Books & Other Writing | True Enough (2003)
Jane Cody imagined she'd lead a tumultuous life, full of money, passion, and painless tragedies. Instead, she wakes up at forty with a doting second husband, a precocious son who loves to bake, and a fast-paced job as a producer for a Boston television station. What went wrong? In New York, Desmond Sullivan—biographer of demi-celebs such as the forgotten torch singer Pauline Anderton—wonders how he ended up "stuck in something as pathetic" as a happy, secretly monogamous relationship with smart, sweet Russell.
Jane and Desmond meet in Boston and join forces to create a series of TV documentaries on America's cultural mediocrities. But their search for the truth about the elusive Anderton takes them on a journey of self-discovery in which they learn more about their own secrets and lies than they ever wanted to know.
Praise for True Enough
"With his wry new novel, McCauley ventures further down the path of cross-gender empathy, creating a female protagonist who doesn't merely claim our hearts but rips them out and slings them over her shoulder. True Enough is, in many ways, his best book yet."
— The New York Times Book Review
"Smart and funny with understated finesse."
Words from the author...
"In my twenties and thirties, I spent a fair amount of time worrying and being depressed about what I assumed was a lot of untapped, wasted potential-some vast pool of musical talent or athletic ability that I couldn't figure how to gain access to, damn it. At a life-crisis point in my early forties, I realized that I probably was living up to my full potential. There was no hidden reservoir of talent, no chance I'd wake one day and find myself on the Olympic swim team. Once I got over being depressed about that, I felt much more at peace with myself. I stopped looking over my shoulder for the next best thing to come along. I accepted that I was well into my life, not walking through some dress rehearsal for it.
"That, more or less, is the point at which the two main characters in True Enough find themselves.
"Sometimes when I'm writing, a single detail makes me see a character more clearly. I'd written a lot about Jane, the sort-of heroine of True Enough, but she was still mysterious. I'd known all along that she was a compulsive list maker, but when I realized that almost everything on her lists was untrue, I suddenly felt I knew her. She quickly became one of my favorite characters. She makes some very bad choices, but usually does so with good intentions."