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by Laura Wilson
Orion, September 2006
384 pages
6.99 GBP
ISBN: 0752877771

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Journalist Amy Vaughan is having a hard time of it as she clears out her recently deceased mother's home. All during her childhood, her mother had abused Amy, making her a victim of Munchausen By Proxy. Time and time again, her mother fed her things that made her sick so that she could send photos of her ill child to her husband to try to get him to return home. Her father would return for a time but always left again. Even now, after her mother has died of cancer, Amy still can't get the anger of what her mother did to her out of her head.

As she cleans out her mother's home, she runs across a diary written by an unknown person and reads it. Written by a woman in her 30s, it tells of her life at home living with her sister and parents. Amy thinks it doesn't read much like a diary, it is too happy and not at all filled with personal views on life. It seems more to be written as a cover story rather than a true to life day-to-day journal.

Soon she runs across a news story about a woman who was given a suspended sentence for murdering her father. The name of the woman and the family members are the names of the people in the diary. After putting two and two together, Amy realizes that her mother was related to the family in the article, but Amy had never heard anything about them. She decides to investigate further.

At the same time, her father shows up at her home. He didn't know about Amy's mother's death, and he then tells her that he is dying of cancer himself. Amy doesn't know what to think because her father has always been a conman.

After a few strange and dangerous things happen in her home, Amy gets the idea that her father might have made enemies that are aiming their anger at her to get back at her dad, but her father says that he has not done anything lately to make enemies. With all that is going on, Amy doesn't know if she can believe him.

A THOUSAND LIES is a beautifully written book. All the characters are realistic and created to be interesting. Though the subject matter dealing with abuse is a distressing one, the readers learn a lot about the subject and can understand why the people acted and reacted the way they did.

The mystery portion of the story has an intense and surprising resolution. A THOUSAND LIES is a fine piece of writing and well worth reading.

Reviewed by A. L. Katz, April 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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