The False Friend by Myla Goldberg

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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.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Myla Goldberg

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Myla Goldberg lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, Jason Little.
Published October 5, 2010 by Anchor. 274 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The False Friend

Kirkus Reviews

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Picking up the current concerns about bullying and "mean girls," Goldberg (Wickett's Remedy, 2005, etc.) follows a young woman tracking down a guilty memory from her childhood.

Sep 21 2010 | Read Full Review of The False Friend

The New York Times

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“The sight of a vintage VW bug dredged Djuna Pearson from memory.”

Oct 22 2010 | Read Full Review of The False Friend

The New York Times

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Myla Goldberg’s heroine is haunted by a decades-old betrayal.

Oct 22 2010 | Read Full Review of The False Friend

Star Tribune

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In Goldberg's third novel, a woman's new memory of a horrific childhood event brings her back to her hometown to explore what happened. Unfortunately, the book seems as stuck as the main character is for most of the novel.

Oct 09 2010 | Read Full Review of The False Friend

Book Reporter

Finally, Celia meets with Djuna's mother, a woman she long admired, and finds that it may be impossible to hold on to the story she constructed of Djuna's disappearance.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The False Friend

Dallas News

... The hothouse of adolescent female friendship is the subject of Myla Goldberg's
third novel, The False Friend, in which the memory of a girl's ...

Nov 21 2010 | Read Full Review of The False Friend

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

She remembers walking with Djuna, the two of them having a fight, and then Djuna falling into a hole (like an abandoned well) while Celia just walks away and leaves her there, never telling anyone.

Oct 08 2010 | Read Full Review of The False Friend

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