The Impostor’s Daughter: A True Memoir by Laurie Sandell is a graphic memoir chronicling the author’s journey out of the maze of her family’s myths. The family’s main mythmaker is Sandell’s dad, a larger-than-life man who claims, among other things, to have written position papers for Kissinger, to be a friend of the pope and to have been awarded a Purple Heart in Vietnam. I don’t have much experience reading graphic novels or memoirs, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. One of the blurbs on the back of the book warns: “Don’t pick up The Impostor’s Daughter if you have an urgent looming deadline. You’ll start reading and then keep reading till you reach the last page . . .” Of course, I didn’t listen to A.J. Jacobs: I peeked at the book the day I received it and was instantly hooked. When I finished it several hours later, I realized that most of the afternoon had gone by—luckily, I didn’t have any urgent deadlines! I started reading it again that evening, savouring it more slowly over the next couple of days and paying more attention, on my second read, to Sandell’s delightful art. Despite her unorthodox childhood, her “unsavory experiences” (her words) in her twenties and her glamorous job interviewing Hollywood celebrities, Sandell comes across as very down-to-earth—someone I could relate to. By turns funny and heartbreaking, her memoir is both engrossing and inspiring. I loved the fact that she incorporated several drawings she had done as a child into the narrative and also included a “group photo” of all the Hollywood stars she’d interviewed. I highly recommend this wonderful memoir.
Check out Sandell’s website for examples of her art, but don’t read the article she wrote about her dad for Esquire before reading this memoir unless you’re OK with major spoilers.
Recommended review: Life... with Books (because it’s a graphic review!)
At Home with Books • Bookfoolery and Babble • BookNAround • Books and Cooks • Chick with Books • English Major’s Narrative • Foreign Circus Library • I’m Booking It • Lindy Reads and Reviews • Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity • nomadreader • Nonsuch Book • Sophisticated Dorkiness • things mean a lot
Hachette has generously agreed to sponsor a giveaway of five copies of this book on my blog! Come back tomorrow for all the details.
Thank you to Hachette for sending me this book to review.