Wednesday, June 09, 2010

[Book Review] THE LIAR'S DIARY by Patry Francis


Andrea King reviews THE LIAR'S DIARY by Patry Francis (Penguin Group, 2007)

Sometimes, when I am shelving, certain books just grab my attention. It might be because of a book’s cover art, title, or a combination of both. That was not the case with this novel. It was not shelved in a particularly prominent place, but I picked it up because I had never heard of this author. And let me tell you, Ms. Patry (short for Patricia) Francis has packed a wallop in this tale.

Jeanne Cross, the suburban wife of Dr. Gavin Cross and mother to overweight Jamie, has always put her family first. She has always felt inferior compared to the other doctors’ wives in town. Jeanne thinks she is plain and dowdy, but she remains grateful and devoted to her husband. Jeanne’s whole existence is safe and almost boring, until Ali Mather arrives in town.

A classically-trained violinist, Ali has been hired to teach at the same small high school where Jeanne is the school secretary. Unfortunately, Ali’s reputation has preceded her into the small town. Jeanne is no thrills and frills, while Ali’s zest for life leaves everyone breathless. Despite the women’s differences, the two become best friends. Apart from each other, the two women suspect that the other is trouble and should be left alone, yet their vulnerabilities keep them together as friends.

As some secrets are kept and others are exposed, friends become rivals and spouses become estranged. No one is safe from the others in the community or from themselves.

This is a chilling first novel from Patry Francis that will keep readers in suspense until the very end. I am definitely eager to read other books by this new author!

Andrea King, Poplar-White Station

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