Leah's Reviews > Deep Down True

Deep Down True by Juliette Fay
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's review
Feb 20, 11

liked it
bookshelves: arcs-freebies, pamela-dorman, penguin
Read in February, 2011

Dana Stellgarten's life is full of problems. In an extremely cliché fashion, her ex-husband leaves her for a younger woman. And everyone in the house seems to be coping with the fallout of the divorce in destructive fashion. Dana's twelve-year-old daughter, Morgan, develops an eating disorder. Her seven-year-old son, Grady, gets in fights at school and is sullen at home. And her sixteen-year-old niece shows up one day needing a haven but brings her own set of problems with her.

Dana struggles throughout the book with learning how to live as a single mother, how to find a job again after being a stay-at-home mom, how to date for the first time in eighteen years, how to interact within a new circle of friends. She's not always successful. In fact, there are times when the social dynamics of being an adult seem remarkably, disturbingly similar to the problems her daughter's facing in middle school. There's plenty of frustration, confusion, and anger.

Juliette Fay writes with compassion of Dana's search for what in life is Deep Down True. The problems, little and great, of everyday life when you're trying to start over, when you're trying to hold everyone else together without even knowing how to hold yourself together, are explored with insight and all the annoyingly real detail that makes them so true and relatable. It takes a good long while before things start to turn up, but then, it wouldn't be a deep down true story if things were otherwise.

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