Books·Canadian

Based on a True Story

A novel by Elizabeth Renzetti.

Elizabeth Renzetti

Augusta Price (not her real name) is famous in England for playing a slatternly barmaid on a nighttime soap opera and for falling down drunk in public. Now, she has no job, no relationship with her long-lost son and a sad shortage of tranquilizers — but she has had an improbable hit with her memoir (which is based on a true story, but only very loosely).

But when Frances Bleeker — an insecure and not very successful American tabloid journalist — tells Augusta that a man she once loved has written a book, Augusta becomes terrified that her life story will be revealed as the web of lies it really is. She sets out on a trans-Atlantic journey from London to California to seek revenge on her former lover — a journey that will require the reluctant help of Frances. (From House of Anansi)

From the book

It was not the first time she'd been asked to leave a clinic. Augusta huddled into her coat as the wind cut across the porch. The nurse who'd come to say goodbye remained inside, as if afraid to leave the safety of the foyer. One hand held out in farewell, the other on the handle of the door. The paint was peeling down the side, Augusta noticed. The other clinics had been much smarter than this.

She took the outstretched hand, their cold fingers meeting. This nurse, Jennifer, had been her sole friend and ally over one long week, which should have been two.

"We'll not see you here again," Jennifer said.

"No," said Augusta. "You'll not see me here again."

"Well," said the nurse, "you know you can always ring me, any time, if you do feel yourself slipping. My mobile's on there." She fished a card from the pocket of her blue tunic. Augusta looked at it, and realized with some surprise that the nurse she'd been calling Jennifer was in fact named Claudia.


From Based on a True Story by Elizabeth Renzetti ©2014. Published by House of Anansi.

Other books by Elizabeth Renzetti