I read about The False Friend, by Myla Goldberg, in last week's Entertainment Weekly and did what I always do when I find an intriguing review – ripped it out and folded it and put it in my briefcase. Then a friend emailed me today to ask if I'd heard of The False Friend, because she'd heard a compelling interview with the author on Diane Rehm today (here is the whole interview with Myla Goldberg). That's two points on the board for this book – and now it's worthy of an EDIWTB post! (Just a little glimpse into the way this blog comes together…).
The casual savagery of young girls is not an original topic. But Myla Goldberg does a scarily fine job describing the mean dynamic in a clique of five 11-year-olds. Celia — 32, and working for the city of Chicago — is struck by a sudden childhood memory, and starts to believe that she let her mercurial best friend Djuna, long thought to have been abducted, die in the woods alone. She returns home on a quest to convince her parents, and the surviving three friends, of her crime. The scenes of grown-ups struggling to make sense of the past are tense and marvelous. But the ending is frustratingly inert, eliciting a shrug rather than a shudder. B
I read Goldberg's Bee Season several years ago, and I remember it as being a bit dark and sad, but good. I'd like to read this one too.
Anyone read this one yet?