12 November 2012


Dark Lie by Nancy Springer (NAL trade paperback, 6 November 2012).

I've loved Nancy Springer's work since I read Rowan Hood ten years ago. Dark Lie has little in common with that young adult fantasy, other than being a really good story.

Dorrie and Sam White had purchased a large house, intending to fill it with love, laughter and kids.  But shortly afterwards, Dorrie was diagnosed with lupus, so severe that she wasn't able to have children. 

Dorrie regrets this constantly, and feels lost in what she feels is a cold, empty building.  But she hasn't told Sam that she had a child when she was 16, a daughter that her sternly pious parents forced her to give up for adoption.  Even much later, when she tries to ask them about it, they won't speak of it.

But Dorrie incidentally learns that her daughter was adopted by the Phillips, a couple who lives in the same town as she and Sam.   She happens to recognize sixteen-year-old Juliet (who looks very much like Dorrie did at the same age) in the local mall one day, and begins to go there more often.  Completely aware that what she's doing could be considered stalking, Dorrie still feels compelled to watch her daughter.

One Saturday afternoon, as Juliet is leaving the mall, she's abducted.  Dorrie sees the man push her into his van, and without thought, rushes to her little car and follows.

This is truly a psychological thriller. There is action, yes, but much of the conflict occurs in the minds of the individuals involved, Sam as well as Dorrie.  It's a gripping story that draws the reader in and doesn't let go until the final page.

I must add that  I was diagnosed with lupus at the age of 16, and although it's much more moderate than Dorrie's, it has certainly affected my life in the many years since.  Springer describes Dorrie's feelings of anger and bitterness at the disease that has taken over her life, and the effects it has had on her ability to function on a daily basis as well as her relationships, very accurately.

One person who comments today will receive a copy of Dark Lie courtesy of The Penguin Group.  Please make sure contact info is included with your comment. 

Nancy Springer is guest blogging over at Crime Fiction Collective today.  Please drop by and say "hello".

FTC full disclosure:  Many thanks to the publisher for a review copy of the book.  


  1. This story sounds intriguing! I'm fascinated with the subject of children given up for adoption and how it affects their lives. Thanks for a great review.

  2. This book sounds very intriguing. My mother has lupus, but she got it later in life right around the end of my high school days, so she had three of us children and I am now taking care of her full time in my sister's house, but this has afforded me to write full time as well. Loved your post on the Crime Fiction Collective today, great post.

    Jacqueline Hopkins

  3. I have added this book to my "to read" list. The story sounds so very intriguing. Please enter me for your draw.



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