A little about Patry...
Many of you know Patry through her touching blog, Simply Wait, or through her earlier (and equally touching) blog, I'm Not Really a Waitress. Many of you are meeting her for the first time today, online. Spend a few moments on either, and you'll understand why so many people are tripping over themselves to help Patry Francis. She is the dearest soul imaginable.
So I'm not going to talk about public Patry. I cannot possibly do her justice--go to her blog and you'll see what I mean. Instead, I'm going to tell you about my Patry.
Patry and I met online as fledgling authors navigating the publication process. We soon discovered ourselved to be rather alike, from our names (both distorted versions of Patricia), to our neuroses, to our collective inability to end a conversation (which would, on the day we finally met in person, result in an 8-hour dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Hyannis).
Patry is the sort of person you cannot get enough of. She's at once self-depracating and wise, mirthful and wry, serene and full of bliss. She'll never turn a friend away, hell, she won't even turn a frenemy away. We roomed together in New York and Boston, where we attended writerish events, but the time I cherished most were those moments we stole away from our schedules to scuttle off to parks and courtyards to write our little words.
We wrote our New York words at the foot of a gorgeous church, in a big park with iron tables and racks birds that hopped around at our feet, in a tiny courtyard beside a building being demolished. I should remember the names of these places, they were that special. But those moments weren't about names. They were about our words and dreams. Okay, they were also about the two of us feeling incredibly cool indulging our writerly sides in the most writerly city in the world.
We wrote our Boston words in the Boston Commons, sitting on a dewy bench across from a fountain that had all but run dry. As we wrote, packs of schoolchildren on class trips and young couples milled about our statue. Sparrows tried to bathe in our statue dust. Occasionally, we looked up and smiled. Nothing needed to be said. We were in our glory, damp asses and all.
At night, we'd fall into our hotel beds exhausted. But we wouldn't sleep. Not because we're both insomniacs, but because neither of us was willing to miss out on a single word we might share in this writerly adventure. Like a couple of middle graders, we talked half the night. We planned books, we planned more writing ventures in parks, churchyards, and beautiful jackhammer-plagued courtyards.
So when I heard the news that the dreaded "C" word had invaded Patry's life, I was devastated. Not wanting to add to the gush of well wishers surrounding her upon her return from the hospital, not wanting to intrude on her much-needed family time and rest time, I wrote her emails, but refrained from calling. Inside, however, I was falling apart. Thank God for Robin Slick, we kept each other upright during this time when we really didn't know Patry's diagnosis. When Patry was rested enough, with her assurance that I wouldn't be disturbing her, I finally called. I was terrified that she'd have changed. That a light might have gone out. But Patry got on that phone and had me laughing for nearly an hour. Not only was her prognosis positive (thank you, God, for that), but she'd noticed and taken delight in every absurdity, every irony, every moment of bliss during her hospital stay, and made sure to make me feel better by sharing it.
This girl did not come out of this experience looking for people to comfort her. She came out of it looking to comfort us.
And that's my Patry.
Oh, our latest shared dream, now that Patry is able to look forward to a long, healthy life? An annual writer's retreat on a lake in Northern Ontario, in Canada, with three of the most fabulous women Patry and I have ever met--all of whom we met during that delicious trip to New York: Jessica Keener, Susan Henderson, and Robin Slick.
Honestly, a week in a lake house with the four of these women sounds, to me, more exciting than any trip Oprah has ever been on.
A little about the book...
The official description is below, but I'll tell you this was one of those rare books I could not put down. Read it while cooking, while walking to the mailbox, while driving to the store (shh!). It's truly unputdownable, so while you're picking one up for yourself, why not grab one for a friend as well?
Answering the question of what is more powerful--family or friendship? this debut novel unforgettably shows how far one woman would go to protect either.
They couldn't be more different, but they form a friendship that will alter both their fates. When Ali Mather blows into town, breaking all the rules and breaking hearts (despite the fact that she is pushing forty), she also makes a mark on an unlikely family. Almost against her will, Jeanne Cross feels drawn to this strangely vibrant woman, a fascination that begins to infect Jeanne's "perfect" husband as well as their teenaged son.
At the heart of the friendship between Ali and Jeanne are deep-seated emotional needs, vulnerabilities they have each been recording in their diaries. Ali also senses another kind of vulnerability; she believes someone has been entering her house when she is not at home--and not with the usual intentions. What this burglar wants is nothing less than a piece of Ali's soul.
When a murderer strikes and Jeanne's son is arrested, we learn that the key to the crime lies in the diaries of two very different women . . . but only one of them is telling the truth. A chilling tour of troubled minds, The Liar's Diary signals the launch of an immensely talented new novelist who knows just how to keep her readers guessing.
A little about what you can do to help...
Ready to buy the book? Why not buy one for yourself and one for a friend? And if you like it, tell people!
Here is links to THE LIAR'S DIARY at Amazon.
You can also buy directly from Penguin to save 15% (after you add the book to your cart, just enter the word PATRY in the coupon code field and click 'update cart' to activate the discount).