Deep Down True, by Juliette Fay, is a very real and true novel about divorce, single parenting, and the difficulties of fitting in, no matter how old you are. Recently divorced Dana, who has just gone back to work and began dating, suddenly has to deal with newly developed problems with her 7 year-old son, her 12-year old daughter and the 16 year-old neice that she has taken in.
Dana is not only confused about dating again, but is also dealing with the other women from the neighborhood. It seems that even when you are in your forties, it can still feel like you are back in middle school sometimes. 7-year old Grady is angry and acting out, 12 year-old Morgan has developed an eating disorder and 16 year-old Alder is very upset about something but won’t talk about it.
I was truly engrossed in Deep Down True because the characters were so real and the situations all felt so true. Reading about how nasty and cliquish tween girls (and often their moms) can be, rang so true. The dialogue of all of the kids in the book sounded very authentic, not as if an adult was writing it.
There were definitely times I cried while reading Deep Down True, some out of sadness, some out of joy. I feel like I know this family so well, that I am still rooting for them, long after the book has ended. I highly recommend this novel to anyone, but especially to women of all ages, including teenagers.
See also: The Age of Miracles – A Novel
Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free to review. This had no impact on my review.