Past Perfect Life

Elizabeth Eulberg. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0092-2
Calling to mind Caroline B. Cooney’s The Face on the Milk Carton, this riveting missing-child story contrasts 17-year-old Allison Smith’s contented life in a small Wisconsin town with the chaos that follows her father’s arrest for kidnapping her from her mother 15 years earlier. Suddenly, her father is in jail and Allison is a national news story, hounded by the media. Before she’s had a chance to process the events, Allison is wrenched away from everything she loves to live with her mother and a new, unfamiliar family in Tampa, Fla. Filled with shock, homesickness, and anger, she is unprepared and unwilling to reinvent herself to become Amanda Linsley, the happy daughter her mother wants her to be. Although the story is told from Allison’s point of view, Eulberg (The Lonely Hearts Club) sharply delineates the emotions and motivations of other characters, clarifying the reasons behind the kidnapping and the pain it has caused for various members of Allison’s family, including younger stepsister, Sarah, who has had to endure the lifelong repercussions of Allison’s disappearance. An excellent choice for prompting discussion, this thought-provoking novel captures the devastating legacy of family lies. Ages 13–up. Agent: Erin Malone, William Morris Endeavor. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/02/2019
Release date: 07/09/2019
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-5476-0093-9
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-5476-0404-3
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