Deep Down True: A Novel

( 48 )

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 ...

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Deep Down True

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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.

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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.)
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143118510
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/25/2011
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 641,343
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Juliette Fay

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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 4, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    For all ages to enjoy.

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2011

    Make new BFF's! You'll want these characters in your own life!

    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?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    A superbly written book about the nuances of relationships (Dana's and your own)

    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!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2011

    Touching, beautifully written story

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    Not even close to Shelter Me

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    A compelling story of parenthood, divorce, & starting over

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    An outstanding book at all levels

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    Loved Deep Down True!

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2011

    A Must Read!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    Couldn't Put It Down

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2011

    Highly recommended

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2013

    Excellent read!

    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!

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  • Posted November 8, 2012

    A very good read. The characters are like people in your neighb

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Good read!

    A little slow to start... ended up being a great read. I actually was a bit dissapointed that it had to end!

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  • Posted August 9, 2012

    Dull

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    I couldn't get past the first few chapters after several tries.

    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!

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  • Posted June 16, 2012

    With the exception of the repeated references to "sugar-fre

    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! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    An A d A good read

    A good read-

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    Real

    Loved this book. Very well written. The storyline addresses the trials of today. Hope she keeps on writing. I will buy her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2011

    Wow!

    Absolutely loved this book. Laughing and crying out loud at the gym

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews

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