There is tremendous skill in the writing of ONCE UPON A LIE and the hooks captivate the imagination within the first few pages. The characters are extremely well developed and the reader is able to empathize quickly; they pull at a feeling level as well as moving the story forward. Word usage is intelligent. The suspense is just right and definitely not to thriller level, keeping the reader figuring out what is next. I liked the mix of voices; first and third person perspectives were finely synced.
The reader is meshed into a huge family drama, well two families with lots of drama and some huge lies to contend with and that makes for a lifetime of attempting to find the truth and a whole realm of situations that do not create relief from the tensions of the stories.
“…the two youths see the trajectories of their lives entwine, unravel, and come together again. Justice, Alex learns, can be a betrayal. Justice, Jaleel finds, can be a powerful –but dangerous- rock on which to build a life of honor and courage.” (Cover)
Alexandra is the daughter of a Los Angeles lawyer and a socialite mother and Jaleel is the only child of a black couple living on the financial edge in Texas. The police are prepping Jaleel, who is 12, to be the murderer of his father – he is on the run. The two children meet over a cup of lemonade and the author builds a good coming of age story around these two individuals and their survival. The secondary characters are strong and agile in assisting the unraveling of the lies.
“Michael French is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and of Northwestern University with a master’s in journalism. A native of Los Angeles, he also is a successful businessman, activist, and, with his wife, Patricia, a philanthropist raising money for programs aiding teachers in Santa Fe, N.M., public schools which are some of the most challenged in the country. They divide their time between Santa Fe and Santa Barbara, CA.”
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me an advanced copy for review.