It was an okay story, that never really picked up. I am not sure if it was the actual writing/storytelling or the character development. A lot of the plot was fairly cliche and predictable. I kept waiting for the story to take off and get interesting but it never did. Sadly, it was just one of those books that did not seem to end. I almost did not care what happened to the characters by the end because I just wanted the book to be over. Just kind of bland. I am glad I did not pay full price for this book, bought as part of the Bargain Book Club on my Kindle.
Juliette Fay is quite a talented writer. I first came upon Shelter Me several weeks ago, then immediately purchased Deep Down True because I fell in love with the way she writes her stories. Typically, I am a rusher; an obsessive reader who flips pages almost violently, racing to the end of the book, unable to wait and see what happens next. Fay's books aren't like that for me... it's like I want them to go slow, so I can keep enjoying them. I don't want them to end. I don't want to race. I just want to keep coming back to these characters every day and seeing what else is going on in their lives. Her books move slowly... but it's not in a bad way at all. I still found myself up way past my bedtime last night trying to finish the last morsels of Deep Down True, which I really loved and hope there's a sequel to (hint, hint, Juliette Fay, hint hint.) :)
I love how Fay revolves her stories around each character's lives, and while there are "main" characters, she still manages to pull you into the lives of her secondary characters and somehow manages to bring you more... more stories than you expected. Some books you read, and you can immediately pinpoint - it's a love story, it's a mystery - Fay manages to make her books "real life"....love, hate, humor, with a dash of realism. Stories revolve around all the characters, not just the main characters, as their worlds turn. She's thorough when it comes to character development.
What I also like is how she's able to take a particular character, even a secondary character, and give them a particular challenge. In Shelter Me, it was Asperger syndrome with a character named Mike. In Deep Down True, it's a young girl, Morgan, who has an eating disorder. I just started her third novel today at lunch, The Shortest Way Home, and I already see from reading acknowledgements that I'm going to experience Huntington disease and sensory processing disorder. Here's the thing with this writer -- she researches like you can't even imagine. I know this because she gets it RIGHT. I have 2 children and a husband who all have Asperger syndrome, and she wrote about Mike so thoroughly and correctly that I actually believed Fay was living with someone who had Asperger's. But she doesn't, and yet she still managed to hit the nail on the head and make that character true to life. Same with Morgan and her eating disorder. For the past 10+ years, I have worked with a physician in Adolescent Medicine who specializes in eating disorders, and Morgan's experience was also very true to life. With The Shortest Way Home, I can't wait to finish it and review it, simply because both of my sons & husband do have Asperger syndrome - they also have sensory processing disorder, so I'm also extremely familiar with that. I already know Juliette will bring a truth to those characters that I have yet to experience. And what I love about Fay is this..... She raises awareness for these syndromes and these issues without making the whole entire novel about THAT syndrome or issue. It's not at all the primary focus. It's just gently folded into the story and brought out in a character as if you'd meet them in life. It is so artistically and fantastically done.
Dermott was such a nice part of this book. A secondary character who had a big, big impact.
Juliette Fay has crafted an enjoyable novel about an ordinary American family, the Stellgartens, after a messy divorce. Husband Kenneth has decamped to the arms of his 29 year old mistress, the children are bewildered and angry, and wife Dana is charged with picking up the pieces of several shattered lives, as well as reinventing herself.
The Stellgartens-- even the unfaithful Kenneth-- are profoundly ordinary people blundering through a traumatic time. While the narrative focuses on the challenges faced by Dana, all family members are depicted with sensitivity and candor.
While the novel starts slowly, it gains strength in the telling and ultimately wins the reader's sympathy and respect for an average family navigating tough circumstances with innate decency.
I loved Juliette Fay's first book SHELTER ME and figured she would be like a lot of other authors I've read in the past: a wonderful first book, less wonderful books to follow. Instead, her second novel, DEEP DOWN TRUE, is even better than her first, and I have a feeling Fay will continue to grow as a writer and we readers will benefit. DEEP DOWN TRUE is one of those rare books that speaks to the reader on every level. Each character is beautifully drawn, from Dana, the protagonist, to Polly, her erstwhile best friend. Grady, Morgan, Alba, Jet, Connie, Kenneth, Coach, Tony, even Tina -- all ring so true. I laughed a lot while reading this book, but I also cried and nodded and recognized the emotions and actions on every page. My only negative thought upon finishing the book was, darn, it'll be such a long time before another Fay book is published! I know I'll be recommending this book to all my reading friends as well as my writing students. Fay is not only a marvelous writer, she's a terrific storyteller. RECOMMENDATION: Buy this book. You won't be sorry.
I've actually read this book a couple of times, over a period of years. I found it a nice relatable read as I live in the same area as the location of the book, I have also lived in small towns where everyone knows your business and your kids, and folks talking about people. The characters and situations felt realistic, and I enjoyed different perspectives. Over all a nice, light read!
Juliette Fay's <i>Deep Down True</i>had no melodrama. It was a simple story that revealed the aftermath of divorce from a woman's perspective in a realistic, mature way. It's a slow read. I don't have any direct experience with the specifics detailed, and yet, I found the story of newly divorced Dana Stellgarten as she tries to adjust to her new normal wholly relatable. A truthful satisfying read overall.