Sunday, November 22, 2009

Review: The Imposter's Daughter by Laurie Sandell

This is a memoir in a graphic format. It tells the story of Sandell's discovery that her father was not the man he claimed he was all throughout her childhood. Sandell grew up idolizing her larger than life Argentinian father. He told wonderful stories about his exploits a a young man, he bragged about his extensive education, and name dropped all the famous people with whom he had come into contact. This enchanted and impressed his daughters. But then Sandell discovered that her beloved father had opened up credit cards in her name and never paid them off. And once she peeked behind the curtain, there was no turning back. Facing her father's false past meant also facing her own present and whom the hero worship of a lying narcissist had caused her to become.

The memoir is very honest and pulls no punches about the wrong decisions Sandell has made in her own life over the years. And it details the angst she felt about "outing" her father and betraying the secrecy that her mother and sisters preferred to exposure. It is a quick read, but one that I wanted more from than I found. Perhaps it is a function of the way the story was told in pictures and in text that made me feel it was just brushing the surface. I certainly don't feel as if I am qualified to judge it in terms of its graphic content nor how it marries the two mediums together. But as I felt the only other time I've dipped into a graphic novel/memoir, I wanted more textually and felt the pictures detracted from an in depth story. I would have loved to hear more about the stories her father told her that so captivated her and inspired so many people to tell her to write it down. Somehow I just didn't connect with this one. It was a quick and reasonable read but it just didn't draw me and keep me like I'd hoped.

Thanks to the folks at Hatchette Books for sending me a copy of this book for review.

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