Luca's world is ripped apart when his mother dies in her sleep one night. With no father or grandparent to help him, Luca braves the world alone, continuing on as if his mother were alive and well. He meticulously plans his appearance and actions every day, so there is nothing out of the ordinary that may call attention to his situation. The feeling of impending doom grows slowly through this short novella, and by the end, the storm clouds are in a full rolling boil. Luca's fear that he will be shuttled off to an orphanage is what drives him to keep his secret. Yet, as the days go on and the stench in his mother's room becomes overwhelming, Luca begins to slowly break down. He believes he must continue on: this is his only option.
Surprisingly, The First True Lie is not depressing. Luca is a smart, insightful kid, and watching him try to make his way through this crisis is an exercise in empathy. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com