“Discontent and violence lurks under the surface – when they erupt, no one is safe.” Once Upon A LIE
Michael French tells the story of interracial love in the thought-provoking novel, ONCE UPON A LIE (Terra Nova Books) in the landscape of the 1980s. Two unlikely people are brought into each other’s lives putting them in danger.
Jaleel is a bright black eighteen-year old. He’s fled his small Texas town, falsely accused of murdering his father. He changes his name, moves to Los Angeles and hopes to somehow turn his intellect and street smarts into success.
Alexandra Baten is rich white sixteen-year old Valley girl, living in Toluca Lake who has everything, but that’s still not enough. She’s tired of her parents especially her socialite mother. One day, she meets Jaleel and on the surface, it would appear they have nothing in common, but opposites do attract. She knows her mother would freak if Alexandra was even talking to Jaleel, but she goes on to ask him a favor.
This sets the stage for French’s family crime drama. The narratives alternate between Jaleel and Alexandra. The story arc is unexpected, but at four-hundred pages it’s easy to get lost in the prose. Racial injustice is a profound premise for a novel, but I believe ONCE UPON A LIE lost focus of the point it was attempting to make. I would question how many edits the novel was put through, because I feel it’s easily one hundred and fifty pages too long. French obviously has a successful career as an writer and author, but ONCE UPON A LIE needed a really tough editor with a red sharpie.
Michael has set up Facebook and Twitter accounts for both characters, Alex and Jaleel so you can contact them. I checked the sites out and they make the reading experience fuller.
Connect with the characters
About Michael French
Michael French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing. He received a Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family. In addition to publishing over twenty titles, including award-winning young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies ad self-help books, he has written or co-written a half-dozen screenplays, including Intersection, which has won awards in over twenty film festivals. He has also had a long business career in real estate, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His passions include travel, collecting rare books, and hanging with friends and family. He describes his worst traits as impatience and saying “no” too quickly; his best are curiosity, taking risks, and learning from failure.
Connect with Michael
Thanks to TLC Book Tours http://www.tlcbooktours.com for providing a copy of ONCE UPON A LIE for an honest review.