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Deep Down True: A Novel
     

Deep Down True: A Novel

4.1 49
by Juliette Fay
 

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From the author of Shelter Me--a funny and poignant novel about having your heart in the right place.

Newly divorced Dana Stellgarten has always been unfailingly nice- even to telemarketers-but now her temper is wearing thin. Money is tight, her kids are reeling from their dad's departure, and her Goth teenage niece has just landed on her doorstep.

Overview

From the author of Shelter Me--a funny and poignant novel about having your heart in the right place.

Newly divorced Dana Stellgarten has always been unfailingly nice- even to telemarketers-but now her temper is wearing thin. Money is tight, her kids are reeling from their dad's departure, and her Goth teenage niece has just landed on her doorstep. As she enters the slipstream of post-divorce romance and is befriended by the town queen bee, Dana finds that the tension between being true to yourself and being liked doesn't end in middle school... and that sometimes it takes a real friend to help you embrace adulthood in all its flawed complexity.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Familiar material--a newly divorced woman navigating the choppy waters of single parenthood--gets sensitive treatment in this subtle novel by the author of Shelter Me. Connecticut homemaker Dana Stellgarten tends to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, even her philandering ex-husband, but she's having a tough time staying nice as she deals with the discovery of her preteen daughter's bulimia, her seven-year-old son's acting out, a friend's betrayal, and her teenage niece's emotional crash landing at her house. Nevertheless, Dana reaches out to the family of a terminally ill doctor, deals with a bull-in-a-china-shop suitor, and even finds love in an unexpected place. Fay deals honestly with Dana's emotional journey as she strives "to understand how what had been true before had changed into what was true now" and gives readers a believable cast, from the daughter struggling with the wolf-pack mentality of middle school to Dana's sometimes obnoxious yet fiercely loving sister. It expertly walks a heavily trodden path. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"Sincere, powerful and heartfelt, Deep Down True will resonate with women everywhere . . . I loved Fay's true-to-life characters and her ability to portray the intricate dynamics of friendship and family in such an immediately recognizable way. There is a 'me too' moment on every page, right down to the satisfying finish."
Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author of Where We Belong

"When I wasn't inside the world of this book-because this is a book that you enter instead of merely read-I longed to be. I love it for its intensely human characters and for the way the author grants them their flaws as generously as she celebrates their daily decencies, their persistent hopefulness, their moments of personal grace."
Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Falling Together and Love Walked In

"Enormously readable and hugely relatable!"
Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place

"Engrossing, touching, and immensely satisfying. The truth shines on every page. I'd almost be willing to go back to junior high if I could sit at Juliette Fay's lunch table!"
Beth Harbison, New York Times bestselling author of When in Doubt, Add Butter and Thin, Rich, Pretty

"Fay deals honestly with Dana's emotional journey as she strives 'to understand how what had been true before had changed into what was true now' and gives readers a believable cast, from the daughter struggling with the wolf-pack mentality of middle school to Dana's sometimes obnoxious yet fiercely loving sister. It expertly walks a heavily trodden path."
Publishers Weekly

"Fay imbues Dana with the smarts and insecurities that war within most of us. With her comfort zone obliterated, Dana draws on her inner strengths to reconstruct a new foundation for her children in a world where she gets to be the alpha wolf. Highly recommended for fans of women's fiction featuring resilient heroines."
Library Journal

"Heartwarming, funny, well-penned . . . a solid page-turner, right through to the touching end."
Booklist

Library Journal
Dana Stellgarten was on top of her suburban game when her husband pulled the rug out from under her, and now the 45-year-old Connecticut mom can't handle one more thing. Then, her seven-year-old son, Grady, is suddenly moody and belligerent with his friends; the dentist tells Dana that her 12-year-old daughter, Morgan, shows signs of purging; and ex-husband Kenneth backs off on his financial contributions, forcing Dana to accept a temporary part-time job at the dentist's office. When Dana's teenage niece arrives on her doorstep, needing a break from Dana's sister and a change of scene, even romantic overtures from Grady's football coach and an invitation of friendship from a stylish neighbor may not be enough to get Dana back on solid ground. VERDICT Fay (Shelter Me) imbues Dana with the smarts and insecurities that war within most of us. With her comfort zone obliterated, Dana draws on her inner strengths to reconstruct a new foundation for her children in a world where she gets to be the alpha wolf. Highly recommended for fans of women's fiction featuring resilient heroines. [Eight-city tour; reading group guide.]—Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143118510
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/25/2011
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
392,365
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Heartwarming, funny, well-penned . . . a solid page-turner, right through to the touching end."
Booklist

Meet the Author

Juliette Fay received a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a master's degree from Harvard University. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and four children. Shelter Me was her first novel. Deep Down True is her second.

Customer Reviews

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Deep Down True 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
poosie More than 1 year ago
This entertaining tale begins with a typical state more people find themselves in than we'd like to admit. Dealing with anger, disappointment and pain, Dana, a newly single mom of two children, (7 and 12), carries on with her chaotic life after her husband abandons her for a younger woman..THE CAD! The characters have all the ingredients of real life people, with flaws and afflictions but also warmth, humor, and caring to hold your attention throughout. Everyday life is a soap opera that incorporates excitement, deep emotion, tragedy, frustrations, love, worry, and humor that ultimately brings harmony. A satisfying ending with healing, strength, and forgiveness makes you close the book with a smile. This is a storyline all ages can get something out of. You won't be disappointed.
Doubts_about_John_Galt More than 1 year ago
You'll want to head to bed early just so you can continue reading Juliette Fay's second book. "Deep Down True" made me feel like my own life could be turned into a book - she's written about people who have our sorts of lives and problems. The book makes the reader realize that, when viewed through a certain lens - all of our lives could be incredible reads to other people. We all go through similar kinds of experiences but of course we behave and react differently according to our hard wiring, background and idiosyncrasies. That's what Fay picks up on with each of her characters. There is familiarity but you can't wait to see what happens. The main character is someone you love dearly but want to shake up a bit. You want her to get nasty but you know it will disappoint if she does. Sound familiar?
FlashlightUnderTheCovers More than 1 year ago
From that lovely, enticing cover to the very last page, Deep Down True scoops you up out of your life and into Dana Stellgarten's. You get mad when people are mean to her, and you sympathize with her less-than-perfect children (because everyone's children fall short of perfect), and you cry when sad things happen. This book makes you think about the different ways that people parse the world and the people in it. The tiny details are spot-on (describing the floor of a 7 year old boy's room as covered in boy mulch), and the multi-layered, multi-generational parent/child relationships and friendships that make you reflect upon your own. I love books like this that are so enthralling while you're reading them, and then bits of the book stay with you even when you're done reading. Staying power, that's what this book has. Grab it and enjoy it!
LBColorado More than 1 year ago
After reading Juliette Fay's previous novel "Shelter Me", I could not wait for her next book to come out. When it was finally released I had just gotten my Nook and it was my 1st purchase. "Deep Down True" does not even come remotely close to the quality, emotion and humor produced in her previous novel. It was just okay. Really nothing special. Each chapter seemed to repeat the character's thoughts over and over just to fill up pages.
Pa765 More than 1 year ago
It is a brave new and uncharted world for kids in the era of Facebook, Twitter, divorce and the like. For a senior citizen such as myself who has had a life full of kids as parent, grandparent, and educator, I got a fascinating insight into the contemporary world of raising kids. Here is a story where the struggles of modern living become a compelling and insightful drama. I found myself caring about the mom, Dana, and the other characters in a profound way - yes, I did experience some "deep down true" in viewing their lives with their struggles and losses and their triumphs. They were so completely interesting that I didn't want to put the book down. A great read!! Congratulations to Fay and I am eager to read her next story.
ChevyChaseReader More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved Deep Down True. The book sucked me in right from the very first page. Some say this is a book about middle school, but it's really far more about Dana, the middle-aged mom, who comes into her own when change rocks her white picket world. Fay's writing is pitch perfect - harmony that manages to be exciting and comforting at the same time with just the right highs and lows to make you want the book never to end. I especially loved the many funny moments, too. This is a fantastic book, even better than Shelter Me which I also loved.
kws5 More than 1 year ago
As soon as you open Juliette Fay's new novel, you are drawn into the lives of characters who are so warm, wonderful and real that you don't want the story to end. It has been a long time since I read a book that I couldn't put down; Deep Down True is that kind of book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With the perfect combination of light and serious, Juliette Fay quickly weaves you right into the fabric of Deep Down True. I couldn't get over feeling like I was standing there next to Dana and seeing her world through Fay's skillfully rendered descriptions. (Is "boy mulch" not the perfect image of a 7 year old's bedroom floor?!) Her keen observation of people and life sparkle with humor and truth on every page. I hated for the book to end.
MeganL More than 1 year ago
I love a book that draws you in until you can't think of anything else except for how you are going to sneak away and read some more. This book made me think about life in general as well as my life in particular. It was totally entertaining and highly thought-provoking. Definitely lots of good fodder for book group discussions. I give it my highest recommendation.
ml79 More than 1 year ago
Juliette Fay is a keen observer of contemporary adolescent issues told with humor and style. Her dialogue is totally with the times. She knows her characters from the inside out. A real good read with a great ending. Try Fay's first novel "Shelter Me" also.
catejtmgt More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading Deep Down True, the story is relatable, the writing is so well-done and all the characters (even supporting) are well-drawn, I was immediately sucked into their lives. The small details of a mom's day to day, which the author has such a beautiful way of describing, make me truly appreciate her as a writer. Some of the issues Dana Stellgarten faces resonate with me as I have a 6th grader, as Dana does, and I was inspired by how Dana handled the very tough issues they faced. I love the way, that despite the fact the Dana struggles with many serious issues in her own life, the story has her supporting a family with a truly tragic situation which keeps all the various story lines in perspective. After reading a Juliette Fay novel, I feel like I do after a really good Sunday at church, inspired, hopeful, and reminded of all the really wonderful things in this life that I'm grateful for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Sissy53 More than 1 year ago
Juliette Fay is a new author for me. I "discovered" her when I visited a friend in St. Louis. We spend a lot of time perusing the bookshelves at Barnes and Noble, reading the inside cover or backs of many books. Fay's book covers caught my eye and I am very glad they did! This is the second novel I have read by Fay. I thoroughly enjoy her style of writing and her story lines. You are drawn in to her characters' lives very quickly!
jpcoggins More than 1 year ago
A very good read. The characters are like people in your neighborhood or kids' schools and Mrs. Fay understands the nuances of letting go of our children slowly but surely. By the end of the book, I really did find myself hoping for the best for each character. Some of the scenes are laugh out loud funny too. I will read another of her books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little slow to start... ended up being a great read. I actually was a bit dissapointed that it had to end!
JuniperJenny More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this book. I couldn't get enough of Shelter Me and was excited to read another book by a great author. I just couldn't connect with the characters. I found them to be dull and I didn't really care about their problems. I kept reading ahead to find a happy ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't get past the first few chapters after several tries. The writing felt "high-schoolish" and the storyline trite. I wanted something light, but this book was too light!
Awesome514 More than 1 year ago
With the exception of the repeated references to "sugar-free lemonade," this was a beautiful novel. The characters were exactly right and the story was heartfelt and poignant. I want these people in MY life! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Very well written. The storyline addresses the trials of today. Hope she keeps on writing. I will buy her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago