As a blogger, I regularly put it all out there on the internet. Maybe I don't say quite as much as I would in a diary or journal, but I think that my readers know almost as much of me as any journal reader would.
So when Mother Talk offered me the chance to review a new book by Patry Francis, called The Liar's Diary, I couldn't wait. The book definitely kept me reading.
The main character, a high school secretary, mother to a 16-year old with problems, and wife to a cold and withholding surgeon, wasn't someone I could relate to. She seemed to let life happen to her rather than directing it herself. But what I could related to was Jean's sense of isolation and feeling of numbness, classic signs of depression, that lead her to befriend Ali, her polar opposite.
Ali is a woman who embraces life and lives it on the move. She's a musician and new teacher at Jean's school, who flaunts her affairs and her emotional life. The relationship between Ali and Jean has something to offer both of them, and leads each of them to a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationships.
Tragedy strikes, as it often does in books and real life, and Ms. Patry has us wondering were dysfunction ends and psychosis begins.
My usual test of a really good book is whether or not I would read it again. I rarely reread books. Those that I do, I reread constantly. Ms. Patry's book is not Jane Austen, but as a psychological profile of family and relationships, I found it intriguing and probably will read this one again. Maybe I can find some clues I missed along the way.
You can read interviews with Ms. Francis here and here. But what I really found interesting was Ms. Patry's blog, Simply Wait. You see, Ms. Patry is living with cancer. Of course, that isn't the defining piece of her. She's an amazing writer and blogger. Her observations about people and life amaze me. I've read her entire blog.
Check out this post, The Woman Who Said No. It will tell you an awful lot about who Ms. Patry is, who she wants to be, and how her illness has changed her. Then go buy her book. You won't be sorry.