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Liars Diary

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  638 ratings  ·  155 reviews
An accomplished poet with a keen eye for detail and the written word, Patry Francis has written a riveting debut novel that will thrill fans of Jodi Picoult and Sue Miller.

Answering the question of What is more powerful: family or friendship? this debut novel unforgettably shows how far one woman would go to protect either.

They couldn't be more different, but they form a
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 29th 2008 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published 2006)
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Because I know a ton of writers, and I like to support their efforts, I often buy books which are not really my own particular genre or taste. I never regret it because we all need all the support we can get in this business...but every once in awhile, I get this fabulous surprise in a package that I don't really expect to like.

Just such a gift is Patry Francis's "The Liar's Diary" which is touted as a "seductive psychological thriller" and a murder mystery. (not my cup of tea) Except! Except!
I had a difficult time with this book. It had twists and turns and beautiful writing, but then the twist near the end felt like it belonged on Lifetime and I wanted to throw it across the room.

Then I thought about it a few hours later. Then a few days later. It started to dawn on me that even though the ending had initially felt contrived, it wasn't. It was damned near perfect. And now, two weeks later, I'm still mulling over it. I guess that's a clear sign that it was worth the read.
Jeanne Cross, a school secretary, appears to have the perfect family. Her husband, Gavin, is a respected doctor, and their son, Jamie, is well liked by his peers. When Jeanne becomes acquainted with Ali Mather, a music teacher,she finds the first friend of her adult life. Although their friendship isn't easy, Ali becomes very important to Jeanne. Ali's murder forces Jeanne to unwillingly examine her life. This book was not an enjoyable read for me. It had more than one plot device that I do not ...more
Mar 17, 2008 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: suspense lovers
Recommended to Rebecca by: Brenda
Shelves: everydayreads
What kind of secrets does a family hide behind their perfect facade, and what does it take for these secrets to come to light? That's the premise behind The Liar's Diary- an explosive read that will have you suprised up until the last page. Awesome!
I was wandering round Target, waiting for the pharmacy to fill my prescription, and had just reached the books’ section when I found it – bottom shelf, red and cream cover with an image of a woman in lacy apparel. I’d looked at several paperbacks already, and it wasn’t the picture that enticed me. But the blurb on the back was intriguing. Suburban life falling apart, mutual vulnerabilities, long-held secrets, something darker… those are things I might expect to enjoy. Stunning, magnetic personal ...more
You better set yourself aside a good chunk of time when you pick up The Liar's Diary (the stunning debut novel by Patry Francis) because I can tell you from personal experience that once you start reading, you're not going to want to stop until you've finished.

On the surface, this is a book about the seemingly perfect Cross family, living their slightly flawed lives out in the suburbs (the only flaw appears to be the superficial flaw of the son who is overweight) and the woman, the unwanted ele
Michele Harrod
Unfortunately I just couldn't suffer through any more than the first 4 chapters, with grown men parked up outside of their 47 year old lover's house, weeping into their coffee, because they loved her so much, but she was seeing someone else as well - I seriously just had to gag. As I heard the ending was so good, I flipped straight to the last few pages, got the gist, was not sorry anyone got murdered and have returned it to the library. I really admire readers who can persevere through very dul ...more
I found this book over-the-top cheesy and melodramatic, and thought the characters were incredibly cliched. That was why I was enjoying the story at first, because I found it really funny and ridiculous. That was for the first two disks (I "read" it audio format). Then I just got so completely and entirely sucked into the story that I was enjoying it for itself and really wanting to know what happens next. I was pretty fond of some of those characters by the end of the book, especially Jamie and ...more
this was well-written, but not my cup of tea. I thought it would be dark and edgy, like a ruth rendell or barbara vine, or maybe even like that recent book 'what was she thinking" that they made into them ovie Notes on a Scandal" I enjoyed reading some of the comments by other readers - but basically this fell into the Jodi Picoult melodrama school, and would make a fine movie on Lifetime
This is an excellent, suffocatingly tight mystery. I could hardly put it down! The characters are complex and believable. I did not see the ending coming. If you like to be kept in suspense, I recommend this book. (It's a heartbreaking story, but there is a glimmer of hope, and that's all I'm going to say about that.)
I started out liking it, but then I put it down, I think I just wasn't in the mood for more murder. I didn't realize it was a murder mystery when I started it. There is so much murder on television, plus I didn't like any of the characters. It sounded like a lifetime sob sister movie.
Oct 08, 2011 Kim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fiction lovers
Shelves: favorites, crime
The Liar's Diary was, hands down, the best book I've read in a very long time. If not for needing sleep, I could have easily read this book cover to cover in one sitting. I was that drawn into the story. Patry Francis' debut novel was one of great suspense and mystery that I would recommend to anyone.

I found the characters to be well formed and easy to relate to. Patry, effortlessly brought these characters to life, making them feel both ordinary and special at the same time. From the first cha
I have finally finished this miserable book. To refer to it as a book seems wrong... I love books, and this bound pile of pages is an insult to books. I've given it a rating of 1, only because what it deserves isn't an option. I actually feel angry - angry that so much of my time has been wasted, angry that I couldn't just toss it out, angry that anything so undeserving could be published and tempt a reader to open it's pages. This was her first novel. It may not be her last, but I won't give he ...more
The best thing about this book is the title. Everything else ... mediocre, infuriating, or just plain bad. Since there are spoilers below, I'll give the spoiler-free version first: bad dialogue writing; not-believable characters; plot holes and inconsistencies.

1) The dialogue is ... awful. First of all, when actual humans talk, they don't constantly call to or refer their conversational partner by name. And these characters do it all the time. In some cases, a five-minute conversation has each c
When I first saw this book in library, I felt attracted to it because of its unusual title. I went through the cover page and trusting my instincts I picked this book to read.

What a wonderful surprise it was for me! I simply loved the way Patry Francis wrote the story. I fell in love with her writing and I can’t remember how many times I have tried to look for another book written by her later.

This is story of friendship and family, written in an intriguing way. I was awed by the book. I was fa
It was a great psychological mystery. The initial half of the book sets up the background for the death, the mindset of the various characters, why they do what they do, etc. The latter half deals with unveiling of the mystery. It is written in the first person narrative, the narrator being Jeanne, a 42 year old mother of an overweight teenage boy, whose husband is a well known and popular orthopedician. Events start when a new, exotic music teacher, Ali, whose in her late forties arrives at the ...more
Cleo Bannister
Jeanne Cross is a school secretary with a teenage son, Jamie and wife of respected doctor Gavin. Despite being obese and having learning opportunities Jamie is popular and well-liked. Jeanne, by her own admission hasn’t had a friend since becoming an adult but clearly Jamie got his skills from somewhere although probably not his father, who is quite critical of Jeanne’s parenting abilities.

Ali Mather is the new music teacher at the same school, married to the most forgiving man she has not so se
Wow! A disturbing tale of a family locked in secrets.
Meagan A.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read this after devouring Francis's second book, "The Orphans of Race Point" which I thought brilliant. I was hoping to find some of that same magic in her first novel.

While I found many of the same page-turner qualities in The Liar's Diary (engaging writing style, good pace), I didn't enjoy it nearly as much. In the Goodreads description of the book it mentions that Jodi Picoult fans will like this book and maybe that was my problem with it. My love affair with Picoult's writing fizzled near
Lee Holz
The Liar's Diary doesn't really need another rating and review, but I have to weigh in. First, the book is a first rate mystery that plays fair and kept me guessing right to the end. More than that, this is a compelling, disturbing and, in the end, deeply satisfying psychological study. Highly recommended!
Liznell Vasquez

If you're looking for a way to spice up your life, get a hold of this somewhat scandalous thriller by Patry Francis. The realistic fiction of this dark and twisted story will leave you hungry for more. This book has become one of my favorites for its abundance of plot twists. It never had a dull moment! You will want to know how much longer Jeanne Cross, a school secretary, can keep up the facade of being a perfect wife with a perfect family. The lies of her life burst through the surface when
This book is amazing. The ending floored me, for sure. I would absolutely recommend this to each and every fan of Jodi Picoult. Definitely one of my favorite novels! :)
Nice job Ms. Francis. You had me the whole way. Looking foward to reading more of your work.

Unexpected ending.... some of the characters demonstrated sincere compassion. I enjoyed every page.
Well-written book - family drama with a mystery. 3 1/2 stars.
This was a completely engrossing story and I couldn't put it down.
Just read another book by this same author and liked this one even better. I have have a signed copy by the author as she came to our Falmouthport book club meeting last month.This was an exciitng read and a perfect one for a weekend of not feeling well. I highly recommend this fiction book which is the story of a mom, dad, and teenage son and their realtionships with each other. There are many lies they each tell and can't share. Then the ending is very surprising. Enjoy the read. I do hope to ...more
Feb 04, 2013 Kendra rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kendra by: Kate
Shelves: book-club
A few of my friends have read this book and they've all said the same thing, the first 70 pages are pretty slow but once you get past that, you can't turn the page fast enough. I honestly can't think of a better description of the story.

The first 70 pages or so were average, they set up the story well but there wasn't too much intrigue to keep your attention. However, around page 75/80 or so BAM! The story line accelerates and you can't put it down especially with all the twists and turns. Howe
Wow. It'd been so long since I picked up this book, that I can't honestly remember where I got it. But I think it was on one of those take a book, leave a book bookshelves.

So I didn't read the cover again, I just opened it up and started with chapter one. I tried two other books from my shelves first and they just didn't grasp me right away, so I settled in for a two day, last bit of summer read.

The protagonist is a school secretary, so suddenly the setting is in my school, and staff break room,
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