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The Liar's Diary

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  735 Ratings  ·  170 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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Community Reviews

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Feb 10, 2008 Beverly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Mar 21, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-lit
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.
Jun 11, 2008 Christa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksfree-com
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
Feb 05, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  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!
Feb 16, 2009 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
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
Jun 20, 2007 Myfanwy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 02, 2011 Michele Harrod rated it did not like it
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 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.)
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
Apr 11, 2009 Bonnie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 30, 2013 Cynthia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Five brilliant amazing well-deserved golden stars!!! This book blew my mind and played all sorts of crazy games with it and after finishing it the only though prevalent in my mind is that i have to read it again, right now but i also have to wait and soak in the aftertaste of literary goodness left upon my mind.

To be honest i am kind of speechless as to my exact thoughts about this novel, i have so many different opinions and i just don't know what to think anymore.

On a personal level i could re
Oct 02, 2011 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Aug 13, 2010 Melissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Meagan A.
Oct 05, 2012 Meagan A. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lee Holz
May 07, 2011 Lee Holz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Nov 21, 2007 james rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice job Ms. Francis. You had me the whole way. Looking foward to reading more of your work.

Mar 07, 2008 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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! :)
Feb 12, 2008 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a completely engrossing story and I couldn't put it down.
Jul 07, 2012 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written book - family drama with a mystery. 3 1/2 stars.
Aug 01, 2013 Krista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unexpected ending.... some of the characters demonstrated sincere compassion. I enjoyed every page.
Aug 05, 2014 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
Wow! A disturbing tale of a family locked in secrets.
Feb 11, 2017 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read the author's second book and being impressed by the story, I decided to try her first effort. It was a good attempt but a bit confusing at times. That make it hard to follow and called me back to reread at times. There is lots and lots of reflection on the part of Jeanne our narrating character. Definitely not one of my favorite stores, but I am glad to have read through it. The second book is a terrific story and is well written. One of my very favorite stories after all this time.
Alyssa Conaway
This book is good, but the author's other book, The Orphans of Race Point, is better, in my opinion.
Aaron Lazar
Jul 25, 2008 Aaron Lazar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Liar s Diary[return]by Patry Francis[return]Review by Aaron Paul Lazar[return][return] [return][return]The Liar s Diary, a psychological suspense novel by debut author Patry Francis, should be tooled in fragrant red leather with gilt edges, and placed on your bookshelf in a place of honor. [return][return]Be forewarned. When you buy it, allow for an uninterrupted block of time. Forget sleep. The lure of The Liar s Diary is strong, for it will call your name incessantly, and your dreams will ...more
Dec 16, 2016 Jecinda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
The Liar's Diary sounded promising, a tale of friendship involving a web of lies, mystery and violence. But it fell flat. The writing was nothing special, while I understood that Ali was supposed to be 'magnetic' the author didn't do enough to flesh out her character. If it weren't for my sometimes punishing habit of finishing the books that I start (unless of course I absolutely hate them) then I would have thrown in the towel early on. I'm also a sucker for a mystery, so I stuck it out. I comp ...more
Aug 17, 2008 Alea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-review
The Liar’s Diary is the story of Jeanne and Ali’s friendship, how it started, why it started and what came from it. Jeanne and Ali both work at the same school, many words are not exchanged between them until one day Ali asked Jeanne if she can start giving her rides to school and so their friendship begins. Ali shows Jeanne parts of herself that she doesn’t want to face but Ali thinks she needs to face. This is the story of their friendship and their families. This is a thriller so I don’t want ...more
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