Phone: (303) 589-6802
Diane Byington is the author of Who She Is, an historical/women’s fiction novel set in the 1960s about female friendships, family secrets, and the Boston Marathon.
Diane has been a tenured college professor, yoga teacher, psychotherapist, and executive coach. Also, she raised goats for fiber and once took a job cooking hot dogs for a NASCAR event. She still enjoys spinning and weaving, but she hasn’t eaten a hot dog or watched a car race since.
Besides reading and writing, Diane loves to hike, kayak, and photograph sunsets. She and her husband divide their time between Boulder, Colorado, and the small Central Florida town they discovered while doing research for her novel.
WHO SHE IS
March 20, 2018
Available wherever books are sold
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Retail price: $15.95
Page count: 267
Genre/subgenre: Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction
In the fall of 1967, Faye Smith’s family moves to Florida to work in the orange groves, and she has to start a new school… again. She tries out for the track team, knowing her mother would never approve because of Faye’s epilepsy.
When Faye discovers she has a talent for distance running, she and her friend Francie decide to enter the Boston Marathon, even though women aren’t allowed to compete. Desperate to climb out of the rut of poverty, Faye is determined to take part and win a college scholarship.
After the school bully tries to run her down with his car, a strange memory surfaces—a scene Faye doesn’t recognize. Her parents insist that it’s a symptom of her epilepsy, but Faye thinks they might be lying, especially when it keeps happening. To get her life on the right path, she’ll need to figure out what her parents are hiding and never lose sight of the finish line.
Reviews and Blurbs
“Faye’s character and her concerns are nicely drawn, the twists of plot are unpredictable and different, and the story line is thoroughly engrossing. . . . Readers will appreciate Who She Is for its multifaceted approach to life and one girl’s discovery of who she really is (and can be) in the face of bullying, betrayal, and abandonment.” – D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“The characters are gritty and real, and the tumultuous late 1960s are depicted vibrantly. This is a tale that sheds light on exactly how much women have had to overcome in order to participate in such simple things as high school sports. A worthy, engrossing read.” – Aimie K. Runyan, Bestselling Author of “Daughters of the Night Sky”
“Diane Byington’s engaging debut novel tells the story of a rich emotional journey, set in Florida in the late 1960s. The coming-of-age tale follows Faye’s transformation from a lonely, bullied teenager to a strong, independent young woman. While discovering her strengths and talents, and training for the Boston Marathon despite the epilepsy she’s battled since childhood, Faye literally learns “who she is.” A chain of secrets unravel as the story progresses, each more shocking than the last. The intriguing plot is told beautifully, in crisp and compelling prose, painting a vivid picture of the deep South on the cusp of major social change. Each chapter is titled by the name of a Top 40 record from the era, pulling us deeper into the time frame. This captivating read will be equally enjoyed by young adult readers, and their mothers and aunties who remember that period well and witnessed the major changes it brought about for the role of women in society.” – Gail Cleare, USA Today bestselling author
“During the tumultuous 1960s, a young woman with a troubled family life and a passion for running taps into an inner strength she never knew she had in this poignant and moving story that will stay with you long after you’ve finishing reading.” – Wendy Tokunaga, author of Midori by Moonlight and Postcards from Tokyo
It’s not very often a book grabs me in such a way that I can’t put it down until it’s finished. I hungered to unravel Faye’s mysterious past right to the very end. Diane Byington’s novel, Who She Is, spoke to me on so many levels. The author touched on the many sensitive issues of the 1960s: Viet Nam, the death of Martin Luther King, racism in the south, women’s rights and so much more. The character she created in Faye, both a victim and a survivor, was compassionately molded into a strong, powerful young lady who developed into a woman who overcame her mysterious childhood. . . . A powerful story from beginning to end. – Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review
Who She Is is a great gripping story with a fabulous strong heroine. . . . Diane Byington has a fantastic engaging writing style. She slowly builds up the suspense and kept me on the edge of my seat. I love how she combines Faye’s passion for running with complex family relationships and intriguing secrets. I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough to find out more and love it when a story captivates me so much that I can’t put it down and have to read it in one sitting. Who She Is is set in an interesting time, in 1967 women weren’t allowed to officially partake in the marathon yet, but there were some very talented ones who earned to cross that finish line and reading about them was amazing. I loved how everything comes together, connections become deeper, the truth comes to light and Faye and Francie reach their full potential. Who She Is is a mesmerizing journey filled with surprises. – Suze Lavender, Wall to Wall Books