Thursday, March 10, 2011

Juliette Fay

Juliette Fay received a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a master's degree from Harvard University. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and children. Her new novel is Deep Down True.

From a Q & A about Shelter Me, her first novel:

After Janie’s husband, Robby, dies suddenly, she gradually emerges from her grief. For instance, as the days progress, she holds it together until 5:30 or 6 in the evening. Then, as she is really improving, she can hold her grief at bay until going to sleep. What gave you this insight into the way we heal?

Even with a live husband, I’m pretty tired by the end of the day. At about six, just before dinner, I have the least amount of patience and my kids are at their least adorable. Jokingly, I’ve often told my husband, “You keep walking in the door at six o’clock and I’ll never leave you.”

I’ve often imagined how hard that time of day must be for a single mother, with no reinforcements on the horizon. It must be especially tough when you’ve come to rely on the reprieve. You can no longer hand off the whiny baby or tell the irritable 5-year-old to “ask Dad” those 52 questions about why he can’t get a cow for a pet. That starkness of no one showing up when you’re at your worst suggested itself as the focal point of Janie’s aloneness.

But humans have an amazing capacity to acclimate ourselves to deprivations, big and small. Slowly, as Father Jake counsels Janie, we adjust. She has to muddle through until her mental alarm clock stops going off at six, and her body gets used to hanging in there for another couple of hours. And because I love her, I gave her occasional reprieves: Cormac, Aunt Jude and even Shelly show up at six o’clock with food from time to time.

The central question for Janie is “Now what?” After her husband dies, she struggles to remember how people normally live. How did you know that too?

“Now what?” is the...[read on]
Read an excerpt from Deep Down True and view the video trailer.

Learn more about the book and author at Juliette Fay's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Deep Down True.

--Marshal Zeringue