web site hit counter The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir

Availability: Ready to download

Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress, Ambien addict). Later, she lucks into the perfect job--interviewing celebrities for a top women's magazine. Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. But while researching an article on her dad's life, she makes an astonishing discovery: he's not the man he says he is--not even close. Now, Laurie begins to puzzle together three decades of lies and the splintered person that resulted from them--herself.


Compare

Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress, Ambien addict). Later, she lucks into the perfect job--interviewing celebrities for a top women's magazine. Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. But while researching an article on her dad's life, she makes an astonishing discovery: he's not the man he says he is--not even close. Now, Laurie begins to puzzle together three decades of lies and the splintered person that resulted from them--herself.

30 review for The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    If this gossip columnist had simply stayed the course of the story about her scammer dad, as advertised, this would have been a 4-star book. However, she wanted to tell us about problems with prescription meds, her failed relationship with a perfectly nice guy who was somehow holding her back, and her Lifetime Channel version of rehab. Well, yeah, mistakes were made...in the editing of this graphic novel, that's for sure. These distracting side stories are common. Lots of people go to rehab. But If this gossip columnist had simply stayed the course of the story about her scammer dad, as advertised, this would have been a 4-star book. However, she wanted to tell us about problems with prescription meds, her failed relationship with a perfectly nice guy who was somehow holding her back, and her Lifetime Channel version of rehab. Well, yeah, mistakes were made...in the editing of this graphic novel, that's for sure. These distracting side stories are common. Lots of people go to rehab. But very few people have a crazy con man of a dad who claims to have personally parachuted to Vietnam with General Westmoreland and who claims to have been field promoted to Green Beret status (it just don't work that way, folks)! How could she not know this? Did she really think we were going to be more interested in her experiences interviewing B-list celeb Carmen Elektra, or in learning of the crazy poppa who left for months at a time and only communicated with the family by ham radio? C'mon, these are questions even someone who edits portions of a fashion magazine can figure out. When she does zero-in on what should have been the main focus of the book, she herself is the weak link. I never really believe it when she chooses the journalistic credo of truth over familial loyalty. Puh-lease. She went through all the drama of a therapeutic forgiveness session with her entire family present...and later she decides to write the book skewering her father. What could have made this better? She could have found the family who invested $350k into one of his scams and shown us how they're doing after having their world shattered by her father. Find the members of his old military unit and discover why he went AWOL decades ago. You know, actually use some journalistic skills rather than just hiding behind its platitudes. The art does the job in a breezy, I-don't-have-a-full-book's-worth-of-material-so-I'll-make-it-a-graphic-novel sorta way, but even going into it with this understanding you'll still think it's sloppy. This insecure author draws her 40-year old self as if she was still a button-nose teen while everyone around her ages (imagine that). Everything looks like it was presented as drawn the first time around with no sketches, no prep, no art studies whatsoever. The author, who is or was some sort of editor at Glamour magazine at one time, would never use illustrations of this quality in her mag. The author provides us with actual pictures she drew in elementary school, and there is no appreciable difference between those and her modern drawings about this, a project she believed was the central memoir of her and her family.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elevate Difference

    The disenchantment of our parents, when we realize they’re humans too, is an unpleasant event of growing up. We all handle it differently. For Laurie Sandell, she put it into a graphic novel, The Impostor’s Daughter: A True Memoir. In a little less than 250 beautifully painted pages, Sandell shamelessly shows each and every skeleton in her closet—starting from childhood and ending as her young adult self—and the battles she fights to expose the lies about her larger-than-life father and form a n The disenchantment of our parents, when we realize they’re humans too, is an unpleasant event of growing up. We all handle it differently. For Laurie Sandell, she put it into a graphic novel, The Impostor’s Daughter: A True Memoir. In a little less than 250 beautifully painted pages, Sandell shamelessly shows each and every skeleton in her closet—starting from childhood and ending as her young adult self—and the battles she fights to expose the lies about her larger-than-life father and form a new identity in that truth. Growing up on the east coast, Sandell was the eldest of three daughters, and her father’s favorite. She spent her childhood idolizing him and forming her identity in his stories of historical and academic greatness. He had a Ph.D. from Columbia University, earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star in Vietnam, and corresponded with a not-yet-christened Pope John Paul II. Doubt enters Laurie’s mind when she discovers in college that her father had taken out many credit cards in her name, unbeknownst to her. With over two hundred thousand dollars in debt and a father who couldn’t give a proper explanation, Laurie hits the road. She traveled for four years, a time when she says: “I was willing to be anything, try anything, as long as it didn’t resemble the life I was living before.” The heaviest ball drops when Sandell returns from her escape. After an evening of sharing anecdotes with a friend in publishing, Sandell agrees to write an article about her father’s adventures. Routine fact checking revealed that her father wasn’t as extraordinary as he claimed to be. She proceeds with the article against her family’s wishes, exposes the lies he told, and becomes estranged from her father. However, Laurie doesn’t get the satisfaction she expected: “Nothing had changed: my family continued to be insistently blind to the truth. I remained the lone voice of protest.” Things begin to look up for her when she lands an admirable job interviewing celebrities. However, she continues to be haunted by her father’s deceit. She battles with an addiction to sleeping pills mixed with red wine and drastic weight loss. She explains to the rehabilitation center she eventually enters: “My alcohol use? Not much—two or three glasses a day. Of course I drink alone: I’m single.” Without fear or lack of comic relief, she shows the inside of rehab, confrontations with her parents and the ultimate serenity she finds within herself. After more than ten years of searching for peace in her relationship with her father, Laurie simply says: “I gave up.” The strength of this book is the way in which Sandell presents her story. In a more classic format, the experience of The Impostor’s Daughter would be lost. The ability to evoke emotions (light and heavy) subconsciously through images makes this book unforgettable. She possesses a humble and often comic tone in her writing. Both voices work harmoniously to neutralize the series of traumatic events in her life. The Impostor’s Daughter is a cathartic work that will make you reflect on your own relationship with your parents. It shows us the painful, scary, and frustrating process of going from gullible and impressionable children of our parents to self-defining confident women—something we can all appreciate and laugh about sooner or later. Review by Sara Custer

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    Laurie Sandell grew up hearing her father's stories about his time as a Green Beret in Vietnam, his medals, his PhDs, his time teaching at Stanford, and his thriving business investments. In college, she applies for a credit card, only to find out that her father had taken out multiple cards in her name, and the names of both of her sisters, and her mother's name... Digging further, she discovers that her father has no college degrees, never taught at Stanford, never got a medal in the army, and Laurie Sandell grew up hearing her father's stories about his time as a Green Beret in Vietnam, his medals, his PhDs, his time teaching at Stanford, and his thriving business investments. In college, she applies for a credit card, only to find out that her father had taken out multiple cards in her name, and the names of both of her sisters, and her mother's name... Digging further, she discovers that her father has no college degrees, never taught at Stanford, never got a medal in the army, and never even got above private in the army. His entire life, everything that she knew about him was built on lies. It sounds like a really dramatic story, especially knowing that it's all true. And it is, but the structure keeps it from hitting its full potential. For some reason, it's published as a graphic novel. I'm not sure that was the best choice. Sandell's art is a little too sparse and abstract to be engaging to me. I also feel that the structure was lacking. The story is so complicated, I think it really needed a very tight structure, but it just didn't have one. Maybe this would have done better as a traditionally written memoir instead.

  4. 5 out of 5

    K

    Sandell, who has the somewhat enviable job of interviewing celebrities for women's magazines, recounts in graphic novel form how she grew up awed by a magnetic, brilliant father who claimed all manner of extraoardinary achievements, and how in adulthood, she discovered he was basically a liar, con-man, and narcissist. Despite intriguing premise, charming bright illustrations, and high production value (full color pages on glossy thick paperstock), not especially engaging on emotional level. The Sandell, who has the somewhat enviable job of interviewing celebrities for women's magazines, recounts in graphic novel form how she grew up awed by a magnetic, brilliant father who claimed all manner of extraoardinary achievements, and how in adulthood, she discovered he was basically a liar, con-man, and narcissist. Despite intriguing premise, charming bright illustrations, and high production value (full color pages on glossy thick paperstock), not especially engaging on emotional level. The storytelling and style were too flat. I did like one scene, though, where she sat frozen and aghast after hearing her boyfriend, another man she thought she knew, say something was "ridonkulous."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I know I've got a gender bias, but I think women are the masters of autobiographical comics. I know there's Jeffrey Brown and even R. Crumb, but didn't Aline Kominsky-Crumb set the whole genre in motion? This graphic memoir reminds me of Cancer Vixen in tone and art, but channels Fun House for me in Sandell's search to understand herself by understanding her father. I love her honesty and humor and her struggle to know herself, which I think is what makes women's autobiographical comics unique. I know I've got a gender bias, but I think women are the masters of autobiographical comics. I know there's Jeffrey Brown and even R. Crumb, but didn't Aline Kominsky-Crumb set the whole genre in motion? This graphic memoir reminds me of Cancer Vixen in tone and art, but channels Fun House for me in Sandell's search to understand herself by understanding her father. I love her honesty and humor and her struggle to know herself, which I think is what makes women's autobiographical comics unique. Women can see their lives and past with some self-deprecation and nostalgia, but always with an ability to capture the emotions laden in their memories. Sandell shows in pictures and words how she loved and hated her father and explores her life from childhood through later recovery. Maybe it's the social worker in me, but I really appreciate her honest contention for self knowledge. Coming out of a two-day training on drugs and alcohol, I was also impressed with Sandell's framing her struggles with ambien, alcohol, and her family in a substance abuse model of addiction and codependency. Reading her descriptions of her father I'd lean more in exploring some personality disorder diagnoses, but that's just me. I've made the book sound very serious, but it's delivery is light, funny, and very readable. After all, I'm a sucker for pages with bright colors.

  6. 4 out of 5

    christa

    When Laurie Sandell, if that is her real last name, was growing up, her father would have the mail stopped every time he went out of town. If, by some twist, Laurie did get her hands on the delivery, she would find envelopes addressed to all sorts of people she had never heard of. The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell, a chronicler of celebrity stories and editor at Glamour, is a graphic memoir recounting a childhood spent with a mysterious father who haslarger-than-life stories of honors, aw When Laurie Sandell, if that is her real last name, was growing up, her father would have the mail stopped every time he went out of town. If, by some twist, Laurie did get her hands on the delivery, she would find envelopes addressed to all sorts of people she had never heard of. The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell, a chronicler of celebrity stories and editor at Glamour, is a graphic memoir recounting a childhood spent with a mysterious father who haslarger-than-life stories of honors, awards, medals, and elbow rubbing. Sandell, his favorite of his three daughters, is always trying to please him, and likes to leave little funny drawings for him to find. As she gets older, and they disconnect a bit from their original clique, she starts to question the truth in the fantastic stories he has told her. Does he work for the CIA? Who is this guy? And why in the hell did he open multiple credit cards in her name, and completely demolish her credit score before she's ever even pursed her own plastic? She begins investigating her father, with plans to write an article for a magazine about his life and lies. At first he is totally game. He spends hours with her talking about killing people and almost being killed and jail time and the biggie bigs he's called friends. She records these sessions, and then starts fact checking. No, he didn't graduate from that university. No, he never worked there. Looks like he borrowed a shitton of money from a family friend, never paid it back and ruined the chance for future dinner parties. And he is wracking up some serious debt. Her mother, meanwhile, ignores all of this. Continues to give him, as she says, the benefit of doubt. As a journalist, I'm not sure why Sadell went the illustrated memoir route. She can obviously write, she's a professional writer. Her drawings are more from the spare and realistic vein, and they are fine. She doesn't take advantage of the panel space. No extra details. No hidden jokes. No foreshadowing or clues to the time period the story is set in. It's a bit of a waste. Especially in the case of this story: Dude, her dad is a total fraud. And as she investigates his claims, he appeals to her emotionally with reminders of family loyalty and vague suicide threats. This is compelling stuff that could have been an epic, if not award-winning, word book. It's a total page flipper, even for it's faults. The side stories, too, seem to strip away some of the skin from the meat of all of this. Sandell inserts her relationship with Ben, an guy she meets online with whom she develops a long-distance relationship. It's a lot of mixed emotions, on again off again, and I believe it is meant to illustrate the point that: Look. My dad fucked me up so big time, that I don't even know what I want with this nice and normal dude from California. She's also building up her tolerance for Ambien and mixing it with wine. And then there are these celebrity interviews that land her across the table from the fluffy haired and sunglassed sect. She's clearly enamored with her job among the rich and famous, which she explains by noting the way her father's larger-than-life stories have made her crave larger-than-life, oft-photographed super people. Unfortunately, paired with a drawing of all the celebs she has interviewed, it seems unprofessional and name dropp-y. (Ashley Judd, for instance, is one of the supporting characters in the story). There is just so much potential here with the base story, that was all whittled away because of some bad decision making about delivery. I wish she had a do over.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Garden

    So this is a graphic memoir, about a young woman discovering that her father is a fraud. And not in the way we all do, where, after adolescence, we discover that our dads aren't heroes. Or I guess we don't all do that, but you know what I mean. Her father is an actual fraud, a liar, to his family, to employers, to the government, to money lenders. It's a great premise. The book doesn't really deliver, though. This isn't really Sandell's story of her father, it's her story of herself. Which is als So this is a graphic memoir, about a young woman discovering that her father is a fraud. And not in the way we all do, where, after adolescence, we discover that our dads aren't heroes. Or I guess we don't all do that, but you know what I mean. Her father is an actual fraud, a liar, to his family, to employers, to the government, to money lenders. It's a great premise. The book doesn't really deliver, though. This isn't really Sandell's story of her father, it's her story of herself. Which is also a good story--she kind of stumbles into a cool career she enjoys, she struggles with substance abuse and depression and comes out on the other sides of them both, she faces some demons in herself and in her ability to have and maintain relationships--it just keeps coming across as slightly distracting filler until you realize, too late, that the purported locus, the father, is not. So the read is unbalanced, content-wise, and then there's the issue with the format. Every time the ladies in graphic novel club talk about "should this be a graphic novel" or whatever I am just like what the hell are you talking about, but I think in this instance I get it, some things don't really fit into graphic format. This, for example. I feel like I would love this as an article or essay, but it feels sort of clogged and aimless as it stands. I don't recommend this at all, in the end, which is kind of rare for me. Even stuff that makes me real mad I don't usually say I wouldn't recommend. But this . . . meh. Just meh. Meh is the worst way to feel about something!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Not since Jessie Spano's struggle with No-Doz has there been such a gripping, gritty portrayal of addiction. The story of Sandell's conman father is interesting, but most of the book is taken up with the boring details of Sandell's boring life. She interviews self-obsessed celebrities and marvels at her ability to get them to talk about themselves (How in the world did she get Carmen Electra to open up? It's magic!). She spends a billion pages on her completely bland love affair. She dramaticall Not since Jessie Spano's struggle with No-Doz has there been such a gripping, gritty portrayal of addiction. The story of Sandell's conman father is interesting, but most of the book is taken up with the boring details of Sandell's boring life. She interviews self-obsessed celebrities and marvels at her ability to get them to talk about themselves (How in the world did she get Carmen Electra to open up? It's magic!). She spends a billion pages on her completely bland love affair. She dramatically pops Ambien in scene after scene that will leave your eyes sore from constant rolling. Fortunately Ashley Judd and some delicious ice cream convince Sandell to enter reha-Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lauren (Shooting Stars Mag) Becker

    I've had this one on my shelves for awhile now, so I'm definitely happy that I finally took the time to read it. It's definitely an interesting graphic memoir. I found myself really upset on Laurie's behalf, with everything her father has done or lied to her about over the years. Despite her mom's constant explaining away of her husband's behavior, I felt bad for her too. However, Laurie is the only one in the family who really wants the answers to her father's many lies, and being a writer, she I've had this one on my shelves for awhile now, so I'm definitely happy that I finally took the time to read it. It's definitely an interesting graphic memoir. I found myself really upset on Laurie's behalf, with everything her father has done or lied to her about over the years. Despite her mom's constant explaining away of her husband's behavior, I felt bad for her too. However, Laurie is the only one in the family who really wants the answers to her father's many lies, and being a writer, she sets out to see what she can find. This was an overall quick read. I found the story fascinating, and it's even crazier that it's a memoir. At the same time, it wasn't a book that I downright loved. I feel like, in the end, not a whole lot has "happened", but I am glad that Laurie got the help she needed and could move forward without lies holding her down.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This is a one-sitting kind of book -- a graphic memoir with honesty, humor and some larger than life characters, chiefly Sandell's father, who somehow managed to lie about his past and credentials and defraud numerous people through the years without ever spending any time in jail. The memoir begins with Sandell's childhood, where she was the favorite of her outrageously colorful father, who started as a college professor and later moved on (after his supervisors discovered his fake credentials) This is a one-sitting kind of book -- a graphic memoir with honesty, humor and some larger than life characters, chiefly Sandell's father, who somehow managed to lie about his past and credentials and defraud numerous people through the years without ever spending any time in jail. The memoir begins with Sandell's childhood, where she was the favorite of her outrageously colorful father, who started as a college professor and later moved on (after his supervisors discovered his fake credentials) to pursue "personal ventures," none of which seemed to involve anything more than fleecing others. He had grown up in Argentina and was estranged from his family there, and his wife then became his unquestioning backer, without ever delving too deeply into his activities or claims. The family goes through a crisis -- not because of the father's dishonesty, as it should have, but because Sandell decides to write a memoir about her father's impostor life, first in an anonymous magazine article, then as a full-fledged graphic memoir. In the meantime, Sandell is dealing with her own growing addiction to Ambien and an on-again-off-again relationship with a Hollywood director, interspersed with the celebrity interviews she was assigned as a staff writer at Glamour magazine. While I never truly understood the roots of her father's charlatanism, I appreciated Sandell's openness and ability to make her quest understandable even when she had to display many of her own weaknesses and flaws. This was a complete serendipity pickup off a library shelf. Well worth the time.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    If strong language offends you, please do not read this review. Or at least please don't complain to me about it. I thought this was going to be more interesting. I think if Sandell would have gone into more depth about her father and his secrets instead of turning this into a rehab story this book would have been more successful. I understood her feelings of wanting to know the truth, getting all the family secrets out in the open, trying to understand her father's (and mother's) life. I didn't If strong language offends you, please do not read this review. Or at least please don't complain to me about it. I thought this was going to be more interesting. I think if Sandell would have gone into more depth about her father and his secrets instead of turning this into a rehab story this book would have been more successful. I understood her feelings of wanting to know the truth, getting all the family secrets out in the open, trying to understand her father's (and mother's) life. I didn't necessarily equate that to writing this book, though. Hey, it's her life, her book, her decision and I'm not trying to knock her for doing what she felt like she had to do. I just sort of only saw one thing in this and it started at the beginning. Daddy loved her and she was the favorite and she could do no wrong and yay Daddy. Then all of sudden Daddy didn't want to talk to her and she fell down off the pedestal and she wasn't his little princess anymore. That happened in the very beginning of this book. I felt like the whole rest of it was a time waster until the end when I understood that really, this book was a big fuck you. Look at me, Daddy, I'm all grown up and I can do what I want. I'm a good writer and you can't tell me not to write this book! Fuck you! Yeah, that's pretty much what I got out of this one.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Trin

    A graphic memoir, which I am apparently okay with. Unlike The Liar’s Club, this is more about Sandell’s life as an adult (and her childhood was a whole lot less shitty than Mary Karr’s, anyway). I really like Sandell’s art, and the way it seems to become more sophisticated when she’s illustrating the adult portions rather than the childhood ones—a nice Joycean touch. I’m a little bit “eh” about the idea that the rehab clinic recommended to you by Ashley Judd can solve all your problems, but then A graphic memoir, which I am apparently okay with. Unlike The Liar’s Club, this is more about Sandell’s life as an adult (and her childhood was a whole lot less shitty than Mary Karr’s, anyway). I really like Sandell’s art, and the way it seems to become more sophisticated when she’s illustrating the adult portions rather than the childhood ones—a nice Joycean touch. I’m a little bit “eh” about the idea that the rehab clinic recommended to you by Ashley Judd can solve all your problems, but then I’m “eh” on the idea of therapy in general—I know it helps a lot of people, and my grandmother was a therapist, and so on and so forth, but the idea of relinquishing control to an institution and sharing and group and all that stuff makes me vastly uncomfortable. Hello, my own issues! Maybe this is why I don’t/shouldn’t read memoirs so often: I never have to think about this stuff when I’m reading about fighting crime or blowing up spaceships.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dakota Morgan

    Laurie Sandell's memoir about unveiling her con artist father is suitably mesmerizing, though far more of an addiction memoir than you might expect. As she uncovers her warped feelings for her father, she begins to see how these feelings have in turn warped the rest of her relationships (including her relationships with Ambien and wine). It's a well-structured tale that has a variety of surprises (though no real showstoppers) and some nice conclusions about self-awareness and forgiveness. It's al Laurie Sandell's memoir about unveiling her con artist father is suitably mesmerizing, though far more of an addiction memoir than you might expect. As she uncovers her warped feelings for her father, she begins to see how these feelings have in turn warped the rest of her relationships (including her relationships with Ambien and wine). It's a well-structured tale that has a variety of surprises (though no real showstoppers) and some nice conclusions about self-awareness and forgiveness. It's also text-heavy and dense with amateur art. Credit to Sandell for putting the effort in to create 240+ pages of artwork when she's spent a career as a writer, but it might have benefited her to farm that work out. The book might also have benefited from more editing - Sandell's thoughts and concerns are repeated throughout, leading to an over-reliance on words and some dull passages. Still: it all works well enough to be an absorbing read. Don't necessarily avoid The Imposter's Daughter because there's too much text and the art isn't stunning.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jo Cameron-Symes

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was a unique, interesting tale about Laurie Sandell's relationship with her larger than life character of a father. Having met a few fantasists myself previously, you always wonder what their motivation is and probably in each case, it is different. In Laurie Sandell's case, her father lies went further into acts of conning people out of large amounts of money and fraudulently claiming he attended certain universities. Ultimately his actions had a huge effect on her own identity and he This book was a unique, interesting tale about Laurie Sandell's relationship with her larger than life character of a father. Having met a few fantasists myself previously, you always wonder what their motivation is and probably in each case, it is different. In Laurie Sandell's case, her father lies went further into acts of conning people out of large amounts of money and fraudulently claiming he attended certain universities. Ultimately his actions had a huge effect on her own identity and her relationships with men as an adult. Some people have questioned whether this book would have been better as a straightforward memoir, but I think it works quite well as a graphic novel in that the essence and message of the story is conveyed succinctly and it enabled Sandell to use the cartoons she drew of her father as a child and incorporate them seamlessly into the story. It seems she always had a visual metaphor way of thinking about her Dad and exploring their relationship through illustration.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    It was interesting. I was not as enamored with her tales of celebrity schmoozing, Ambien addiction, and rehab...but then, her relationship with her father, who taught her how to listen and how to tell stories, how to avoid all threats, and how to never trust anyone ever, is what led to that lifestyle. I wish there had been some closure as to her father and why he chose to lie and swindle his way through his life...but we don't get closure in real life as often as we wish. It was interesting. I was not as enamored with her tales of celebrity schmoozing, Ambien addiction, and rehab...but then, her relationship with her father, who taught her how to listen and how to tell stories, how to avoid all threats, and how to never trust anyone ever, is what led to that lifestyle. I wish there had been some closure as to her father and why he chose to lie and swindle his way through his life...but we don't get closure in real life as often as we wish.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Martinez

    I have an eerie feeling I'd read this before. There was no point at which I was really sure, just a sense floating over me for the whole book. Maybe I read it while I was on Ambien at some point in the past. I have an eerie feeling I'd read this before. There was no point at which I was really sure, just a sense floating over me for the whole book. Maybe I read it while I was on Ambien at some point in the past.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    A memoir of the author's coming of age and coming to terms with her family, who sound like they are crazy in some of the least fun ways (no antics, just denials). Makes me wonder if being raised by a career impostor is more likely to give you impostor syndrome or have the opposite effect. Sandell does not directly address this; she showed pretty normal levels of acceptance of her successes. Does it heighten or diminish one's tolerance for BS? Maybe there's no definite answer to these; Sandell in A memoir of the author's coming of age and coming to terms with her family, who sound like they are crazy in some of the least fun ways (no antics, just denials). Makes me wonder if being raised by a career impostor is more likely to give you impostor syndrome or have the opposite effect. Sandell does not directly address this; she showed pretty normal levels of acceptance of her successes. Does it heighten or diminish one's tolerance for BS? Maybe there's no definite answer to these; Sandell indicates that her sisters tolerate it well, and herself less so. I noticed Sandell also wrote a book about Bernie Madoff's family, and based on the synopsis, & I kind of want to read it just to see all the parallels to her own story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Thoughts From an Evil Overlord)

    Flipping through The Imposter's Daughter the colorful images really appealed to me, just as the cover had. I knew that The Impostor's Daughter was not a book to be read in bed. I got an iced tea, went out on the deck and started reading. I was immediately HOOKED! I love hearing stories about people's families, the soil and nutrients from which the plant grew, so to speak. Learning what went in to making the person I know. Laurie Sandell, the author and illustrator of The Impostor's Daughter broug Flipping through The Imposter's Daughter the colorful images really appealed to me, just as the cover had. I knew that The Impostor's Daughter was not a book to be read in bed. I got an iced tea, went out on the deck and started reading. I was immediately HOOKED! I love hearing stories about people's families, the soil and nutrients from which the plant grew, so to speak. Learning what went in to making the person I know. Laurie Sandell, the author and illustrator of The Impostor's Daughter brought me right into her home. I always enjoy imagining scenes when I am reading, but having the illustrations made the image of her curled up listening to her dad's fantastical stories about his life more vivid. He treated her as his special princess, taking her on special daddy-daughter outings and even telling her she was his favorite. Laurie's actual cartoons from her childhood show her father as an angry huge head with a wart on his nose, strange from Daddy's favorite. When Laurie was twelve, her father lost his job as a college professor and many things changed. Her mother returned to being a teacher, and her father began sitting around the house in his underwear working on deals and brooding to the point of raging at his family, causing Laurie and her younger sisters to avoid bringing friends home. Laurie shares with us her college life, first boyfriend, and four years of traveling the world, thinking she was searching for the adventures of her father, but in reality a lost soul searching for herself. Over the years Laurie begins to question her father's legitimacy as different financial schemes come to light, including taking out credit cards in his daughters' names and running up huge debts in their names. This piques her curiosity about the stories of Daddy working for the CIA, sitting in on the National Security Council and having multiple degrees from prestigious universities. Two years of taped interviews with her father, and with his former colleagues and traveling to Buenos Aires for research and to meet his estranged step-sister brought about the amazing graphic memoir The Impostor's Daughter. I was so entranced by Laurie's tale that I read the book in about three hours, only stopping to come in the house and eat lunch. For a very young woman she has lived an extraordinary life and the plant that grew from the soil and nutrients of her childhood and young adult adventures is an honest, interesting, and talented writer. I cannot recommend this book with greater enthusiasm than I have shown here, especially for those looking to try a graphic novel for the first time. Be sure to visit Laurie's website where she has a great video showing pictures from the book and her narration explaining her motivation and process.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alyce (At Home With Books)

    My first thought upon receiving this book was that the title was mispelled. However, according to Webster's Collegiate Dictionary "impostor" can be spelled as it appears in the title, and it can also be spelled "imposter" (which was the spelling that I knew). Having satisfied my inner spelling geek, I was able to crack this book open and settle in for a fascinating read. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is a graphic memoir. The drawings are easy to comprehend and remind me a little bi My first thought upon receiving this book was that the title was mispelled. However, according to Webster's Collegiate Dictionary "impostor" can be spelled as it appears in the title, and it can also be spelled "imposter" (which was the spelling that I knew). Having satisfied my inner spelling geek, I was able to crack this book open and settle in for a fascinating read. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is a graphic memoir. The drawings are easy to comprehend and remind me a little bit of the art of Marjane Satrapi who wrote Persepolis (except that Persepolis was in black and white). The Impostor's Daughter pulled me in from the very first line: "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." Page 2 Isn't that a great way to start the book? After reading just a few pages I was rivetted, wanting to know exactly what her father was hiding and who he was hiding it from. Laurie Sandell lays out the details of her life completely for the world to see, including the both the good and the bad. One thing I will say is that this is not a book for kids. There are depictions of drug use, drinking, sex and drawings of naked people. While I think that the book could have been just as effective without the naked pictures, I do appreciate her candor and bravery in telling the world about her past. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good memoir, as long as you don't mind the issues I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marian

    Despite my 3-star review, I really liked The Impostor's Daughter. It was really entertaining and a quick read. But it didn't stick with me the way the best books should. Sandell's story is interesting, but she skimmed over aspects of her life that I would have loved to hear more about. Whether she was uncomfortable divulging (which I actually highly doubt given a lot of the content) or limited by the "graphic novel" status, it felt a little incomplete. Though, as both a character in the book and Despite my 3-star review, I really liked The Impostor's Daughter. It was really entertaining and a quick read. But it didn't stick with me the way the best books should. Sandell's story is interesting, but she skimmed over aspects of her life that I would have loved to hear more about. Whether she was uncomfortable divulging (which I actually highly doubt given a lot of the content) or limited by the "graphic novel" status, it felt a little incomplete. Though, as both a character in the book and the author, I liked Laurie Sandell quite a bit. She's charming, has an interesting story and is completely, and often heartbreakingly, honest. But everyone else in the book? Eh. First of all, she spent a lot of time on the on-again/off-again boyfriend "Ben". He was boring and their relationship pretty mundane and offered nothing to the story. Her family annoyed me, and I can't figure out whether that was her intention. Her father is obviously a completely nut job, but I had a hard time understanding her fascination with him. Instead of being a conman he really is just a crazy person - significantly less interesting if you ask me. Nevertheless, I do recommend this book based on its ability to suck you in and its entertainment value. Though great literature it is not and the little momentum it's picked up since publication will most likely fizzle and die sooner rather than later. Check out more reviews on my publishing/job hunting blog: www.marianlibrarian.com

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    A month or so ago the publishers, Little, Brown sent me a copy of this interesting story. I've been slacking. I read it right away, but I've been dealing with school starting up and just being plain to lazy to blog. But this does deserve to be talked about. I had no idea what to expect. Honestly, I wasn't even aware that it was a memoir. The title is interesting in that mystery and or romance sort of way. Then I flipped through it....expecting to see print. Nope, pictures. At this point I was a b A month or so ago the publishers, Little, Brown sent me a copy of this interesting story. I've been slacking. I read it right away, but I've been dealing with school starting up and just being plain to lazy to blog. But this does deserve to be talked about. I had no idea what to expect. Honestly, I wasn't even aware that it was a memoir. The title is interesting in that mystery and or romance sort of way. Then I flipped through it....expecting to see print. Nope, pictures. At this point I was a bit thrown off. I don't have a good track record with graphic novels. My brain just doesn't focus on the important details and misses things. I just don't get them.....usually. The art of this book is done in what seems to be a more like a comic strip than graphic novel. I'm good with this. There isn't a lot of detail, in the pictures or the words, but there is never any doubt as to the emotions of the author or her father. Most of the story is actually about the author's father and the stories / lies he told her...that he told everyone. Through her search for the truth, the reader discovers who Laurie Sandell really is. I had a lot of fun reading this book; both the story and the illustrations were engaging. I'm so glad I gave this one a chance. Plus, on the tactile side, the pages and cover are made out of a nice, thick paper that just feels good in your hands. Ya know....if you notice that kind of thing. :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    The Impostor’s Daughter by Laurie Sandell was the first graphic book I’ve ever read. I’m not sure if I would have ever picked up a graphic anything, if this book hadn’t been a memoir. The idea of mixing the two seemed like an easy way to broach the genre. And two hours later, I had read the book cover to cover. The author decides to write an article on her remarkable pop. While fact checking, she uncovers that his stories are fiction. More research uncovers lawsuits stemming from bad business de The Impostor’s Daughter by Laurie Sandell was the first graphic book I’ve ever read. I’m not sure if I would have ever picked up a graphic anything, if this book hadn’t been a memoir. The idea of mixing the two seemed like an easy way to broach the genre. And two hours later, I had read the book cover to cover. The author decides to write an article on her remarkable pop. While fact checking, she uncovers that his stories are fiction. More research uncovers lawsuits stemming from bad business dealings, and identity theft. Laurie is devastated after years of idolizing her dad. Feeling betrayed and disillusioned Sandell finds it cathartic to write her article anyway. The story covers the resulting fall out. After reading the book, I still don’t have a clear picture of why she chose to expose her dad so publicly and alienate the rest of her family, but more memorable then her story is the clever and original way Sandell had chosen to tell it. Whether it is your first or just your latest graphic book, this honest portrayal of family dysfunction which in the end inspired remarkable creativity is an amazing way to kill a few hours.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wandering Librarians

    This was a bit surreal. As someone that was raised by a nice Midwestern Scandinavian family, it seems like total fiction that someone's father would con not only strangers and employers but also his family members and personal friends. Taking not only their money but also their trust and twisting it until you don't know quite where you stand with any of your relationships. The experiences that Laurie goes through, the fact that she lived in Israel and was an exotic dancer in Japan, make it seem a This was a bit surreal. As someone that was raised by a nice Midwestern Scandinavian family, it seems like total fiction that someone's father would con not only strangers and employers but also his family members and personal friends. Taking not only their money but also their trust and twisting it until you don't know quite where you stand with any of your relationships. The experiences that Laurie goes through, the fact that she lived in Israel and was an exotic dancer in Japan, make it seem all that more imaginative. But these incredible experiences lead her to journalism and refining her abilities to tell a story whether it's hers or a celebrities'. She has gifts that developed from her father, and a drive to cultivate them in order to find herself. After Laurie starts delving into her past, she realizes that she must confront her father's past to find some sort of peace. It's fascinating to see what happens once she realizes the depth of psychological despair she's going through that has developed from her relationship with her father. An intense memoir.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andee Marley

    I liked this book for disparate reasons. First, I read a lot of graphic novels, and although its a favorite genre, I rarely come across a character thats like me. Although my Dad is not a con-man (possibly involved in international espionage), the girl herself is totally relatable. She's the most 'like me' I've come across when it comes to her career and relationship. Secondly, and more deeply, I've gotten into many conversations recently about 'letting go of your story'. We all have a story (or s I liked this book for disparate reasons. First, I read a lot of graphic novels, and although its a favorite genre, I rarely come across a character thats like me. Although my Dad is not a con-man (possibly involved in international espionage), the girl herself is totally relatable. She's the most 'like me' I've come across when it comes to her career and relationship. Secondly, and more deeply, I've gotten into many conversations recently about 'letting go of your story'. We all have a story (or stories), sometimes sad, that we cling to, that's in our past. I love the idea of letting go of your story and not letting it define you. This book does that beautifully. The importance of moving on and moving forward is something maybe critical for people in their early thirties? It's like you put all this time in to better yourself, but if you still hold on to what a mess you were in your twenties, then is it progress? I digress. Super quick read. Realistic and sweet.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    “Whenever my father went out of town, he had the mail stopped.” Bill Sandell was an adventurous, larger than life, father. An ex-Green Beret, war hero, with a law degree and a P.H.D. He was both revered and feared by his children, especially Laurie, his oldest child. When Laurie was in her early twenties, she applied for her first credit card and was declined because of a bad credit record. It turns out several cards were already issued in her name and all of them were maxed out and unpaid. She f “Whenever my father went out of town, he had the mail stopped.” Bill Sandell was an adventurous, larger than life, father. An ex-Green Beret, war hero, with a law degree and a P.H.D. He was both revered and feared by his children, especially Laurie, his oldest child. When Laurie was in her early twenties, she applied for her first credit card and was declined because of a bad credit record. It turns out several cards were already issued in her name and all of them were maxed out and unpaid. She follows the trail to her father and everything she ever knew about her beloved padre begins to unravel. Lies upon lies are revealed. Is her father just a fraud, an imposter, living the “big con”? This illustrated memoir, told by Laurie is a joy. The writing is smart and the drawings are perfect. I much preferred this one over Are You My Mother, which I read a few months ago. I hope to spread the word on this one. Seek it out!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    Quick read, colorful pictures, could be a good introduction to graphic novels for women, especially since a lot of other graphic novels that offer entry into the genre have male leads. Laurie's father, an economics professor, tells wild and dramatic stories about his past, and won't ever let anyone else get the family's mail, which tends to come bearing all sorts of aliases and imaginary names. When Laurie reaches her twenties, she realizes her father has been lying a lot, and has taken out cred Quick read, colorful pictures, could be a good introduction to graphic novels for women, especially since a lot of other graphic novels that offer entry into the genre have male leads. Laurie's father, an economics professor, tells wild and dramatic stories about his past, and won't ever let anyone else get the family's mail, which tends to come bearing all sorts of aliases and imaginary names. When Laurie reaches her twenties, she realizes her father has been lying a lot, and has taken out credit cards in her name. She distances herself from her family for a number of years until she can process her experiences - along the way, she also becomes a successful writer for Glamour and battles Ambien addiction.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Raina

    My favorite of the three adult graphic novels I read this weekend (the others were Stitches and Asterios Polyp, so that's kind of a big deal). Fun, fascinating self-discovery/parental discovery story about a girl who grew up with a con man for a dad. Goes into depth about how her trauma from that affected her relationship with a screenwriter from LA. Colorful illustrations, including some real life drawings she did as a little girl. Awesome book for 20somethings. My favorite of the three adult graphic novels I read this weekend (the others were Stitches and Asterios Polyp, so that's kind of a big deal). Fun, fascinating self-discovery/parental discovery story about a girl who grew up with a con man for a dad. Goes into depth about how her trauma from that affected her relationship with a screenwriter from LA. Colorful illustrations, including some real life drawings she did as a little girl. Awesome book for 20somethings.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bobby

    Sanndell's story is interesting. Her painful family experience and couragous recovery are honest and inspiring. I was left wanting to know her father's actual history, not just his grandiose claims, but as it was for the author, those have never come to light. I'm not sure what the provocation was to create this in a graphic format. The illustrations were basic and didn't provide any enhancement to the story that couldn't have been communicated through text. Overall, it wasn't bad, just okay. Insp Sanndell's story is interesting. Her painful family experience and couragous recovery are honest and inspiring. I was left wanting to know her father's actual history, not just his grandiose claims, but as it was for the author, those have never come to light. I'm not sure what the provocation was to create this in a graphic format. The illustrations were basic and didn't provide any enhancement to the story that couldn't have been communicated through text. Overall, it wasn't bad, just okay. Inspiring as a I mentioned, but not very remarkable.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Rosenberger

    I think this book was a bit of a bait and switch. Instead of interesting stories about the author's con man father, you get the self-indulgent recollections of a woman who thinks that her life and problems are far more interesting than they actually are. Oh goodness, you once had an affair with another woman? Oh dear, you occasionally drink an entire bottle of wine in an evening? Oh my, you're on a first name basis with B-list celebs? Yawn-I mean oh, how fascinating! I think this book was a bit of a bait and switch. Instead of interesting stories about the author's con man father, you get the self-indulgent recollections of a woman who thinks that her life and problems are far more interesting than they actually are. Oh goodness, you once had an affair with another woman? Oh dear, you occasionally drink an entire bottle of wine in an evening? Oh my, you're on a first name basis with B-list celebs? Yawn-I mean oh, how fascinating!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Canaday

    I'm always looking for fun, colorful graphic memoirs that deal with spiritual and emotional journeys and freeing oneself from issues arising from your childhood. Ms. Sandell did a wonderful job quenching my thirst. Read it nonstop until I finished. It's The Bell Jar meets Fun Home. 5 stars! :) I'm always looking for fun, colorful graphic memoirs that deal with spiritual and emotional journeys and freeing oneself from issues arising from your childhood. Ms. Sandell did a wonderful job quenching my thirst. Read it nonstop until I finished. It's The Bell Jar meets Fun Home. 5 stars! :)

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.