15 February 2011

Deep Down True

Sometimes I read a book that I really like but I just don't want to write a review for. I'm not sure why that happens, but it does. Deep Down True by Juliette Fay was just such a book for me.

Maybe it's because, on the face of it, the plot isn't anything unusual. Dana Stellgarten is newly divorced and trying to find her place in the new world she now inhabits. She has always been unfailingly nice to everyone, but that is wearing away now as she faces life as a single mother who is trying to do the best she can for her children while forging ahead. 

Life can be rough. Her teen niece soon seeks refuge with Dana. She suspects her daughter is developing an eating disorder. Her ex-husband tells her she needs to find work since he is unable to contribute as much as he should. In the meantime, the Queen Bee Mom befriends her and her son's football coach woos her. Life is complicated and confusing; but Dana discovers the rewards of staying true to herself and not worrying so much about everyone liking her.

What makes this book so special is the character development. All of them rang true, from the perpetually adolescent coach to the fragile tough-girl niece to the bitchy alpha-mom. Even more remarkably, I began to care very much about Dana, her family, her eventual beau and the family she cooks for in their time of need. The richness of the characters made this book burrow into my heart.

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