Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Armchair Novel Review - The False Friend

The False Friend
by Myla Goldberg

Paperback, 272 pages
Also available as an unabridged audio CD, unabridged audiobook download, eBook and a hardcover

Myla Goldberg is the bestselling author of Bee Season and Wickett's Remedy. In The False Friend, she captures the largely internal struggle of Celia - a woman suddenly haunted by the memory of the disappearance of her best friend twenty years before, and her own role in it.

Celia returns to her home town, leaving her boyfriend in Chicago and installing herself in her childhood home while she tries to piece together that fateful day, and convince others of her treachery.

She soon finds that people don't necessarily believe her recounting of what had happened years ago, that in fact each has their own set of memories and beliefs regarding not only the incident, but also Celia's own behaviour at the time.

The False Friend is an interesting portrayal of the fluidity of memory and perception of self. It explores the excruciating cruelty of young girls, balanced with the uncertainty of identity. I did find that I was sometimes distracted by the volume of metaphors, fancy words, and the sometimes self-indulgent neuroses of the main character, but the novel won me over with its poetic fugue state of a woman trying to understand who she was, and, ultimately, who she is.

Click here to read from the book.