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In his novel, The Many Lies of Zoey, author Tom Yarborough has created both a beguiling saga about the power of obsession and a provocative chronicle on the vagaries of idiosyncratic lives played out against the backdrops of New Orleans, Vietnam, Paris, Washington, DC, and Barcelona.
Told by first-person narrator Sam Mirabeau who is obsessed with the enigma girl, the pet name he has given his sister Zoey, the story is a blend of character-driven literary and historical fiction that explores the power of sibling bonds and the slipperiness of infatuation. Sam is the consummate career State Department diplomat with a dark secret, and Zoey is the free-spirited, no-boundaries, gold-digging femme fatale who constantly tests her brother’s patience, ethics, and morality. Sam doesn’t know if Zoey is wicked or admirable—her unpredictable antics and flamboyant behavior constantly spawn ethical crises for them both.
This family saga also takes readers on a behind-the-scenes journey through actual international events of the 1970s-1990s: Vietnam, the evacuation of the American Embassy in Cambodia, terrorist plots in France and Cameroon, refugee camps in Thailand, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Nazi-hunting in Spain. As Sam's State Department career progresses, the siblings’ paths continue to cross and intertwine. The inseparable ties between Sam and Zoey endure for years, surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating setbacks.
Will Sam ever learn who his sister really is? Zoey becomes for Sam what Moby Dick was to Captain Ahab: the object of an obsessive, destructive quest. Framed against oddball juxtapositions and quirky events, Sam and Zoey may well form a literary paradigm for co-dependencies, with nearly all the positive and negative consequences such relationships entail.
Paperback: 364 pages
Publishing date: March 30, 2020
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
A native of Louisiana, Tom Yarborough is currently a military historian/author. A decorated Air Force combat pilot, he also served tours as the air attaché at the American Embassy in Bangkok, and as liaison officer to the State Department in Washington, DC. After leaving the Air Force he was a professor and department chair at Indiana University and history professor at Northern Virginia Community College. He now lives in West Springfield, Virginia, where he maintains ties to the academic community by lecturing and writing articles for various scholarly journals. His writing background includes the books Da Nang Diary, winner of the Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal for best memoir of 2014, and A Shau Valor, a finalist for the 2016 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award. He has also written numerous featured articles published in WWII History, Journal of American History, Vietnam, Aviation History, and The Supreme Court Historical Society Quarterly.