The Liar’s Daughter

Holiday House. Sept. 2019. 288p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780823444182.
Gr 9 Up–The one thing Piper knows beyond a shadow of a doubt is that she trusts Father. Soon, she will be old enough to become a part of the Community. For now, she has to help take care of the younger children in between visits from Mother and Father, who appear infrequently due to their important work at the faraway compound. Her best friend and forbidden crush, Caspian, begins to voice his doubts about Father. All of this happens in the Before: before her home is raided by Child Protective Services. In the After, she is taken to a hospital and then sent home with a woman named Joanie. As the novel alternates between scenes from Before and After, what Piper doesn’t remember slowly becomes clear: Mother and Father kidnapped her when she was young, and Joanie is her birth mother. Due to the author’s own background, this is an accurate portrayal of the indoctrination that can occur in groups led by a zealot. Readers follow Piper through the difficult maze of her own mind in trying to sort out what’s real from what she is imagining. Her struggle with her mental health rings true. The emotions and characters are represented precisely through Piper’s eyes.
VERDICT This is a sound addition to any collection where reality and suspense are in demand.

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