Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Book Review: The Liar's Diary

Time for another review!!!

The Liar's Diary by Patry Francis

From Publishers Weekly: A case study in the explosive effects of extreme denial, Francis's debut relies completely on its very unreliable narrator, with mixed results. When local violinist and composer Ali Mather, a very sexy 46, comes to teach music at the Bridgeway high school where narrator Jeanne Cross, a very plain 37, is the secretary, teachers and students alike are abuzz. Ali is separated from her mild husband George, and is soon sleeping with the 31-year-old shop teacher, Brian Shagaury (and also with car dealer Jack Butterfield). Jeanne is married to a buff orthopedic surgeon, Gavin, with whom she has an overweight, dyslexic 16-year-old son, Jamie, who attends the school. An unlikely friendship develops between the seemingly steady Jeanne and acting-out Ali, and Jeanne's purposefully flat narration is effective in doling out disorienting incongruities (as in the offhanded way Jeanne develops a serious pill habit). Ali's provocative lifestyle eventually intersects directly with Jeanne's home life. When tragedy strikes, Jeanne's Stepford routine holds for a while, then becomes a giveaway.

At first, this sounded like a very intruguing book. It's not a very big book, so I wasn't intimidated by size or content. I started reading and within the first chapter, I started feeling kind of leery about this book. I had read the reviews and had read what it was supposedly about.

Background: For those of you who know me, I'm an upbeat person. I try to keep happy at all times and not let anything that could potentially destroy that happiness into my life. I read happy things, I listen to happy things, I watch happy things (for the most part). Honestly... this book is depressing. When you have a story plot, you expect that there will be happy moments, sad moments, moments of intrigue, moments of action, and a good ending to tie it all up. All this book held for me was that it was sad at points, it was even more sad at other points, until the end, when it became just depressing. I didn't feel good reading this book at any point.

The main synopsis of this story is that a woman, Francis, seems to be a normal wife/mother on the outside, but is really facing the struggle of a home/family that just doesn't work or make her happy. A new lady, Ali, is hired on as the music teacher at the high school where she works and turns her world upside down. Ali is a troubled person with a history of mostly downs in her life. And through their friendship, Ali brings out the "bad" in Francis, whils Francis attempts to help her with all of her "issues". There are plenty of twists in this book that I definitely wasn't expecting, but each twist lead down another path of something i didn't care to visit. In general, this book is full of depression, unhappiness, murder, love affairs, and betrayal. And although this seems to most as regular worldy things that happen everyday, I don't care to look at life in that light. I live my life complete opposite and like to look at life in the complete opposite light.

I can easily see this book as a movie. It's very visually effective and keeps the reader attatched to the story, whether they like it or not.

If you prefer reading stories that have these aspects in it, then it's definitely the book for you. If you don't care for such things and would prefer reading upbeat, happy things- then don't read it. I for one will not read this book again. But that is just my opinion. :)

If you'd like to read more reviews- go to this link and you can read more.


Anonymous said...

yeah, i didn't sign up for that one for the very same reason you didn't like it. I didn't want to read about all that kind of stuff. I was kinda suprised about them hosting that book, among some others. i guess i thought it being a mom based thing, the books would be more wholesome.

Anonymous said...

sounds lame. what kind of name is patry anyway?

Amie said...

Doesn't sound like my type of book either...