter 21: Revelations and Realizations

Lowen debates whether to reveal the contents of Verity’s manuscript to Jeremy. She realizes the depth of Verity’s manipulation and deceit, which has deeply affected every aspect of the Crawford family’s life. Lowen is torn between her growing love for Jeremy and the ethical implications of her findings.

Chapter 22: A Chilling Confrontation

Lowen decides to confront Verity, seeking answers and clarity. This confrontation is tense and unsettling, with Lowen questioning Verity’s consciousness and her role in the tragic events that have unfolded. The encounter leaves Lowen more disturbed and uncertain about the truth.

Chapter 23: Secrets Unveiled

Jeremy discovers the manuscript and confronts Lowen about it. The revelations shake the foundation of his relationship with Verity and his understanding of his family’s past. Jeremy is devastated, and his relationship with Lowen becomes strained as they grapple with the implications of Verity’s actions.

Chapter 24: The Weight of Truth

Jeremy and Lowen struggle with the aftermath of the manuscript’s revelations. They debate what to do next, considering the impact on their relationship and Jeremy’s son, Crew. The atmosphere in the house becomes even more charged and tense.

Chapter 25: A Fateful Decision

Lowen decides to leave the Crawford house, feeling overwhelmed by the situation and her role in it. She struggles with her feelings for Jeremy and the moral complexities of her involvement. Her departure is emotional and fraught with uncertainty.

Chapter 26: A Shocking Twist

In a stunning twist, Lowen discovers a letter written by Verity that contradicts the horrifying revelations in the manuscript. This letter portrays Verity as a victim of circumstances, claiming that the manuscript was merely a writing exercise, not a confession. Lowen is left reeling, unsure of what or whom to believe.

Chapter 27: The Haunting Ambiguity

The novel concludes with Lowen grappling with the ambiguity of the situation. She’s torn between the Verity depicted in the manuscript and the one in the letter. The story ends with Lowen leaving the Crawford house, the truth about Verity remaining a haunting enigma. This ambiguous conclusion leaves readers questioning the reality of the characters and events they have just encountered.

Basic Info About The Novel

  • Title of the work: “Verity”
  • Author: Colleen Hoover
  • Main character(s): Lowen Ashleigh, Jeremy Crawford, Verity Crawford
  • Date of Publication: December 7, 2018
  • Original Language: English
  • Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Romantic Thriller
  • Length: The novel is approximately 333 pages long.
  • Form and Structure: The novel is a prose narrative with a linear structure, interspersed with excerpts from an autobiographical manuscript.
  • Setting: The story primarily takes place in the Crawford family’s home in the present day.
  • Themes: The novel explores themes of truth versus fiction, morality, manipulation, and the complexities of relationships.
  • Diction: The language used is modern and straightforward, with an emphasis on creating a suspenseful and engaging narrative. The diction varies between the main narrative and the excerpts from Verity’s manuscript, which are more intense and disturbing.

Characters Breakdown

Lowen Ashleigh

Verity by Colleen Hoover: Summary, Interesting Facts

  • Personality: Lowen is introspective, empathetic, and somewhat insecure. She’s a complex character with a deep sense of morality.
  • Age: Her exact age is not specified, but she is depicted as a young adult.
  • Gender: Female
  • Role in the Story: Protagonist, a struggling writer hired to complete Verity Crawford’s book series.
  • Arc: Lowen transitions from a financially struggling and morally conflicted writer to someone deeply entangled in the Crawford family’s dark secrets. She undergoes significant emotional and ethical challenges as she uncovers the truth about Verity.
  • Notable Aspects: Lowen’s conflict revolves around her attraction to Jeremy and her ethical dilemma regarding the manuscript she discovers. Her journey is marked by a growing sense of fear and moral ambiguity.

Jeremy Crawford

Verity by Colleen Hoover: Summary, Interesting Facts

  • Personality: Jeremy is portrayed as loving, devoted, and grieving. He shows strength, vulnerability, and a deep sense of loss.
  • Age: Not specifically mentioned, but depicted as an adult in his prime.
  • Gender: Male
  • Role in the Story: Verity’s husband and father of their children, he becomes a central figure in Lowen’s life.
  • Arc: Jeremy experiences a journey from grief and despair to confronting shocking truths about his wife. His character faces emotional turmoil and transformation as he deals with the revelations about Verity.
  • Notable Aspects: His relationship with Lowen and his reaction to the truths about Verity are pivotal to the story. His character is torn between his past with Verity and his growing feelings for Lowen.

Verity Crawford

Verity by Colleen Hoover: Summary, Interesting Facts

  • Personality: Verity is enigmatic, with a personality that oscillates between being a loving wife and mother and a manipulative, possibly malevolent figure.
  • Age: Not explicitly stated, but portrayed as an adult woman.
  • Gender: Female
  • Role in the Story: A successful novelist, the wife of Jeremy, and the central mystery figure whose past and true nature are pivotal to the plot.
  • Arc: Although largely physically inactive due to her condition, Verity’s character arc is revealed through her manuscript and the impact she has on Lowen and Jeremy.
  • Notable Aspects: The conflict about her true nature — whether she is a victim or a villain — is a central theme of the book. Her manuscript and the letter found by Lowen create a dichotomy in her character portrayal.

Interesting Facts About Verity

  • Unique Narrative Structure: “Verity” combines a traditional narrative with an embedded manuscript written by one of the characters, offering a novel within a novel.
  • Blurred Lines Between Truth and Fiction: The novel masterfully blurs the line between reality and fiction, leaving readers questioning what is true and what is part of the character Verity’s manipulative narrative.
  • Genre-Blending: Colleen Hoover skillfully blends elements of psychological thriller, mystery, and romance, creating a unique reading experience that defies traditional genre boundaries.
  • Intense Emotional Impact: The book is known for its emotional intensity, drawing readers into a deeply engaging and sometimes disturbing psychological journey.
  • Controversial and Polarizing Content: “Verity” has been both praised and criticized for its dark and controversial content, making it a topic of much discussion among readers.
  • Colleen Hoover’s Distinctive Style: The novel showcases Hoover’s ability to craft deeply complex characters and intricate plots, a hallmark of her writing style.
  • Reader Engagement: “Verity” has garnered a passionate fanbase, with readers actively discussing theories about the plot and characters, particularly the open-ended conclusion.
  • Critical Acclaim: The book has received widespread acclaim for its gripping storyline and has been a bestseller, solidifying Colleen Hoover’s status as a prominent author in contemporary fiction.

Frequently Asked Questions About “Verity” by Colleen Hoover

Why Did Colleen Hoover Expect “Verity” to Be a Niche Release?

Colleen Hoover initially thought “Verity” would be a smaller, niche release, not expecting her usual readership to gravitate towards it. However, it became a massive success over time, possibly due to its unique blend of genres and intense, gripping narrative.

What Significance Does the Vermont Setting Have?

The Vermont setting of the Crawford home in “Verity” adds to the novel’s eerie and isolated atmosphere, which is crucial for the unfolding psychological thriller.

Why Did Jeremy Choose Lowen to Ghostwrite for Verity?

Jeremy selects Lowen to ghostwrite for Verity likely due to her writing talent and perhaps a subconscious attraction or connection he felt towards her, which unfolds as the story progresses.

What Caused Jeremy and Lowen to Fall for Each Other?

Jeremy and Lowen’s attraction could stem from their shared grief and trauma, as well as the intense circumstances they find themselves in. Their relationship develops in a complex environment of emotional turmoil.

Who is the Real Villain in “Verity”?

The novel leaves the identity of the real villain ambiguous. It challenges the reader to question the truthfulness of the characters, especially regarding Verity’s true nature and the contents of her manuscript.

Was Verity Faking Her Injuries?

The novel suggests the possibility of Verity faking her injuries, adding to the mystery and psychological intrigue of the story. This remains one of the key questions that fuel the novel’s suspense.

Are Lowen and Jeremy in Love or Bound by Circumstances?

It’s debatable whether Lowen and Jeremy are genuinely in love or if their relationship is a product of the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in, surrounded by secrets and emotional upheaval.

Was Verity’s Writing a Fictional Manuscript or an Autobiography?

The novel leaves open the question of whether Verity’s controversial manuscript was a work of fiction or a genuine autobiography, adding to the story’s overall mystery and leaving room for various interpretations by the reader.

My Review

“Verity” by Colleen Hoover is a literary grenade, exploding genre conventions with its thrilling narrative. Hoover’s audacity in meshing raw psychological elements with a romance subplot is both its triumph and its controversy. The novel’s intense emotional depth is its greatest strength, immersing the reader in a sea of moral ambiguity and psychological complexity. However, its graphic content and the blurring of reality with fiction can be jarring, teetering on the edge of excess.

Despite this, “Verity” stands out as a testament to Hoover’s unparalleled skill in crafting a story that is as profoundly unsettling as it is undeniably captivating, leaving a lasting impact on its readers. The novel is a bold, unapologetic foray into the dark side of human psyche, cementing Hoover’s place as a trailblazer in contemporary fiction.

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