By Mayte Peña
Inspired by a true story, author Elizabeth Eulberg’s new novel “Past Perfect Life” tells the story of a teenage girl named Alisson Smith who lives a good life with her dad and friends in Valley Falls, Wisconsin until she discovers her father actually kidnapped her when she was 3.
Released on July 9, 2019, the novel examines the strong, heartfelt father-daughter bond that exists between Ally and her father, as well as her attempts to find herself again after all the lies.
In all of her ten-adult books, Eulberg depicts strong female characters who do not worry about boys, but rather focus on real problems like identity, self-love and solidarity between girls helping each other and not competing against one another. Readers can connect with the characters and themes of parenthood, friendship, and the meaning of family.
Ally is supported in her journey towards her family’s truth by Neil, a close friend who is interested in her, and Ally’s mother, a selfish and unsympathetic woman when she’s first introduced. As she goes through the challenges of moving in with her mother and adjusting to her new life, her best friend Marian is always ready to help however she can. While Ally’s relationship with her biological sister, Sarah, is strained at first, the blossoming relationship between the sisters who never had the chance to meet in the past is fresh and satisfying. Ultimately Ally adjusts to her new life, and her aspirations motivate her to continue going after what she wants.