The Supreme Lie
15 year old Gloria is maid to the all-powerful Suprema, ruler of the country of Afalia. When Afalia is devastated by the worst flood its people have seen in their lifetimes, the Suprema becomes terrified that the tide of public opinion will turn against her, and so flees the country in secret. But the people of Afalia need a leader, and with the help of the Suprema’s ex-husband and her dog, Daisy, Gloria finds herself very literally in the shoes of the most powerful person in the country – impersonating the Suprema herself. As the city collapses around her and the people become desperate, Gloria must decide who among her political advisors she can trust – and learn that every action has a consequence.
Clever, twisting, dark and inspiring, The Supreme Lie is a thrilling look at political corruption and media transparency through the eyes of a teenage girl handed absolute power. Gloria is put in the unenviable position of having what appears to be total control over the country, though as she quickly discovers, it’s far from ideal – she is surrounded by manipulative politicians, greedy business owners, and people demanding justice and protection from the natural disaster that has destroyed their homes. The novel is full of interesting conundrums, inspiring the reader to think about what they might do in Gloria’s place, and encourages its audience to look critically at media stories and check the facts. Every so often, a chapter is presented in the form of a newspaper cutting with simple black and white illustrations and colloquial ‘tabloid’ language – often presenting the events of the previous chapter in a very different way to how they’ve just been read.
The mounting tension of each chapter is relieved by some brilliant flashes of humour and a beautifully tender subplot about the lost dogs of Afalia, in particular one who is desperately searching for the little boy he’s been separated from.
This is a novel suited to teen readers or even young adults, and is guaranteed to stay with the reader long after they’ve finished it.