Lies of the Heart: A Novel

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9780143118541: Lies of the Heart: A Novel

Read Michelle Boyajian's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

"Boyajian's psychologically astute debut combines courtroom drama with a heartbreaking portrait of a wife's grief." -People

Katie Burelli is living a nightmare. Her husband Nick, a speech therapist, is dead-shot by Jerry, one of his mentally handicapped patients. As Jerry stands trial, Katie plays and replays the events that led up to Nick's murder, and searches her own recollections for answers. Long overshadowed by her beautiful, successful sister, Katie pinned her emotional wellbeing on Nick, whose unpredictable rampages only fueled Katie's insecurities. As the cracks began to appear, both welcomed Jerry into their family, hoping that by fixing him they could fix themselves. A rich tale of psychological suspense, Lies of the Heart is a masterful debut by a writer to watch.

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About the Author:

Michelle Boyajian is a graduate of NYU, Miami University, and the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she received her MFA and the Austin Robert Hartsook fellowship in Creative Writing. Her most recent short stories appeared in Third Coast and Timber Creek Review and were nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

From Publishers Weekly:

Boyajian's seductive and riveting debut uses the murder trial of a mentally retarded man to explore the crumbling marriage of the victim, Nick; the stilted dreams of his filmmaker widow, Katie; and the touching, tortured relationship that entangles all three. From the idyllic romantic beginnings for Nick and Kate, to their inspiring friendship with the mentally and emotionally damaged Jerry, to the gradual resentment, bitterness, and alienation of all their loves and lives, Boyajian glides effortlessly between the dreamy terrain of love and the gritty detail of a slaying, its investigation, and prosecution. Do not wait for this life to come to you, to see it all from behind a camera, Katie is advised by a pair of death camp survivors she's filming for a documentary. Except for a few places where Kate can't quite carry all the narrative weight placed on her shoulders, we couldn't have gotten to see this heartbreaking story from a more perfect perspective. (Apr.)
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