In this sharp and funny debut set in Northern California during the 1980s recession, Fayette Fox delves deep into the dark heart of an ordinary American family – and finds out that make-believe isn’t just for kids.
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Eight-year-old Ivy has a vivid imagination and tells lies so that people will like her. With her brother, Brice, in hospital, life at home feels unsettled and things become even more strained after her father loses his job, along with his sense of purpose.
Her parents might divorce and her best friend hates her but, ever creative, Ivy abandons her escapist fantasies and determines to uncover the truth.
Bookhugger10 April 2013
A funny and heartwarming novel which looks at the life of a typical Northern Californian family in the 1980s recession through the eyes of an imaginative, adorable eight-year old. Ivy is one of the most beautifully sweet and intelligent children I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I definitely would have been friends with her if she’d gone to my school... I found Fayette Fox’s writing delicious to read.View source
Fayette Fox's first novel, published by the reliably excellent Myriad Editions, is a quirky, charming debut, and Ivy's perspective is beautifully captured.
Becca Likes Books
This is a superb debut... Fox’s pacing and plotting are perfect, and I happily whizzed through it in a few days, unable to tear myself away... It’s the perfect summer read and Fayette Fox is definitely one to watch.View source
Fayette Fox has blown my mind. Just when I thought there could not be a way to make reading a more enjoyable experience, she came in and wrote The Deception Artist... The seamless narration between Ivy’s reality and her vision of the world around her (and the one into which she often escapes), creates in the reader a feeling of empathy for the kid and for those whom her child eyes have innocently misunderstood. Ivy’s voice is pure and soulful, her eyes are quick and wide, her mind witty and marvellous. Anyone who ever had an unbounded imagination will love her; anyone who was always misunderstood for daydreaming or coming up with unusual ideas at playtime will be glad to have her come alive within the pages... The moments of this book will make you laugh and worry and wonder; you’ll feel for Ivy and the rest of the characters; you’ll turn the pages to find out the truth and discover every time just a little bit more of what was hidden in plain sight. Not a word is wasted, not a line out of place; the story unfolds with perfect timing and articulation.View source
The London Diaries
The Deception Artist was a very sweet little book... the chapters are short and punchy... I was fully captivated by Ivy and her point of view of the goings on with her family.... I loved this book.View source
'Every character is sensitively and realistically drawn as the novel explores the truth and lies that both adults and children tell in order to feel secure in an unsafe world. I was blinking back tears during one scene between Ivy and her mother towards the end of the novel; it's a stunning moment of acceptance, understanding, forgiveness and love. Ivy is one of the brightest, funniest and intelligent little characters I've read in a while. Good luck, Ivy, may you paint your life vividly across many more imaginations.'
The Simple Things
The Deception Artist reminds us that the real truths are in how we love each other.
Ivy is a brilliant character and Fox writes her perspective incredibly naturally [...] The Deception Artist is a very impressive debut. All the characters are complicated but overall sympathetic. Apart from anything else, a reader can’t help but fall for Ivy.View source
The Deception Artist is told from Ivy’s perceptive and I loved being inside her eight-year-old mind. Ivy is artistic and has a fantastic imagination but she is also easily confused, which leads some great laugh-out-loud moments... I thought Ivy was a fantastic character. She is sweet and naïve but she is also fiercely loyal and I loved her vivid imagination.View source
We Love This Book
The characters in this novel are wonderfully brought to life, with both the children and adults being credibly voiced throughout... a captivating debut, and hopefully the first of many books from Fayette Fox.View source
With sharp, witty prose and an utterly endearing and sympathetic heroine, The Deception Artist is a story that draws you in and has you rooting for its central character as if she were your eight-year-old self.View source