What happens when everything you thought was true about your life turns out to be a lie?
Thirteen-year-old T.J. always believed that her twin sister and her mother were dead—because that’s what her father had told her. But Mom and Sam are very much alive. And now they want T.J. to be part of their family.
Life with Joe, her troubled but well-intentioned father, is all T.J. has ever known. Joe’s erratic lifestyle has meant lying to social workers and searching through garbage cans for food. But T.J. loves him and the grandmother who has provided stability in her life.
When T.J. reluctantly visits her mom and Sam for the first time, she is stunned by how similar she is to her twin sister in many ways, even though their lives have been very different. But while she is drawn to her new family, she is also wary of becoming attached to them and hurting her father’s feelings. When Joe suffers a debilitating accident and tries to ensnare T.J. in another web of lies, however, her loyalties are finally tested. Now she must confront the truth about her family, even if it hurts the people she loves.
In this thought-provoking companion to the popular Do You Know the Monkey Man?, author Dori Hillestad Butler has created a highly readable, complex portrait of a family in crisis. Her skillful portrayal of T.J., a conflicted adolescent struggling with her identity and reacting to family pressures, will resonate with readers.