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The Tyrant's Daughterby J. C. Carleson
Synopses & Reviews
From a former CIA officer comes a riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs
THERE: In an unnamed country, fifteen-year-old Laila has always lived like royalty. Her father is a dictator of sorts, though she knows him as King—just as his father was, and just as her little brother Bastien will be one day. Then everything changes: Laila's father is killed in a coup.
HERE: As war surges, Laila flees to a life of exile in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Overnight she becomes a nobody. Even as she adjusts to a new school and new friends, she is haunted by the past. Was her father really a dictator like the American newspapers say? What was the cost of her family's privilege?
Far from feeling guilty, her mother is engineering a power play—conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to gain a foothold to the throne. Laila can't bear to stand still as yet another international crisis takes shape around her. But how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?
An author's note delves into J.C Carleson's experiences undercover in Iraq and a bonus commentary by RAND researcher and president of ARCH International, Dr. Cheryl Benard, sheds more light on conflict in the region. Recommendations for further reading are also included.
From the Hardcover edition.
"When her Middle Eastern dictator father was killed in a coup, Laila, her mother, and her younger brother flee the country. Now a teenager, Laila must adapt to life in the U.S. as her family tries to recover from its loss of power. Laila is slowly adapting to her new life, but her mother longs to return to the life she left behind. And now, Laila must decide what her future holds. Narrator Simhan turns in a solid performance in this audio edition. She provides Laila an appropriate Middle-Eastern accent and her tone reflects that of a teenager acclimating to a new culture. But Simhan shines brightest during the book's moments of tension, generating a subtle range of emotions. Add in a fine performance from Benard, and the result is an audio edition that makes for compelling listening. Ages 12 — up. A Knopf hardcover" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From a former CIA officer comes the riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs.
When her father is killed in a coup, 15-year-old Laila flees from the war-torn middle east to a life of exile and anonymity in the U.S. Gradually she adjusts to a new school, new friends, and a new culture, but while Laila sees opportunity in her new life, her mother is focused on the past. She’s conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to regain the throne their family lost. Laila can’t bear to stand still as an international crisis takes shape around her, but how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?
J.C. Carleson delivers a fascinating account of a girl—and a country—on the brink, and a rare glimpse at the personal side of international politics.
"Every American should read this book. It's an eye-opener." —Suzanne Fisher Staples, Newbery Honor-winning author of Shabanu
*Bonus Backmatter includes a note about the author's CIA past, and a commentary by RAND researcher and president of ARCH International, Dr. Cheryl Benard. Recommendations for further reading are also included.
From the Hardcover edition.
J. C. CARLESON is a former undercover CIA officer who has navigated war zones, jumped out of airplanes, and worked on the frontlines of international conflicts. She now lives and writes in Virginia with her husband and two young sons. Her previous publications include the novel Cloaks and Veils, and Work Like a Spy: Business Tips from a Former CIA Officer.
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