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Deep Down True: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, January 25, 2011

71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It�s been more than a year since Dana Stellgarten�s divorce, and things are getting tough. Her 7-year-old, Grady, is struggling with the absence of his father and becoming moody and morose. She discovers that her 12-year-old, Morgan, is bulimic and succumbing to pressure from her popular friends. Her 16-year-old niece, Alder, literally crashes into their lives and begs Dana to take her in for several months. Alder no longer seems to be the happy, well-rounded girl she used to be. To top it all off, Dana�s well-to-do ex-husband is suddenly struggling with his child-care payments. This is a wonderful tale of family and growing up, whether as a child, a teenager, or a middle-aged mother. Dana gains unlikely friends at her dentist�s office, loses longtime allies, and even begins to date again. Dana, who is at times nice to a fault, learns that single motherhood requires both love and a sharp edge of responsibility. Heartwarming, funny, well-penned, unexpectedly suspenseful, this is a solid page-turner, right through to the touching end. --Julie Hunt


"Sincere, powerful and heartfelt, Deep Down True will resonate with women everywhere . . . I loved Fay's true-to-life characters and her ability to portray the intricate dynamics of friendship and family in such an immediately recognizable way. There is a 'me too' moment on every page, right down to the satisfying finish."
Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author of Where We Belong

"When I wasn't inside the world of this book-because this is a book that you enter instead of merely read-I longed to be. I love it for its intensely human characters and for the way the author grants them their flaws as generously as she celebrates their daily decencies, their persistent hopefulness, their moments of personal grace."
Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Falling Together and Love Walked In

"Enormously readable and hugely relatable!"
Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place

"Engrossing, touching, and immensely satisfying. The truth shines on every page. I'd almost be willing to go back to junior high if I could sit at Juliette Fay's lunch table!"
Beth Harbison, New York Times bestselling author of When in Doubt, Add Butter and Thin, Rich, Pretty

"Fay deals honestly with Dana's emotional journey as she strives 'to understand how what had been true before had changed into what was true now' and gives readers a believable cast, from the daughter struggling with the wolf-pack mentality of middle school to Dana's sometimes obnoxious yet fiercely loving sister. It expertly walks a heavily trodden path."
Publishers Weekly

"Fay imbues Dana with the smarts and insecurities that war within most of us. With her comfort zone obliterated, Dana draws on her inner strengths to reconstruct a new foundation for her children in a world where she gets to be the alpha wolf. Highly recommended for fans of women's fiction featuring resilient heroines."
Library Journal

"Heartwarming, funny, well-penned . . . a solid page-turner, right through to the touching end."
Booklist --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics); Original edition (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014311851X
  • ASIN: B004Q7E0PO
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #622,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Juliette Fay's latest novel, THE SHORTEST WAY HOME, was chosen as one of Library Journal's Top 5 "Best Books of 2012: Women's Fiction." Juliette's first novel, SHELTER ME, was a 2009 Massachusetts Book Award "Must-Read Book," a Target Bookmark Club selection, and on the American Booksellers Association's Indie Next list. Her second, DEEP DOWN TRUE, was short-listed for the Women's Fiction award by the American Library Association.

Juliette received a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a master's degree from Harvard University. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and four children. When she's not trying to keep track of her kids or daydreaming about her next story, Juliette can be reached on her website,; on Facebook at Juliette Fay, author; and on Twitter @juliettefay.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Old book lover on January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a male elder, I seldom am able to enjoy "chick lit." When my wife suggested that Fay's book was definitely not in that category, I decided to give it a try. Almost immediately I find myself drawn into Dana's world. It brought back such strong memories of my own junior high days. Even more valuable, I felt it gave me insights into how that time in life feels for girls and women. Sure, it's funny, but this book also has a wisdom about it that I found deeply appealing. If one of your goals in reading serious fiction is a deeper understanding of the human condition, this book is definitely for you -- no matter what your gender!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover on January 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
It has been a long time since I read a book I didn't want to put down and didn't want to end! Juliette draws the reader into her characters' world from the first page. She creates characters so real, warm, wonderful and flawed that you are sure they must truly exist. This story made me laugh, cry, sympathize, question and think-what more can you ask from a book?
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Albany Reader on January 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
Juliette Fay proves that Shelter Me wasn't a one-off success. Even more so in Deep Down True, Fay weaves the funny-worrisome-mundane-painful-sustaining-tragic-frustrating- small victory ingredients of everyday life into a story that avoids melodrama by evoking the same wide range of deep down true emotions that run through all of our lives. She does this with a keen sense of humor, spot-on dialogue, and by creating characters you want to know more about. ( I'm still wondering how Cormac from Shelter Me is faring. In Deep Down True, I'm rooting for Alder, Dana's big-hearted niece who is trying to figure out which end is up as she moves from adolescence into adulthood.)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By m.a. from MA on March 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Juliette Fay's new novel, "Deep Down True," is a page turner that resonates with characters and situations that most people have experienced. Her portrayal of Middle School, from the perspective of both mother and daughter, is dead on. Her insights on raising a family post divorce will leave you laughing, and sometimes shedding a tear. Deep Down True is a book you read from start to finish, stopping only to attend to necessities. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to lose themselves in a well written, thought provoking novel. The perfect book for the beach, or a rainy day by the fire!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. Collier on July 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved reading Deep Down True: A Novel! I have not read Shelter Me yet, but I am planning to go back and read it at some point. I think that most women, no matter what stage they are in their lives, will find something to identify with in this book. Fay does an excellent job of illustrating those passages of life that we all go through, first as daughters, then as friends, wives, mothers and even grandmothers, to some extent. There are certain aspects of life that are intrinsic to being a woman, and I really felt drawn to Fay's descriptions, identifying with parts of my life that I have experienced.

The main character, Dana Stellgarten is a recent divorcee, with two children - Morgan and Grady. Struggling to find her post-divorce identity, she faces a number of family issues (I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil the plot), while trying to figure out who she wants to become. Fay describes Dana's relationships with her kids, her sister, her niece, her ex-husband and also her friends and neighbors with such great detail, in such a way that I felt I was practically living in the same town, and could have been friends with her. Through all of her struggles, Dana learns some hard, but valuable lessons about relationships and the true meaning of love and friendship.

I highly recommend this book to people who like Kristin Hannah and Anita Shreve.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the story of Dana, the recently divorced mother of two children, who is struggling to come to terms with her newly single status. Over the course of the book she goes from being hurt and raw to finding a way for her and her children to move forward. She has to assume responsibility for herself financially, find a way to accept her husband's new relationship and to help her children to move on - as well as learning to move forward romantically.

I didn't particularly enjoy this book. Most of the storyline felt as cliched as the book's generic title. Dana was just too bland and perfect to hold my interest. Almost everything that came out of her mouth felt like how magazine articles recommend that you behave. Plus, the idea that she was this recently divorced woman who thought that it was entirely reasonable that her ex-husband should support her as a full time mom because she was just too busy looking after a 12 year old and 6 year old, didn't sit well with me. Nor did her inability to spot what a loser her boyfriend was or how passive aggressive her supposed best friend was. I kept waiting for some dramatic twist but it all unfolds pretty much as you expect it to.

I can see the way that the author tried to integrate lots of real life issues - eating disorders, teenage sexual pressures, suicide - but they all felt like they'd been deep fried in vanilla. The fact that it took me two weeks to read this book is indicative of its inability to hold my interest. It's not that it's particularly terrible, it's just...bland.
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