Monday, July 27, 2009

The Imposter's Daughter by Laurie Sandell - Review and *GIVEAWAY*

Drawing has been held! This post is now closed and winners will be notified.

The Imposter's Daughter by Laurie Sandell
Copyright 2009
Little Brown - Memoir in the form of a graphic novel
247 pages

I have to be really quick about this review because we're about to get socked by another thunderstorm (the forecast for this entire week is storms, storms, storms, so you might not hear much from me).

The Imposter's Daughter is the memoir of a Laurie Sandell, a woman whose father told some whopper stories when she was young and continued to stand behind his lies as she grew up and began to question him. During the years after Laurie Sandell left home, she began to investigate his past, eventually hiring a private detective. She wanted to find out the truth about her father, his angry outbursts and inability to relate to his family. The rest of the family -- her mother and two sisters -- had no interest in digging up the truth.

When Laurie wrote and published an article about her father, she hoped it would lay her discomfort to rest. Instead, she ended up estranged from her father and even more determined to find out the whole truth. Had he attended college at all? How did he become so well-educated if he didn't? Why did he have such a burning hatred for his half sister in Argentina?

As she investigated her father and began to unearth the reality of his past, she also carried on a long-distance affair with a man she met on the Internet, became an Ambien addict, and grew a fascinating career interviewing celebrities.

I'm not going to tell you what Laurie discovered or what became of her affair and her addiction because the book is really pretty fascinating and I'd hate to give anything away. I will tell you, however, that if the illustrations were photographs, the book would be "R" rated. It's not a pleasant story and there are lots of naked cartoon characters having sex (gasp!!!). Basically, it's just not a book you hand to the kids, although I did show my son my favorite part, which is toward the end of the book and has to do with Jesus. It's hilarious.

3.5/5 - Interesting story, love the graphic format as it makes for a nice break from everyday reading. The story is told well through the combination of words and pictures. Points off for sharing info about her sex life because, honestly . . . I so don't care about anyone's sex life. Some things really ought to be kept private. I absolutely loved the ending/resolution.

Because the story sounded a little . . . well, graphic . . . I asked Anna at Hatchette Books if it was okay to read the book and approve it before offering it in a giveaway and she was fine with that. Now that I've read the book, I can tell you that it's not one I'd hand to the kids, but I still think it's a great story and I'd love to share the fun.

So, giveaway time! This time around, I'm going to base the number of books given away on the number of entries.

Up to 20 entries - 1 winner
20 to 40 entries - 2 winners
40 and up - 5 winners

It's to your advantage to pass the word on. I don't give extra entries for tweeting or blogging, however, because it gets just a wee bit too complex, in my humble opinion, adding extra entries for some people and not others.

Here are the rules:

1. Leave a valid email address. No email address, no entry, period. If I can't get in touch with you, your name will be crossed off the list. I've had some people ask me, "Isn't my email address visible at your end?" No, it's not. I think that's a Wordpress thing; you have to leave your address, here -- use spaces or brackets to protect yourself from spammers.

2. If you've read any graphic novels, share your favorite title with me.

3. Drawing will be held Wednesday, August 12.

This drawing is open to U.S. and Canada residents only - no P.O. Boxes. Books will be shipped directly by the publisher.

That's it! Best of luck!


  1. Don't enter me - I've read the book and enjoyed it. I thought she used the sexual stories to illustrate her dependence on Ambien.

  2. Kathy,

    Okie doke, I won't enter you. That's a good point. I guess you could also say she used that affair with Ben to illustrate how her relationship with her father kept her at arm's length from men, in general. I just hate reading about anybody's sex life. I want to holler, "NONE of my business!"

  3. I love comics, and this sounds like one I'd enjoy. Is the giveaway open worldwide? I ask because I've seen other giveaways of this book that weren't. I'll tell you what one of my favourite comics is anyway, though: Death - The High Cost of Living by Neil Gaiman.

  4. Nymeth,

    Thanks for drawing that error to my attention -- nope, it's only open to U.S. and Canada residents, since it's a Hatchette giveaway (they only do North America). I'm not a big Gaiman fan, but I'll have to look that up. And, I'm thinking I need to just hop a plane to Portugal and bring you my copy of The Imposter's Daughter. Any excuse to get the heck out of Dodge.

  5. If you ever do hop on a plane, I'd love to show you around :D

  6. I haven't read any graphic novels yet but this sounds like a good one to start with- I'll just have to keep it out of reach of little fingers!

  7. I really appreciate you telling us about the sex in the book and I really wish the first review I had read mentioned it (well, maybe I just missed that part of the review?). I just won a copy elsewhere and while I'm still interested in reading it I don't like overtly graphic sex scenes--especially in illustration form. Maybe I'll just close my eyes during those parts. :)

    Um, so ya. No need to enter me...

  8. Haha--or enter me and if I win I'll send my copy to Ana. :P

  9. Nymeth,

    Careful what you offer. I've been dying to go to Portugal, since I saw huzzy's pics. I'm using my fave as a desktop background.


    Yep, not for little fingers. You forgot to leave your email address! Don't tell anyone, but I'd let you get away with it. But, still . . .


    I think you'll survive. The sex scenes aren't gross or anything; it's just that I have a family-friendly blog and I'll always warn people if there's something that isn't for the kiddies. I think Kathy is right that the sex is related to her Ambien addiction, so it's kind of important to the story.

    I'll send mine to Ana. It was my mistake. :)

  10. Anonymous9:31 PM

    Hmmm, favorite graphic novel is probably still Persepolis!

  11. Hey Nancy!

    Please don't enter me as I have a PO box, but I just wanted to leave a comment saying hi! I feel like I've fallen off the blogging planet.

    Happy reading and congrats on the soon to be daughter in law.

  12. Hi Nikki!

    I guess you do have a P.O. Box, don't you? Well, darn. I'm so glad to see you!!

    Thank you!!! So excited that our little family is going to be growing, for once!! :)

  13. No need to enter me, this is in my TBR pile already! I'm going to get to this one sooner than later, sounds like a wild ride of a book!

  14. Hi! Sounds like such an interesting book. Please enter me. Posted about this on Win A Book.

    winabook @

  15. If I win this, it will be the first graphic novel I've read since... I don't know, X-men comics maybe.

    The naked people should help in that regard, though.

    Marian - mdperera at hotmail dot com

  16. I'd be interested in reading this! I haven't read many graphic novels...

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  17. I would love to read this book

    ykatrina at hotmail dot com

  18. Anonymous10:58 AM

    I would love to be entered. The only graphic novel I've read recently was Rapunzel's Revenge, which I read with my daughter, so I'm not sure if it counts.

    carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

  19. I'd love to be entered!

    nicolama at cogeco dot ca

    my favourite graphic novels are the series of Victorian true crimes by Rick Geary

  20. I've been hearing about this one and it sounds like something I'd really enjoy so please throw my name in the hat!

    I do enjoy graphic novels and one that comes to mind right now is French Milk by Lucy Knisley.


    Thank you!

  21. I see a few of the commenters don't want an entry-well doggoneit,
    I want one! I've never read a graphic novel.

  22. Thanks for this interesting giveaway. I have never read a graphic novel and this would be intriguing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  23. I'd love to win a copy of "The Imposter's Daughter". Please enter me in your draw. Thanks.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

  24. Hooray, just stumbled across your blog and this book is on my list of summer reads! :) Let's see, graphic novels--I've read just a few: Maus and some of The Action Philosophers series.


  25. I've heard a lot of good things about this one, and I want to know what all the buzz is about. I don't care much for books with tons of sex, but I think I can handle this one. I've never read a graphic novel, but I'm intrigued by how the graphics are integrated with a memoir.

    diaryofaneccentric at hotmail dot com
    Diary of an Eccentric

  26. I have read many reviews of this book and would love to win it.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  27. Please include me in your giveaway.

  28. Just writing to say that Laurie is massively talented and her point of view is most unique -- she has literary depth but also a pop sensibility. This book is worth checking out!
    --Jill Dearman, author Bang the Keys (Penguin/Aug. 2009)

  29. Anonymous11:54 PM

    Woooo, I want to win the book! Elias Hiebert at comcast dot net. My favorite "graphic novel"? _Epileptic_ by David B.

  30. After (finally) raising 4 daughters I am rediscovering reading! I stumbled on this it! "The Imposter's Daughter" sounds great! Haven't explored the graphic novels yet...odd, because I'm an artist! Sign me up!

    mathiasp at bbtel dot com

  31. Anonymous12:51 PM

    Please enter me in the drawing for "The Imposter's Daughter"...I saw the author interviewed on Good Morning America this morning and after reading your review I would love to read it. I've never read a graphic novel before so this will be my first.

  32. The truth hurts!

  33. Please include me in your giveaway.

    Thank you...

    hautiemae at gmail dot com

  34. this sounds like an interesting read and one that for better or worse that i can relate too. oddly enough there is another very different graphic novel out that that also has some overlap for me and my complicated relationship with my own dad (maus)

  35. Heard lots of excellent reviews about this book, count me in!


  36. I'd really love to win a copy of this! One of my favorite graphic novels is Blankets by Craig Thompson. I just did a post yesterday about my favorite graphic novels.

    nnjmom at yahoo dot com

  37. Anonymous1:08 PM

    I would love a copy of this one.

    1. supertalya @ gmail .com
    2. My favorite graphic novels are (since I can't pick one) the Maus books and Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea By Guy Delisle

  38. I would love to read this. :)

  39. Sounds like a good book. I'd love to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!


  40. I was searching for this book and found your great blog--and a giveaway, too. I'd love a copy (and Persepolis is also one of my top graphic novels).

    Jennifer G

  41. AllyKatt10:39 AM

    I haven't read any graphic novels nor fiction with both words and pictures so this looks interesting. I'm pretty much game to try something new.

    espressogurl (AT) hotmail (DOT) com