Monday, November 8, 2010

Review - The False Friend

·       Author: Myla Goldberg
·       Hardcover: 272 pages
·       Publisher: Doubleday (Oct 5 2010)
·       Language: English
·       ISBN-10: 0385527217
·        ISBN-13: 978-0385527217

Product Description (from Amazon)

From the bestselling author of Bee Season comes an astonishingly complex psychological drama with a simple setup: two  eleven-year-old girls, best friends and fierce rivals, go into the woods. Only one comes out . . .

Leaders of a mercurial clique of girls, Celia and Djuna reigned mercilessly over their three followers. One after­noon, they decided to walk home along a forbidden road. Djuna disappeared, and for twenty years Celia blocked out how it happened.

The lie Celia told to conceal her misdeed became the accepted truth: everyone assumed Djuna had been abducted, though neither she nor her abductor was ever found. Celia’s unconscious avoidance of this has meant that while she and her longtime boyfriend, Huck, are professionally successful, they’ve been unable to move forward, their relationship falling into a rut that threatens to bury them both.

Celia returns to her hometown to confess the truth, but her family and childhood friends don’t believe her. Huck wants to be supportive, but his love can’t blind him to all that contra­dicts Celia’s version of the past.

Celia’s desperate search to understand what happened to Djuna has powerful consequences. A deeply resonant and emotionally charged story, The False Friend explores the adults that children become—leading us to question the truths that we accept or reject, as well as the lies to which we succumb.

My Take


I found this book to be a quick but good read.  I found it rather hard to sympathize with Celia’s dilemma as she doesn’t seem to realize that she was actually a very nasty fact when in partnership with Djuna she was quite the bully!  And in the present day, she is stringing along her long suffering boyfriend Huck. It was a very interesting story though.  I tried to remember back to events in my childhood and my memories are sketchy at best so I can see how hard it is to remember events of your youth correctly. Celia searched for the truth though she has successfully repressed these memories for 20 years.  She confronts her parents and childhood “friends” searching for the truth.  These emotional confrontations provide the backbone of the book as does her increased self-awareness about what type of child she really was. I was pleased with the ending and recommend this book by the acclaimed author of Bee Season, Myla Goldberg.

1 comment:

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