Verity by Colleen Hoover

‘Verity’s Bonus Chapter Adds Another Twisted Layer to Colleen Hoover’s Problematic Novel

Colleen Hoover’s Verity is the author’s latest novel to get a film adaptation. The news has earned mixed reactions, given how dark Verity is. Meanwhile, the novel’s bonus chapter recently added another chilling and problematic layer to the story.

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Spoilers for Verity ahead!

Verity is a psychological thriller that follows the story of Lowen Ashleigh, a young woman hired by Jeremy Crawford as a ghostwriter. She is tasked with finishing his wife Verity’s series of thriller novels after she was left comatose from a car accident. Wishing to keep her condition private, Jeremy hires Lowen to secretly finish Verity’s bestselling series. She arrives at the Crawford house to look through Verity’s notes for inspiration. Instead, she finds Verity’s unpublished autobiography, which holds the woman’s deepest, darkest secrets.

To understand the bonus chapter, one will need to have read through the end of Verity. Verity’s manuscript eventually reveals that she abused and murdered her and Jeremy’s twin daughters. At first, Lowen is uncertain if she should tell Jeremy, especially as she has begun a romantic relationship with him. When she finally tells him, he reveals he knew all along and that Verity’s comatose state is the result of him having attempted to murder her after discovering her manuscript. Eventually, Lowen encourages him to finish the job, and they kill Verity. At the end of the novel, Lowen is expecting a baby with Jeremy, and the pair are preparing to move away from the Crawford home with Jeremy’s son, Crew.

In Verity’s old room, though, Lowen discovers a hidden letter in the floorboards in which Verity reveals the manuscript wasn’t true and was merely a writing exercise. Lowen decides not to tell Jeremy to protect their happy life. According to the bonus chapter, though, their lives don’t turn out too happy.

What happens in Verity‘s bonus chapter?

Not a whole lot happens in Vertiy’s bonus chapter, although there is one twist that may or may not surprise readers, plus some of Hoover’s characteristic problematic writing. In the bonus chapter, Lowen has had her baby. She gave birth to a baby girl, Nova, three months ago. She, Jeremy, Crew, and Nova now live in Southport, North Carolina. While Lowen is overjoyed to be a mother, it is clear that the family has many problems.

The main problem is that they are terrified to show their faces to anyone who knows them. They have kept their relationship and Nova’s existence a secret from everyone in their lives. The pair seemingly didn’t consider beforehand how odd it would look that Jeremy was already in a relationship with a pregnant Lowen at the time of his wife’s funeral. However, Nova is a giveaway of their affair, so they keep their new lives secret to avoid anyone asking questions or digging into Verity’s passing.

Meanwhile, Lowen is unhappy in her relationship with Jeremy because she is still “competing” with Verity … despite the woman having been murdered by her husband. Hoover has gained criticism for romanticizing toxic relationships in her books, and that tendency is on full display as the majority of the bonus chapter is Lowen expressing her obsession with Jeremy and her preoccupation with pleasing him in any manner possible as she terrified of either being cheated on or worse by him. At one point, she describes her anger that she gets the “respectful” version of Jeremy during sex.

The chapter concludes with a major twist that starts when Lowen and Jeremy take Crew and Nova to the beach and are approached by one of Jeremy’s old friends, Patricia. The woman sees Nova and immediately puts the timeline together in her head, with her face expressing judgment. It’s not an ideal situation, but Jeremy’s response will leave readers stunned. Jeremy tells Lowen to take Crew and Nova to the car, then proceeds to murder Patricia. Of course, his actions are completely unhinged because Verity was cremated, and there is no evidence of their involvement in her death, regardless of how suspicious their affair is.

Meanwhile, Lowen just stands by and lets the murder play out, deciding she’ll be complicit in the murder and do everything Jeremy says going forward to avoid becoming his next victim. The chapter ends by also hinting that Crew is dangerous, as he grabs the three-month-old Nova and leaves her on the ground outside while Lowen and Jeremy are busy.

Like pretty much all of Verity, the bonus chapter is a lot to take in. As mentioned above, though, not all readers will be surprised by Jeremy murdering an innocent woman for no reason. Despite Verity and Lowen’s inexplicable infatuation with him, he is practically the very definition of toxic masculinity, pushing both women to immediately give him children and trying to exert complete control over them. Also, he had not one but two chances to go to the police about what he thought Verity did but instead decided to murder her with his six-year-old son in the house. With the bonus chapter further confirming Jeremy’s unhinged and murderous nature, many readers are beginning to question if the manuscript/writing exercise was actually Verity detailing what Jeremy did to their children.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed, the bonus chapter also raises suspicion of a Verity sequel, given that major cliffhanger. However, it could just be a way to further highlight what the initial story was hinting at all along, that Jeremy is the villain instead of Verity.

(featured image: Hachette Book Group)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.