Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Another Shameful Page-Turner: The Liar's Diary

It's been a long time since I read a respectable book...I peeked at someone else's copy of Anna Karenina while the girls were playing munchkin tennis at Fox Chase the other day, but for me it has been page turner after page turner for the last couple of months. Good thing I'm married to Rex, who just laughs at my current taste in reading, and not part of the online dating world. Rachel Donadio wrote an essay in the New York Times Book Review this past weekend ("It's Not You, It's Your Books," March 30, 2008) that suggested we judge our lovers by their book covers, or that "literary taste has been a good shorthand for gauging compatibility." At a minimum, Donadio points out that anyone who cares about books has been in a situation where a "misguided literary reference makes it chillingly clear that a romance is going nowhere fast." Or just the opposite: I can remember back in my horrible single days in the '90s thinking He was The One because He had Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged on his coffee table. He wasn't -- see "Boy Who Broke My Heart" haiku a few posts ago.

Despite reading Donadio's essay, I finished "The Pact" by Jodi Picoult (John Grisham in a skirt) over the weekend. Then, quicker than you can say online payday loan, I picked up "The Liar's Diary" by Patry Francis, just out in paperback, at Mendham Books. I've read the first two chapters, and it already feels like "What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal" by Zoe Heller, which actually qualifies as a cut or two above a page-turner. I bought the "Notes on a Scandal" DVD (Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett), but haven't finished it. That's one of the benefits of a good book over a girls always interrupt when Rex and I try to watch a grown-up movie and I wasn't up for explaining why is that boy on top of his teacher, mommy?

Anyway, on "Liar's Diary": Ali Mather, a stunning new music teacher, arrives at the local high school, shaking up the contented suburban life and provoking much gossip. Jeanne, the school secretary, admires her from afar and finds a way to develop a friendship based on their mutual vulnerabilities. I can see where it's going, but I just can't put it down! One of the reviews on the book jacket promises "a twisting ride full of dangerous curves and jaw-dropping surprises," so maybe Patry Francis will prove me wrong. Of course, my loyal Roxiticus Desperate Housewives readers know what drew me to the book: the diary. Just like the slowest runners wear the fanciest jogging outfits, I'm sucked in to every leather-bound Italian paper diary on the market as if it will make me a better writer, or at least more prolific. Well, Ali Mather has a diary that holds her darkest secrets....

I'm off to turn a few pages before bedtime....I'll keep you posted!


curryegg said...

Waiting for your update... ;)

Wally Banners said...

HEHE Hubby namned Rex? Now thats a Name!!!!!!!!!!!!! No wonder he stole your heart!! You got my BOB VOTE :)