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Deep Down True

A Novel 
by: Juliette Fay
It seems long ago that I read Shelter Me, the first novel by Juliette Fay and now I’ve closed the final page of her new novel, Deep Down True. The writing impresses me as it builds great characters and unveils an amazing story any reader, especially women, can appreciate.
With passion, Fay tells the story of a recently divorced, mother of two, named Dana. Deep Down True embraces the journey of major life changes such as entering the work force, co-parenting with her ex-husband and his new YOUNG girlfriend and starting to date again. As Dana seeks balance in her life juggling these new titles, her middle grade daughter, Morgan, aged 12,  is battling an eating disorder. while her seven year old son, Grady, is in serious need of anger management. If this wasn’t enough, her troubled teenage niece, Alder, arrives on her doorstep in need of a place to call home and though chaotic, this visit brings with the baggage a new insight.
Fay entwines these characters into a world that comes a live on the pages. She captures the battle of being true to ourselves and the desire to be popular perfectly. Dana is easily loved with her ability to serve others and care for everyone above herself. I found myself relating easily as her feelings of motherhood surfaced and her desire to fit in.
Alder, the niece, surprised me with her maturity and ability to put life into perspective. Fay continued to bring the characters into the world through the honest manner in which Morgan’s eating disorder was introduced and handled. It had me having flashbacks to Junior High when mean girls seemed to rule the school.
I suppose I must admit also that I found the book using the theme of food, like I do, as a coping mechanism. It’s how Dana serves others, masks her own feelings of ineptitude and ultimately helps unite the mother and daughter. I appreciate this because it made the book, its characters and the story so much more real for me.
The other underlying theme of the book is being true to oneself. That’s something I have witnessed first hand in my children, my friends and myself. It’s not the easiest choice or necessarily the one that stands to gain the most at first glance, but in the end, it is what builds character and sets us apart from others.
I found this book an extension of my own thoughts and really enjoyed reading it cover to cover. It gave me a new perspective on divorce, food, motherhood, anger, love, forgiveness and joy. It truly touched me.
The back of the book includes an great interview with Fay as well as Ten Questions that had me really pondering the book, its theme and characters and would serve well for a book club.

Summary: 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. — Penguin

I received a copy of Deep Down True in order to facilitate an honest review. No other compensation was received. The opinions, where expressed are my own and were in no way influenced by the sponsor. Others experiences may vary.

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