Paperback review: The Deception Artists, By Fayette Fox


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The Independent Culture

Fayette Fox's first novel, published by the reliably excellent Myriad Editions, is set in California during the 1980s recession.

When her father loses his job, life at home becomes difficult for eight-year-old Ivy. With her parents' relationship strained, and her older brother getting ever more rebellious, she takes refuge in a fantasy world.

The Deception Artist could have done with a bit more grit and realism – the family's experience of belt-tightening seems to involve little more than cancelling a holiday and downsizing their television set (a novel about economic hardship in 2013 really has to do better than that). Nevertheless, this is a quirky, charming debut, and Ivy's perspective is beautifully captured: nerves give her "math-test belly"; the moral of Pinocchio is that you "don't lie if you've got a trick nose".