2012: 17. The Imposter's Daughter

"Whenever my father went out of town, he had the mail stopped.  It didn't matter if he was gone for one, two, or ten days - if my father wasn't home, the mail didn't come."

The Imposter's Daughter, Laurie Sandell

     This is a graphic novel memoir, the story of Sandell's upbringing with her father, who, as it turns out, is fraud and a criminal (at a minimum, he ruined her credit by opening countless credit cards in her name).  It's about growing up and realizing that everything he told her was a lie, and realizing that no matter how hard she tries, she'll never understand him.  It's about becoming ok with that fact - or as ok as she possibly can be.

   It's ok, not great.  The art is so-so, and I didn't think that the art added much.  Frankly, it could easily have been a regular book - there was nothing about it that made me feel it really had to be a graphic novel.  And, honestly, I'm a little burned out on "my parents sucked memoirs" - I'm sure her father is a big old liar, but I didn't leave with the sense that this was a story that burned to be told (well, maybe she needed to tell it, but I didn't need to read it).  The biggest problem with the book, though, is that any graphic novel about growing up with a strange and distant father instantly begs comparison with Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, and, frankly, this just can't compete.  If you haven't read Bechdel, maybe you'd appreciate this more than I did.

Categories:  Non-fiction; library book.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017