Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The False Friend by Myla Goldberg

Title: The False Friend
Author: Myla Goldberg
ISBN: 978-0-385-52721-7
Publisher: Double Day Broadway Books
Format: Hardback Book- Trade Paperback
$25.95 HB/ $14.95 Trade Paperback
How I Read It: Trade Paperback ARC

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 Publisher)

My Thoughts:

I had high hopes for this book; unfortunately, I was very disappointed by the time I finished it. The concept was indeed an intriguing one- a group of girls walk home on a forbidden highway, a fight ensues one girl runs into the woods, another girl follows her in, only one comes out, a lie that becomes the truth. While the author could have created this amazing story out of the previous description, I felt that the book was a literary mess, continually circling around a thread without gaining any ground. Almost pointless to read as the issue at hand is never truly addressed and rather than sustaining the plot, she fills the book with one-dimensional characters that offer nothing to the story.

Celia to me came off whiny and the fact that she continuously called her mother ‘mommy’ annoyed me to no end. Then we have the boyfriend, Huck, who not only is a teacher he’s a pothead as well, and apparently Celia has no problem with dating one and he has no problem with getting high at her parents house, even though her brother Jem is a recovering drug-addict. The “friends” offer nothing to novel except that Leeanne is now Lee. Even the missing girl and her mother are annoying.

The characters fell flat and the plot was lost to misguidance. Random things were placed into the novel such as Celia and Huck having phone sex, continuous talk about their dogs, Huck getting high, Jem’s pregnant wife complaining, that in my opinion were just fillers that offered nothing to the story.

For me this book was a poorly composed Lifetime movie where the ending was deleted.

I would love to know your thoughts on this book if you have read it.

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