Lying for a Living


Jesse Few has made lying for a living into an art form. The insincere, quintessential traveling salesman continues letting the people in his life down, from his ex-wife and two teenage children to his creditors and coworkers—ones he dutifully lays off to appease his manager in the wake of a recession ravaging the southern United States, including his hometown of Dwyer, Georgia. Jesse coasts through life, golfing and carousing with his buddies, dating a much-younger married woman and padding his expense account during personal trips. But, when his son is arrested for a DUI and possession of his father’s prescription opioids, and his mother begins to succumb to the cruel downward spiral of dementia, will Jesse finally act his age of nearly fifty and come to the rescue of the family he has so often abandoned in pursuit of his own desires in the past?

Readers of contemporary fiction, especially southern fiction, will get lost in the pages of this middle-age-coming-of-age novel. Despite all his faults, Jesse Few is a likeable character in many ways, one to  whom the reader can relate in his imperfection, and most will find his relationship with his mother endearing. The most notable aspect of the novel is the growth of the character as hardships continue to present themselves. Bearing witness to Jesse’s struggle to turn things around—by way of a most unconventional decision—as he straddles the fence of a moral and ethical dilemma becomes an enjoyable task for the reader in this extremely well-written novel. Full of subtle implications, "Lying for a Living" will delight the literary senses!

Claudette Melanson