The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir

The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir

by Laurie Sandell


View All Available Formats & Editions

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316033060
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 07/12/2010
Pages: 247
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Laurie Sandell is a contributing editor at Glamour, where she writes cover stories, features, and personal essays. She has also written for Esquire, GQ, New York, and In Style, among others. In her twenties, she spent four years traveling around the world, having unsavory experiences she later justified as "material."

What People are Saying About This

The Imposter’s Daughter is funny, frank, and absolutely engaging. It’s about truth and consequences and families and men and women and fame and, well, life itself. It’s wonderful! --Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief

Don’t pick up The Imposter’s Daughter if you have an urgent looming deadline. You’ll start reading and then keep reading till you reach the last page, because this real-life detective story is so compelling, personal, and poignant that you’ll end up ignoring your own life and responsibilities. Like I did. --A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
kivarson on LibraryThing 24 days ago
If you enjoy tales that detail disturbing family dynamics, you'll like this memoir (even if you don't normally read graphic novels). After years of living abroad, Laurie Sandell, a writer and editor for "Glamour" magazine, returns home and upsets the uneasy peace in her family when she begins to probe the veracity of her father's tales of adventure and heroism. But should she feel any loyalty to a man who defrauded her?
picardyrose on LibraryThing 24 days ago
She did a good job of conveying her story with or without the drawings -- I sometimes forgot to notice them.
mesmericrevelation on LibraryThing 24 days ago
This book was awesome. I won it here at Goodreads and I was excited to read it because I heard good things about it. I definitely wasn't let down. In fact, I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It was so good that at one point my dad had to take it away from me because I was trying to read it with a migraine. I just didn't want to put it down. It's a fast, enjoyable read and I think everyone should pick this one up.
Carolee888 on LibraryThing 24 days ago
This is the first time that I ever read a graphic novel and I had been wondering if I would like it. But, I was hooked from the first sentence. "Whenever my father went out of town, he had the mail stopped." The story was engrossing. She grew up with her father as her hero because of all of his tales of how wonderful he was. He picked her out of the family, not his wife and two other daughters to concentrate charming her. I wonder if this is key to her later writing this book. Everything started to change for the worse when he lost his job. This change started her on a book long search to find out who her dad really was. I read a few of the reviews and noticed that the negative ones objected that the author,Laurie Sandell told her family secrets. They viewed her as a betrayer.But I think that Laurie Sandell had a very unusual father and why can't she speak out about him? Maybe her speaking out can make others feel not so alone. I loved the illustrations and read most of it less than a day but I enjoyed the way the book was presented and think that what she had to say was important for her to say it.
UnderMyAppleTree on LibraryThing 24 days ago
I really enjoyed this book. I wasn¿t sure what to expect from a graphic novel never having read one before. The print and the drawings were easy to see and read and the colors were were bright and cheerful. The way this book is written and presented is very original, creative, humorous and well put together. It works on a number or levels. It only took me a few hours to read it and I highly recommend it.This is a true memoir, more like a tell-all, of Laurie¿s life and her relationships. She doesn¿t hold back and talks openly about her family, boyfriend, her feelings and things she had tried and done. The subject material and themes are adult in nature. Although the book is in comic book format, this is not a book for children.
Sararush on LibraryThing 24 days ago
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.
nicole on LibraryThing 24 days ago
Laurie Sandell opens her memoir by stating that her father had the mail stopped whenever he went out of town even though the others were still there to receive it. I had to read on. As I did, I discovered that I was already somewhat familiar with the story as I've read some of Sandell's magazine articles that touched on some of what she deals with here, such as her Ambien addiction.The Impostor's Daughter is a quick read and not at all the typical memoir. This is a graphic novel. I couldn't find anything that explicitly said so, but it appears Sandell is also the illustrator of the book; the illustrations are great. Sandell is a talented writer as well who was able to make good use of the graphic format.
gaby317 on LibraryThing 24 days ago
Synopsis:The Imposter's Daughter: A True Memoir is described as a "graphic memoir" because the cartoons are supposed to be largely nonfiction. The work is divided into two main parts. In Part One of The Imposter's Daughter, we follow Laurie Sandell from her childhood hero worship of her father through the slow discovery of his lies and deception to how this experience shaped Laurie's early adult years. Charismatic, good looking and confident, Laurie knew her father to be a former green beret with a law degree from NYU and a PhD from Columbia University who served as an economist and advisor to Henry Kissinger and had grown up with fabulous wealth in Argentina. He was larger than life and full of exciting stories of his past, his teaching career, and the businesses that he was working on. As the eldest and his favorite child, they shared a special bond. But after her father left the post as an economics professor, he spent his time at home and became increasingly paranoid, eccentric controlling. As his life unravelled, so did their closeness. It wasn't until after college and when she was applying for her first credit card that Laurie discovered that her father had taken out credit cards and thousands of dollars of debt in her name. Justifiably upset, she contacted her family - and they learn that he'd taken out credit cards and loans under all of their names. Their house is nearly lost from under them. Laurie's life is fluid and she decides to spend the next four years exploring the world. She travels to Israel, Japan, Jordan, Paris, Egypt, Mexico, and Thailand, undoubtedly breaking hearts while experimenting. She works as a stripper in Tokyo, seduces lesbian women in Israel, and grows addicted to presciption drugs. Laurie returns to America and works as a secretary by day while researching and writing about her father's deceptions at night. Part One ends with the publication of Laurie's article "My Father, the Fraud" in Esquire Magazine.In Part Two, Laurie starts work at a popular woman's magazine where she excels at celebrity interviews and builds her reputation. She discovers that she has a gift for building relationships with celebrities - "most of them lived in emotional castles surrounded by moats, and I'd been building a tower around myself for thirty-two years." While she builds her professional life, Laurie slowly becomes addicted to prescription drugs. Although her relationship with her father and family deteriorates, but Laurie continues digging into her father's past. Reaching out to distant acquaintances, strangers, and estranged family, Laurie slowly pieces together her father's life.Review:I had intended to just glance through the book and somehow read it all in one sitting. The first surprise was that the entire work is a graphic memoir - a "nonfiction cartoon" written and illustrated by Laurie Sandell. The book is beautifully done - from the cover and the drawings to the writing and pacing. It worked together so well that I find it hard to believe the story is true, although it likely is, after all it's even called The Imposter's Daughter: A True Memoir. Warning: some of the graphics are explicit. The book targets an adult audience.This as a fun summer read. I'm looking forward to more of Laurie Sandell's work in the future.Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 29, 2009), 256 pages. The book will be available on July 29, 2009 but can be ordered in advance through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Powells.Courtesy of Hatchette Books Group.
bermudaonion on LibraryThing 24 days ago
When Laurie Sandell was a young girl, she idolized her father. As she grew older, she began to realize that he¿s different from other fathers and she suspected that a lot of what he was saying wasn¿t true. After college, Laurie discovered that her father had obtained credit under her name and done some other questionable things.In trying to find herself, Laurie does some questionable things of her own after that ¿ traveling the world looking for love and participating in some outrageous behavior. She finally returned to the states and started working as a secretary. When she told a friend who works in the magazine business, about her father, he suggested she write about him. At about this time, she was having trouble sleeping and her mother suggested she try Ambien.Laurie wrote an article on her father and it was published anonymously. Even so, it still didn¿t sit well with her family. When Laurie got a magazine job interviewing celebrities, she started researching her father¿s past in earnest, even traveling to South America to visit his step-sister. In the meantime, she¿s became addicted to Ambien. She was in a relationship, but it wasn¿t really a happy one, yet she couldn¿t ever break it off.After interviewing Ashley Judd, Laurie exchanged a few emails with her and opens up to her and Ashley Judd makes a suggestion that changes Laurie¿s life forever.The Impostor¿s Daughter is Laurie Sandell¿s graphic memoir. What a story she has to tell! When this book first came, I leafed through a couple pages and I was hooked. The story is fantastic and the drawings are too. (You can get an idea of what they¿re like from the cover.) There are even some of Laurie¿s childhood drawings included. Laurie is brutally honest in the tale of her relationship with her father and the problems she created in her own life. I loved everything about this book ¿ the story, the drawings and even the nice, thick paper it¿s printed on. This book is hand lettered and took Laurie seven years to write. Once you pick The Impostor¿s Daughter up, you won¿t be able to put it down!
plettie2 on LibraryThing 24 days ago
This is an interesting graphic novel. The author has written many articles for Glamour magazine and I'm familiar with that work. She uses the same easy style here in this graphic novel of her life. It is an unusual story that is told with wit and humor which takes the edge off a tale that could otherwise seem self-indulgent. Be clear that despite its comic book style this is not a book for kids. I think this is a brave effort that makes for an easy read in just one sitting. Take it to the beach for an enjoyable afternoon!
ForeignCircus on LibraryThing 24 days ago
This graphic novel was a truly wonderful read, full of insights and pathos. Sandell's willingness to lay bare her family secrets in an effort to better understand the reasons behind her sometimes self-destructive behavior is so raw and honest that I hurt for her. Her story is a touching one that outlines the challenges that those living with mental illness in the family must endure, and the terrible effect that an untreated condition can have on family members. I found myself enraged on Sandell's behalf when her mother and sisters acted as enablers, but came to realize they too were coping in the ways they thought best. Though this is my first graphic novel, its quality has convinced me it will not be my last. Highly recommended!
jmchshannon on LibraryThing 24 days ago
Confession - this was my first graphic novel. Given their popularity these days, I find it rather shocking, but there it is. Whether it was due to the graphics themselves or the actual story, I found myself quickly drawn into Ms. Sandell's story. In fact, I started it around 10:30 PM Sunday night and finished it two very short hours later. I was compelled to keep reading to find out whether Ms. Sandell was able to overcome her demons. The fact that I was loathe to put down the book well past my bedtime is a testament to the power of the story.Unfortunately, I was left feeling rather dissatisfied. I can imagine that rehab is not something about which it is easy to write and reflect, and yet I felt that Ms. Sandell either glossed over some of the details of her stay or "prettified" it. This is in direct opposition to the very blunt and honest observations she makes about herself elsewhere throughout the book. As a result, the two sections were rather disjointed and disruptive to the overall flow to the book.In addition, I couldn't help but feel let down by the ending. Ms. Sandell obviously had a tremendously rocky relationship with her father, deservedly so to some extent. The entire book is filled with such anger at her father, such despair at her relationship with her parents in general, that I expected more resolution to the overall story. I realize that true life rarely ever gives us a pat, satisfactory ending to our own personal stories, however I did expect one while reading The Imposter's Daughter. Upon reflection, I believe that my expectations where more a result of the fact that the graphics made it more story-like than memoir-like. I found the pictures distracting and began to ignore them after a time. I am not 100 percent sold on the graphic novel. It was easy reading, but as I am not one to linger on the pictures, I began to resent them ever so slightly by the end of the novel. I believe that the format of the book detracted from the overall story. In general, I did enjoy reading this book. I really did want to find out how it all ended. Ms. Sandell presents her very personal, poignant struggle with both humor and self-deprecation that I definitely appreciated and enjoyed. I also appreciate the strength it took to write such a novel, baring all secrets and demons to the world as she did (complete with illustrations!). I can't help but wonder if it would have been even more powerful had this been a normal novel rather than a graphic one. Thank you to Anna Balasi and Hachette Books for the opportunity to review this book!
ImBookingIt on LibraryThing 24 days ago
I really enjoyed this book.The story was compelling and entertaining, and I felt like I got to know the author. It was just weird enough to keep me interested, just real enough to keep me connected.The book was about Laurie, and how her relationship with her father affected her life. Her interactions with the rest of her family, with friends, with co-workers, and with complete strangers are colored by her past experiences with him. As she makes the decision to pursue his real story, her relationships become even more confused. The book was quite open about her thoughts and feelings, but it only gives us her side. I'd be interested in hearing what some of the other people in her life thought.The drawings were nice, but didn't really stick with me. Others might appreciate them more.The Impostor's Daughter was an easy, entertaining read.
hthbooks on LibraryThing 24 days ago
What was it Tostoy once said? Something about disfunctional families being unalike. The disfunction in this family is something completely foreign to my experience, and yet I found the book compelling, involving and relatable. I would love to hear from the author about how her family is dealing with the fallout of their tragedies being exposed to the public. Kudos to Sandell for being a very brave soul in dealing with this warts and all (and in the main it's just warts) saga head-on.
coolmama on LibraryThing 24 days ago
I loved the premise of the book.Laurie Sandell describes her father's odd behavior and attempts to unravel it in graphic novel form.Her father was a con man, but as much as she attempts to find out why and for whom (research, contacting old friends and business partners, hiring a PI) she never resolved who or what her father was - although she did find out his ivy league degrees were made up. She never gets to the bottom of nor understands more fully his modus operandi, and I found the novel unfullfilling and disappointing for this reason.Her mother and two sisters are in denial about her dad's dealings. I did like the honesty and rawness of it; especially her realtionship with Ben and her Ambien addiction.
nfmgirl2 on LibraryThing 24 days ago
I was surprised to see that this book was really a graphic novel. Perhaps someone somewhere in their review had mentioned it, and I interpreted that to mean that it "was graphically descriptive". So let me make this clear: this is a graphic novel, in that it is cartoonish drawings telling a story.This was an entertaining story, and it was interesting to see the transformation that Laurie Sandell went through from a little girl who idolized her father to an adult woman who demonized her father to a more reconciled adult who seemed to accept her father more for who he was, and by the end of the story seemed to understand the idea of forgiveness.This is a cute story and a quick read.
whitreidtan on LibraryThing 24 days ago
This is a memoir in a graphic format. It tells the story of Sandell's discovery that her father was not the man he claimed he was all throughout her childhood. Sandell grew up idolizing her larger than life Argentinian father. He told wonderful stories about his exploits a a young man, he bragged about his extensive education, and name dropped all the famous people with whom he had come into contact. This enchanted and impressed his daughters. But then Sandell discovered that her beloved father had opened up credit cards in her name and never paid them off. And once she peeked behind the curtain, there was no turning back. Facing her father's false past meant also facing her own present and whom the hero worship of a lying narcissist had caused her to become.The memoir is very honest and pulls no punches about the wrong decisions Sandell has made in her own life over the years. And it details the angst she felt about "outing" her father and betraying the secrecy that her mother and sisters preferred to exposure. It is a quick read, but one that I wanted more from than I found. Perhaps it is a function of the way the story was told in pictures and in text that made me feel it was just brushing the surface. I certainly don't feel as if I am qualified to judge it in terms of its graphic content nor how it marries the two mediums together. But as I felt the only other time I've dipped into a graphic novel/memoir, I wanted more textually and felt the pictures detracted from an in depth story. I would have loved to hear more about the stories her father told her that so captivated her and inspired so many people to tell her to write it down. Somehow I just didn't connect with this one. It was a quick and reasonable read but it just didn't draw me and keep me like I'd hoped.
ddirmeyer on LibraryThing 24 days ago
Laurie Sandell's childhood was anything but idyllic. As an adult, she has now documented her extraordinary life in a graphic novel.As a graphic novel, this is a fast read. It is not a children's book as many of the illustrations and quite a large chunk of the story line deal with very mature subjects. It was an interesting format in which to present her story. You get the "meat" of her life without much supporting detail. It is hard to imagine the heartache and pain she felt upon discovering her father's life was his own fabrication. The reader must come to terms with the fact that she chose to tell his story in this extremely public way over the protestations of the other members of her family. It is admirable that she was able to turn her life around and I loved the way she did not paint her rehab as a rosy, spalike environment, even though that is what she had envisioned before arriving.I would have enjoyed more details about her life. What she gave us was good - but it did leave me wanting more.
ironicqueery on LibraryThing 24 days ago
While The Impostor's Daughter gets a bit self-absorbed at times, given that it's a memoir, it's hard to fault Laurie Sandell too much. The graphic novel provides a unique look at a family headed by a dad they just don't really know. His stories and lies slowly become exposed, and Sandell provides an account of how it affects her life as she tries to unravel the truth from the fictions. The art, while simple, is well done. I especially appreciate the color used in the story. Overall, The Impostor's Daughter is worth reading, and is one of the more interesting stories I've come across lately.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is a great book. the best there is!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here i am. What in the name of starclan happned back there?!?!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this after reading the author's book on the Madoff family. It left me feeling as though I'd been ripped off (although certainly not to the extent of Bernie's investors). The book is nohing more than a series of rambling thoughts headlining middle-school quality drawings. It looks like the result of an assignment somebody got in therapy yo deal with childhood issues.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cocopuffy More than 1 year ago
I was not a huge fan of this book mostly because the author comes across as extremely immature. This book seems like a long way of putting all of her problems on her dad. It just felt horribly unfair. She blames drug addiction, eating disorder, bad relationships, etc. on him. And yet, she didn't seem to think her dad's possibly rough childhood was a justification for his problems. This whole book seemed very self-serving for the author and I was annoyed with her by the time I had finished the book. I would have really regretted reading this book had the author not been such a talented cartoonist, which is why I gave it the rating I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago