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Authors: Juliette Fay

Tags: #Fiction, #Family Life, #Literary

Deep Down True

BOOK: Deep Down True
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Table of Contents
 
 
Praise for
Deep Down True
“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
Love Walked In
and
Belong to Me
 
“Enormously readable and hugely relatable!”
—Kelly Corrigan,
New York Times
bestselling author of
The Middle Place
and
Lift
 
“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
Thin Rich Pretty
 
 
And for
Shelter Me
 
“[Fay] does a beautiful job capturing the ebb and flow of single motherhood, from small miracles and little annoyances to the big ordeals . . . tinged with searing insight and often hilarious wry humor.”

The Boston Globe
 
“The concerns of single motherhood after sudden tragedy come vividly to life, and as Janie learns to appreciate everyday miracles, readers will be charmed.”

Publishers Weekly
 
“Juliette Fay can hit the high notes of emotion with unexpected moments of redemption and wry humor.”
—Jacqueline Sheehan, author of
Lost & Found
 

Shelter Me
is a richly told story that offers a keyhole into the pain and searing grief losing a loved one brings to a family. That pain is balanced against humor and the need to care-take life’s day-to-day demands and relationships until one day, you realize you have the capability to love again. Fay writes with vivid dialogue and conjures up characters that feel real enough to be sitting in your kitchen.”
—Lee Woodruff,
New York Times
bestselling author of
In an Instant
and
Perfectly Imperfect
A PENGUI BOOK
DEEP DOWN TRUE
JULIETTE FAY’s first novel,
Shelter Me
, was a 2009 Massachusetts Book Award Book of the Year, a Target 2009 Bookmarked Club selection, a Good Housekeeping Book Pick, and was chosen for the American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next List. 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.
Deep Down True
is her second novel.
PENGUIN BOOKS
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto
Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell,
Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)
Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, II Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632,
New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue,
Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
 
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England
 
First published in Penguin Books 2011
 
 
Copyright © Juliette Fay, 2011
All rights reserved
 
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to octual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is ertirely coincidental.
 
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA
Fay, Juliette.
Deep down true / Juliette Fay.
p m.
“A Pamela Dorman/Penguin book”—T. p. verso.
eISBN : 978-1-101-48618-4
I. Divorced women—Fiction. 2. preteens—Fiction. 3. Domestic fiction. I. Title.
[DNLM: 1. Love stories. gsafd]
PS3606.A95D44 2011
8I3’.6—dc22 2010038552
 
 
 
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

http://us.penguingroup.com

For my parents,
 
CAROL DIGIANNI AND JOHN DACEY,
 
who’ve blazed their trails through hard times to happiness,
and whose love and enthusiasm is always a given
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
T
HE FIRST FLICKERS OF DEEP DOWN TRUE WERE sparked at Jonas Clarke Junior High School during the years 1974-77. I still have occasional moments of post-traumatic stress from the experience. I would like to thank Rhea Nowak, Amy Smith, Jean Volante, and Alexandra Fisher, friends who never, to my knowledge, betrayed me. Thanks also to Kassia Sing, who was that all-too-rare combination of popular and nice. I’m sure there were others, but in my attempt to block out as much of that time as possible, I have inadvertently forgotten their names. My apologies and my thanks.
Thanks also to my sisters, Jennifer Dacey Allen and Kristen Dacey Iwai, the best of companions and co-conspirators, who have always known how to crack me up, even on really unfunny days. And to Linda Dacey, my stepmother, who traversed that fine line between intervening and interfering, and who quietly lobbied for a more reasonable clothing allowance for us. The life-or-death importance of this was lost on my father, being a man and being as uninterested in fashion as an otherwise socially appropriate person could possibly be.
When I tell people that middle school was the worst three years of my life, I often hear groans of agreement. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t gotten any easier. Adolescents are an interesting bunch, prone to acts of both great generosity and great ferocity, and you never know which is coming at you till it’s in your face. The flickers of this story were blown into flames when I first heard Rosalind Wiseman, author of
Queen Bees and Wannabes,
speak, and further fueled when I read her book. Thanks, Rosalind, for helping me make sense of the culture I so fearfully inhabited all those years ago and for unwittingly giving me guidance with the characters of
Deep Down True.
There’s the part of fiction writing that’s the “dreaming up” part, and with any luck this is done alone (or at least someplace where nobody’s asking for help making a bracelet out of duct tape or for rides to their friends’ houses). And then there are all the other parts—reviewing, editing, fact-finding, shepherding, encouraging, deal making, publishing, promoting, selling, begging, bugging, consoling, celebrating. With any luck these are done in the company of people like:
Alison Bullock, Megan Lucier, Catherine Toro-McCue, Julia Tanen, and Anne Kuppinger, dear friends who read every scrap, often in several iterations, and gave me their unvarnished opinions while simultaneously making me feel smart and well liked. Catherine is a psychiatric nurse who had lots of good information, insights, and resources on eating disorders.
 
Sandra Dupuy, Tracey Palmer, and Art Hutchinson, excellent writers with whom I’ve spent many hours in coffee shops and on self-inflicted “retreats” challenging one another to do better.
 
Dr. Michael Putt, who keeps our teeth healthy and has been a wonderful consultant on everything from drill bits to dental-office politics. Dr. Paul Allen, my brother-in-law and go-to guy on what it’s like to be a medical student. And Keiji Iwai, my other brother-in-law, whose photographic know-how is second only to his generosity with his time.
 
Patricia Campanella Daniels, a dear friend who gave me the grand tour of northeastern Connecticut and whose husband, Eric Daniels, made sure I got the sports references right.
 
Julia Tanen, one of my oldest friends and managing director at KCSA Strategic Communications, who tirelessly promotes my work and generously shared the depth of her personal knowledge of bulimia.
 
Pamela Dorman and Julie Miesionczek, editor and assistant editor, who worked so hard to get this book into the best possible shape.
 
Theresa Park, my agent and friend, who brilliantly stewards my career and is really fun to hang out with. And the fabulous Park Literary team of Abigail Koons, Emily Sweet, and Yahel Matalon. Amanda Cardinale, you’ll be missed!
 
Quinn, Nick, Liam, and Brianna Fay, who have their hands full raising their father and me, and who still haven’t gotten sick of my doing some “book thing” or other several times a week. Brianna has been my foreign-language consultant on teenager-speak, answering countless questions that begin with “How would you say . . . ?”
 
And Tom Fay, my husband and BFF, whose love, support, and endless enthusiasm for my work (“Here, sign this book, I think I can get it to Ben Affleck!”) makes me feel lucky every day.
CHAPTER
1
I
N JEANS THAT FIT FOUR POUNDS AGO BUT NOW squeezed her in a mildly intrusive manner, Dana stood at her kitchen counter pinching foil over a tray of lasagna and waiting on hold, the phone wedged against her shoulder. Her gaze skimmed the obituaries in the local paper, but Dermott McPherson’s name did not appear—not this time anyway. Mr. McPherson was the reason she’d made the lasagna, though it wasn’t actually for him. He probably wasn’t eating much. It was for his family, who were understandably distraught over their loved one’s terminal illness. Dana didn’t know them. She belonged to Comfort Food, a group who cooked for families in crisis.
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