A British-American journalist’s account of growing up the daughter of a fugitive father.
Until she was 9, Wetherall knew herself as Tyler Kane, the daughter of an American businessman and a former British model. Her family lived a peripatetic life that had taken them to “thirteen houses, five countries and two continents” before she was 10; yet Wetherall never saw these moves as odd. But when Scotland Yard detectives questioned her mother about a man they called Ben Glaser, the author suddenly realized that her entire life had been a lie. Everything—from her last name to the travels that had taken her family from California to Italy, Portugal, France, and Britain—had been ruses her father used to evade capture for criminal activity. Shuttling deftly between present and past, Wetherall pieces together the fragments of early years spent on the run to make sense of her life and her relationship to her fugitive father. She visited him in secret at hideouts in France and on the island of St. Lucia and came to know him as the man who had made his fortune smuggling marijuana from Thailand. Desperately confused, the author struggled to reconcile “the Dad who spent hours, years, teaching me how to swim, how to ski, [and] how to ride a bike” with the criminal sought by international authorities. Glaser was finally captured when the author was 12, and for the next several years, she visited him at the California prison where he served his sentence. Her unresolved rage toward her father wrought havoc with her teenage years. Eventually, she made peace with him, realizing that for all she had lost, she had regained both a father and a new perspective on a life story he had helped define. Revealing and emotionally nuanced, Wetherall’s book probes the dark underside of family relationships to uncover the meaning of acceptance and forgiveness.
A compassionate memoir of self-discovery.