Jessica Treadway on Lacy Eye
“Deftly plotted… Treadway paints a devastating portrait of a family torn apart from both the outside and
within.” —Publishers Weekly
I am excited to share with you Award Winning Author, Jessica Treadway’s thoughts on her newest book, pub date-March 10, 2016-LACY EYE:
“When it was time for publication, I learned that Lacy Eye falls into the category of “psychological thriller,” but I actually never set out to write a thriller, psychological or otherwise. I hoped that the novel might appeal to readers because the suspense comes not so much from the What happened? As from the narrator’s state of mind as she tries to decide how much she wants to remember about the what happened. At least, that was my intention. I aimed to depict her psychological journey, more than anything else.
I was fascinated to imagine what was inside the mind of a mother who potentially feels the need to hang onto the relationship with her child at all costs – including the cost of becoming estranged from her other child. The novel is based on a real murder in my hometown outside Albany, NY, in which a college student was convicted of murdering his father and attempting to murder his mother. As in the novel, the mother first identified the son as her attacker, then later appeared to lose all memory of the attack itself and became his defender, saying that he would never have committed such a crime. Because it happened so close to home, I followed the news coverage of that case, and I became fascinated by the detail of a mother maintaining her child’s innocence, when she herself had originally implicated him and when the jury took less than a day to convict him.
I knew right away that instead of writing about a mother and a son accused of the crime, as in the real case, I wanted to write about a mother who had a daughter with a very sketchy boyfriend. I was far less interested in writing about a sociopath as the grown child of the victim than about a grown child who would be vulnerable to a sociopath’s sway. Sociopaths, as they are classically defined, aren’t interesting to me in a fictional sense because – at least from my understanding – there isn’t a conscience at play, and I am most interested in the conflicts that spring from the conscience. I suppose I could have written about a son with a male friend or boyfriend, but to me it came more naturally to write about a mother-daughter relationship that became compromised by the daughter’s attraction to a man her parents were suspicious of.
Ultimately, Lacy Eye is the story of a mother whose relationship with her grown daughter is stretched to the breaking point, and beyond. It’s also about the courage it takes to see things as they are, instead of yielding to the temptation to cast them in a prettier, more palatable light.”
JESSICA TREADWAY is the Flannery O’Connor Award-winning author of two story collections, Please Come Back to Me (University of Georgia Press, 2010) and Absent Without Leave (Delphinium Books/Simon & Schuster, 1993), and a previous novel, And Give You Peace (Graywolf Press, 2001). A professor of creative writing at Emerson College in Boston, she is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
This book sounds like a must read for 2016. I am looking forward to reading LACY EYE, which just came out this March.