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A brilliant and darkly funny commentary on our present times by one of our greatest writers.
Despite being set in the 1920’s in the imaginary country of Afalia, this stunning and inventive story, from twice Carnegie medal winning author McCaughrean, has powerful messages about the current state of politics, big business and environmental exploitation in our world and most loudly of all about the need for reliable and independent news sources. The story is partly revealed by facsimile newspaper cuttings and it is fascinating to see the progression from real information to manipulation of popular opinion by ruthless and deadly corrupt officials. Gloria, a naive 15-year-old maid to the Suprema, Alfalia’s ruler, is at the heart of the story. As flooding and disaster threaten to overwhelm the country, the Suprema runs away, and Gloria is inveigled by the Suprema’s husband into temporarily impersonating her. As they discover the full extent of the corruption and misinformation, they face an uphill battle to save lives and stand up for what is right. Meanwhile a second narrative follows the fate of people in the neglected North (in another real life parallel) and a dog’s epic quest to find his boy. The canine conversations are just one of the pleasures provided in this multi-layered narrative populated by such a vivid cast of characters and with so many twists and turns keeping the reader enthralled. Ultimately the novel demonstrates the resilience of man and nature and the ability of people to do the right thing given half a chance. This really is vintage McCaughrean and highly recommended.
Fifteen-year-old Gloria is maid to Afalia's tyrannical Head of State, Madame Suprema. When the country is hit by unprecedented flooding, Madame Suprema runs away, fearing she will be blamed for the crisis. To cover up this cowardly act, Gloria is made to step into Madame Suprema's shoes and is thrust into a world of corrupt and desperate politicians. As Gloria becomes aware of the forces toying with her every move, she must take decisions that could save, or end, thousands of lives - including her own...
Geraldine says of The Supreme Lie, “Have you ever wondered, during the last year: ‘Are the Government telling us everything?’ ‘Are the papers trying to scare us?’ ‘Are they making things up?’ They’re probably not. But there have been times when statesmen told lies, when newspapers invented the facts, when promises were worthless and, as a result, a lot of people died. I read of one such scandal that took place in America in the 1920s, and I set about designing a fictional country where imminent danger threatens, panic is everywhere, and the truth is hard to come by.”
Anne Finnis, Fiction Deputy Director, Usborne says “Geraldine never ceases to surprise with her incredible imagination and ability to find a totally unique story to tell, and this blistering new novel is no exception. What remains constant in her writing however is her ability to create totally relatable characters, her complete and utter mastery of the English language, offering up some of the most glorious sentences I’ve ever read.”
|Publication date:||15th April 2021|
|Publisher:||Usborne Publishing Ltd|
|Primary Genre||Children's & YA Fiction|
The mind of Geraldine McCaughrean is one of the great natural wonders of our universe. - Philip Reeve, author of Mortal Engines
A stunning new novel by one of our finest writers for the young. - Tim Bowler, author of River Boy
Unusual, compelling, ambitious; a visual feast of the imagination. - John McLay, Literary Scout
A vintage McCaughrean to savour! - Joy Court, UKLA & The School Librarian
Extraordinary, rich and wonderful! - Julia Green, author of The Children of Swallow Fell
Geraldine McCaughrean (born 1951) trained as a teacher but learned only that she was useless at teaching. So she worked instead as a sub at a partwork magazine company, perfect training in cutting to length, abandoning pretentions and writing blurbs. A Carnegie Medallist, three-time winner of the Whitbread and the very first recipient of the Blue Peter Book Award, she has written almost 150 books and plays. In 2006 she was blessed with the chance to write the official sequel to J M Barrie’s Peter Pan at the behest of Great Ormond Street Hospital. Peter Pan in Scarlet has ...More About Geraldine Mccaughrean