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Book Talk: E. Lockhart, ‘Genuine Fraud’

Emily Lockhart’s YA novel, “Genuine Fraud” (2017, 262 pages in paperback) begins with the events of the third week of June, 2017, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The next chapter takes place at the end of April, 2017, in London. Then each section (I wouldn’t call them chapters) takes place retrogressively between the two dates. It’s like reading a book backward, but it’s fascinating.


Since I started this column, I’ve read several YA (young adult) books, and all of them seemed to me to be appropriate to any age, except for young children. This novel is principally about Jule (Julietta) and Immie (Imogen) who are inseparable friends. It’s also about sociopaths and psychopaths. And murder.


The book opens with Jule being alerted and beginning her escape with skills that would baffle James Bond or any well-trained espionage agent. She changes names, places, appearance. She’s learned to be tough, and she’s diabolically clever. She’s also able to stand up to brutes the size of NFL linebackers with earned confidence, and she continually reinvents herself. But she’d never be confused with or interpreted as a comic-book superhero. However, she feels how great it is to be “a physically powerful woman — it was something. You could go anywhere, do anything, if you were difficult to hurt.”

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