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Fiction Family Life

Would I Lie to You?

by (author) Mary Lou Dickinson

Inanna Publications
Initial publish date
Oct 2014
Family Life, Contemporary Women, Literary
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    Publish Date
    Oct 2014
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    Oct 2014
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After ten years of marriage, Sue and Jerry would say they know everything about each other. But each harbours a significant secret. When Jerry becomes ill and it's apparent he's dying, Sue visits a psychic, Hans, who tells her there is someone like a son in her life. She dismisses this, but at Jerry's funeral his son turns up--a son Sue didn't know existed. At first Sue feels betrayed by Jerry, but gradually she accepts her own complicity. And she regrets never telling him, or anyone else, about the baby girl she gave up for adoption when she herself was only sixteen. Encouraged by Hans and a relative of Jerry's, Sue starts looking for her daughter and relying more on Hans, who is also struggling with troubles in his own marriage. The novel deals with family secrets, social issues, relationships, and psychic insight. It confronts what happened when pregnancies were kept secret many years ago, what happens when mother and birth child look for and either find, or do not find, each other. It also explores the reality of family secrets, huge issues that are kept quiet under the veneer of polite society and that affect the individuals and families involved for lifetimes, even generations. In some ways, the novel also raises the question of who is family and how do we create one.

About the author

Mary Lou Dickinson grew up in northern Quebec and migrated to Toronto via Montreal and Michigan. She studied Arts at McGill University and Library Science at University of Toronto before discovering workshops and residencies in creative writing. Her fiction has been published in the University of Windsor Review, Descant, Waves, Grain, Northern Journey, The Fiddlehead, Impulse, Writ and broadcast on CBC Radio. Her writing was also included in the anthology, We Who Can Fly: Poems, Essays and Memories in Honour of Adele Wiseman. Inanna published a book of Dickinson's short stories, One Day It Happens, in 2007, and her first novel, Ile D'Or, in 2010, both to excellent reviews in The Globe and Mail, among others.

Mary Lou Dickinson's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"In her moving third work of fiction, Mary Lou Dickinson asks the question 'would I lie to you' and the answer is...'yes.' Dickinson touchingly and skilfully exposes the secrets and lies embedded in family relationships, revealing that, while the truth might not set one free, it can lead to healing and more fulfilling bonds between loved ones."- Heather J. Wood, author of Fortune Cookie"Would I Lie to You? is a compelling story of loss and redemption. With a sure hand and a keen eye, Dickinson deftly probes the secrets of the human heart."- Andrew J. Borkowski, author of Copernicus Avenue, winner of the Toronto Book Award"I responded in a personal way to many aspects of Would I Lie To You? No lie, it was a good read and I was always happy to return to it."- Sharon Hampson (of Sharon, Lois & Bram)"As Would I Lie to You? journeys through the kind of sorrow that wrings the heart dry, it explores how secrets compound loss. It kept me invested and intrigued."- Patricia Westerhof, author of Catch Me When I Fall and The Dove in Bathurst Station"Dickinson is a storyteller who weaves ordinary lives and ordinary events into an extraordinary tale. A son who does not know his father, a daughter who never knew her birth mother, a psychic who sees too much, motivated by a need to help others 'see'. This is a slice of life deftly told by a storyteller who seems to grasp the tenuousness of existence. I enjoyed reading this novel. Dickinson is a fine writer of gentle fiction with depth and an astute understanding of human beings and our complexities and foibles."- Paula de Ronde, Librarian (retired) formerly at Toronto Public Library; Former President (OLA) Ontario Library Association

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