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The Liar's Diary

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The Liar's Diary Cover

ISBN13: 9780525949909
ISBN10: 0525949909
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 friendship that will alter both their fates. When Ali Mather blows into town, breaking all the rules and breaking hearts (despite the fact that she is pushing forty), she also makes a mark on an unlikely family. Almost against her will, Jeanne Cross feels drawn to this strangely vibrant woman, a fascination that begins to infect Jeanne's "perfect" husband as well as their teenaged son.

At the heart of the friendship between Ali and Jeanne are deep-seated emotional needs, vulnerabilities they have each been recording in their diaries. Ali also senses another kind of vulnerability; she believes someone has been entering her house when she is not at home — and not with the usual intentions. What this burglar wants is nothing less than a piece of Ali's soul.

When a murderer strikes and Jeanne's son is arrested, we learn that the key to the crime lies in the diaries of two very different women...but only one of them is telling the truth. A chilling tour of troubled minds, The Liar's Diary signals the launch of an immensely talented new novelist who knows just how to keep her readers guessing.

Review:

"A case study in the explosive effects of extreme denial, Francis's debut relies completely on its very unreliable narrator, with mixed results. When local violinist and composer Ali Mather, a very sexy 46, comes to teach music at the Bridgeway high school where narrator Jeanne Cross, a very plain 37, is the secretary, teachers and students alike are abuzz. Ali is separated from her mild husband George, and is soon sleeping with the 31-year-old shop teacher, Brian Shagaury (and also with car dealer Jack Butterfield). Jeanne is married to a buff orthopedic surgeon, Gavin, with whom she has an overweight, dyslexic 16-year-old son, Jamie, who attends the school. An unlikely friendship develops between the seemingly steady Jeanne and acting-out Ali, and Jeanne's purposefully flat narration is effective in doling out disorienting incongruities (as in the offhanded way Jeanne develops a serious pill habit). Ali's provocative lifestyle eventually intersects directly with Jeanne's home life. When tragedy strikes, Jeanne's Stepford routine holds for a while, then becomes a giveaway." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A case study in the explosive effects of extreme denial, Francis's debut relies completely on its very unreliable narrator, with mixed results. When local violinist and composer Ali Mather, a very sexy 46, comes to teach music at the Bridgeway high school where narrator Jeanne Cross, a very plain 37, is the secretary, teachers and students alike are abuzz. Ali is separated from her mild husband George, and is soon sleeping with the 31-year-old shop teacher, Brian Shagaury (and also with car dealer Jack Butterfield). Jeanne is married to a buff orthopedic surgeon, Gavin, with whom she has an overweight, dyslexic 16-year-old son, Jamie, who attends the school. An unlikely friendship develops between the seemingly steady Jeanne and acting-out Ali, and Jeanne's purposefully flat narration is effective in doling out disorienting incongruities (as in the offhanded way Jeanne develops a serious pill habit). Ali's provocative lifestyle eventually intersects directly with Jeanne's home life. When tragedy strikes, Jeanne's Stepford routine holds for a while, then becomes a giveaway." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Patry Francis has written a great first novel. Completely pulling the readers into the storyline, this journey takes you through self-reflection, sensitivity and empathy....It's a cruel world out there, but the author excels at exposing the world within." Bookreporter.com

Review:

"Although her plot suffers from too many over-the-top twists and turns, first-novelist Francis does create a disturbing portrait of a hollow family done in by secrets and lies." Booklist

Review:

"Kudos to Francis for this chilling study of a deeply disturbed, dysfunctional family, its crimes, and its fate." Library Journal

Synopsis:

A seductive psychological thriller about a woman facing the dark truths at the heart of her family 

Jeanne Crosss contented suburban life gets a jolt of energy from the arrival of Ali Mather, the stunning new music teacher at the local high school. With a magnetic personality and looks to match, Ali draws attention from all quarters, including Jeannes husband and son. Nonetheless, Jeanne and Ali develop a deep friendship based on their mutual vulnerabilities and long-held secrets that Ali has been recording in her diary. The diary also holds a key to something darker: Alis suspicion that someone has been entering her house when she is not at home. Soon their friendship will be shattered by violence—and Jeanne will find herself facing impossible choices in order to protect the people she loves.

Synopsis:

Answering the question of what is more powerful--family or friendship?, this debut novel shows how far one woman will go to protect both. This chilling tour of troubled minds signals the launch of an immensely talented new novelist who knows just how to keep her readers guessing.

About the Author

Patry Francis's poetry and short stories have appeared in the Ontario Review, The Massachusetts Review, the Tampa Review, and The American Poetry Review, among other publications. She is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and has twice been the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council grant. The Liar's Diary is her first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

blsbwdc, June 4, 2007 (view all comments by blsbwdc)
When The Liar?s Diary arrived in the mail it held me captive for three days. Oh, I wanted to finish it the very day I began to read it, but life and work and family intervened. Three quarters of the way through I no longer accepted interruptions. I put everything on hold and read until the wee hours of the morning.

The Liar?s Diary begins innocuously at first ? a new teacher arrives at the school where Jeanne Cross, a suburban wife and mother works as a secretary. Ali Mather is beautiful, charismatic, and willful. She is a brilliant composer and violinist. Students, fellow teachers, and even crusty old janitors fall under her spell. Jeanne, whose initial distrust and jealousy melts as Ali and she form an unlikely friendship is similarly captivated despite herself. Ali is outspoken, forthright, and sexual. Jeanne is quite the opposite ? a woman who does not know what she thinks or feels and who prefers not knowing rather than attempting to probe the shadowy questions and challenges that confront her on a daily basis.

A strong undertone of psychological and emotional abuse runs through The Liar?s Diary, though Francis is such a fine writer that she never labels it as such. Instead, she reveals through narrative the master manipulator that Jeanne?s handsome doctor husband has become -- soft spoken, icily rational, subtly demoralizing. She shows Jeanne wither emotionally from his hostility but it is Jaime who suffers the most. His father?s contempt and criticism, cloaked under a guise of false camaraderie, send him to the refrigerator for comfort. He gorges on junk food and hides the evidence while his mother, though worrying about his weight, plies him with the food he loves to assuage the pain that she cannot quite get herself to acknowledge.

Ali, though, sees through the fa?ade of niceness that pervades the Cross household and challenges Jeanne to confront it. I will stop here, because to tell you more would be to share too much of a story that grows more complex and intriguing as it builds in intensity.



Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780525949909
Publisher:
Dutton Adult
Subject:
Judaism - General
Author:
Francis, Patry
Subject:
Child abuse
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Suburban life
Subject:
Friendship
Subject:
Diaries
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20070201
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 8
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.14x6.24x1.08 in. 1.13 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense

The Liar's Diary
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 320 pages Dutton Books - English 9780525949909 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A case study in the explosive effects of extreme denial, Francis's debut relies completely on its very unreliable narrator, with mixed results. When local violinist and composer Ali Mather, a very sexy 46, comes to teach music at the Bridgeway high school where narrator Jeanne Cross, a very plain 37, is the secretary, teachers and students alike are abuzz. Ali is separated from her mild husband George, and is soon sleeping with the 31-year-old shop teacher, Brian Shagaury (and also with car dealer Jack Butterfield). Jeanne is married to a buff orthopedic surgeon, Gavin, with whom she has an overweight, dyslexic 16-year-old son, Jamie, who attends the school. An unlikely friendship develops between the seemingly steady Jeanne and acting-out Ali, and Jeanne's purposefully flat narration is effective in doling out disorienting incongruities (as in the offhanded way Jeanne develops a serious pill habit). Ali's provocative lifestyle eventually intersects directly with Jeanne's home life. When tragedy strikes, Jeanne's Stepford routine holds for a while, then becomes a giveaway." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A case study in the explosive effects of extreme denial, Francis's debut relies completely on its very unreliable narrator, with mixed results. When local violinist and composer Ali Mather, a very sexy 46, comes to teach music at the Bridgeway high school where narrator Jeanne Cross, a very plain 37, is the secretary, teachers and students alike are abuzz. Ali is separated from her mild husband George, and is soon sleeping with the 31-year-old shop teacher, Brian Shagaury (and also with car dealer Jack Butterfield). Jeanne is married to a buff orthopedic surgeon, Gavin, with whom she has an overweight, dyslexic 16-year-old son, Jamie, who attends the school. An unlikely friendship develops between the seemingly steady Jeanne and acting-out Ali, and Jeanne's purposefully flat narration is effective in doling out disorienting incongruities (as in the offhanded way Jeanne develops a serious pill habit). Ali's provocative lifestyle eventually intersects directly with Jeanne's home life. When tragedy strikes, Jeanne's Stepford routine holds for a while, then becomes a giveaway." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Patry Francis has written a great first novel. Completely pulling the readers into the storyline, this journey takes you through self-reflection, sensitivity and empathy....It's a cruel world out there, but the author excels at exposing the world within."
"Review" by , "Although her plot suffers from too many over-the-top twists and turns, first-novelist Francis does create a disturbing portrait of a hollow family done in by secrets and lies."
"Review" by , "Kudos to Francis for this chilling study of a deeply disturbed, dysfunctional family, its crimes, and its fate."
"Synopsis" by ,
A seductive psychological thriller about a woman facing the dark truths at the heart of her family 

Jeanne Crosss contented suburban life gets a jolt of energy from the arrival of Ali Mather, the stunning new music teacher at the local high school. With a magnetic personality and looks to match, Ali draws attention from all quarters, including Jeannes husband and son. Nonetheless, Jeanne and Ali develop a deep friendship based on their mutual vulnerabilities and long-held secrets that Ali has been recording in her diary. The diary also holds a key to something darker: Alis suspicion that someone has been entering her house when she is not at home. Soon their friendship will be shattered by violence—and Jeanne will find herself facing impossible choices in order to protect the people she loves.

"Synopsis" by , Answering the question of what is more powerful--family or friendship?, this debut novel shows how far one woman will go to protect both. This chilling tour of troubled minds signals the launch of an immensely talented new novelist who knows just how to keep her readers guessing.
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