Excerpt from The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen X
The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2019, 288 pages
    Aug 2020, 288 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Rachel Hullett
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


THOUGH IT WAS the end of summer, the heat still waited outside front doors along with the morning newspaper, both boding ill. So sequestered in their air-conditioned homes were the people of the city that, when it came time for the seasons to change, they didn't feel the newly autumn-tinged air. And perhaps autumn might have come and gone unnoticed if the long sleeves suddenly appearing in shop windows hadn't announced its arrival.

Standing in front of one of those windows now was a young girl, her reflection looking back at her from the glass—a bit short, a bit freckled. The mannequins peering at her from behind the glass were tall and pretty, and perhaps that was why the girl walked away quickly. A flock of pigeons took flight above her with a surprised flapping of wings. The girl muttered an apology as she continued walking, and the pigeons, having already forgotten what had frightened them, returned to perch on a nearby bench. At the entrance to the bank, a line of people snaked its way to the ATM. A deaf-mute beggar stood beside them, hand extended, and they pretended to be blind. When the girl's gaze momentarily met his, she once again mumbled an apology and hurried on—she didn't want to be late for her shift. As she was about to cross the square, a loud honk made her stop in her tracks and a large bus hurtled angrily past her. A poster on the back wished her a happy New Year. The Rosh Hashanah holiday was still a week away, but the streets were already filled with promises of big sales. Across the street, three girls her age were snapping pictures in front of the fountain, their laughter ricocheting off the paving stones. As she listened, she told herself over and over again, "I don't mind walking alone, I don't mind it at all."

She crossed the square quickly. Inside shops, red-haired saleswomen said, It looks lovely on you, adding, If I were you, I'd take two, as they stole glances at the clock. Bladders bursting, they could barely wait for their breaks. A charming young man stood at the counter, ringing up sales on the cash register with fingers that had run through his boyfriend's hair earlier that morning. Customers left the shops, their swinging bags twisting around each other, creating an urban rustling that was as much a harbinger of autumn as the rustle of leaves falling from treetops.

In the ice-cream parlor next door, the girl went behind the glass counter and began handing spoons of ice cream to those who wanted to taste, knowing that the summer vacation was about to end and no one had yet tasted her, the only girl in her class still a virgin, and next summer, when the fields yellowed, she would be wearing a soldier's army green.

Now she handed an ice-cream cone to the little boy standing in front of her and tried hard to smile as she said for the thousandth time that week, "Here you are." The next person in line asked to taste the fig sorbet. Nofar knew right away that he wouldn't buy fig sorbet. He would only taste it, along with ten other flavors, and in the end he'd ask for chocolate. Nonetheless, she handed him a bite of fig sorbet on a plastic spoon and glanced quickly at the clock above the counter. Only seven more hours to go.

At that very moment, the door opened and they stepped inside. She had been waiting the entire summer for this moment and had even written about it in great detail in her notebook: Yotam would come in and be surprised to see her there. She would offer him ice cream free of charge, and in return he would offer her a ride home on his motorbike. She would say that she still had a few hours left in her shift, and he would say that a few hours wasn't a long time to wait. But when the moment finally arrived, three days before the end of the summer vacation, Yotam didn't come in alone. He was surrounded by his crew of friends. And one of them was Shir, who, until four months ago, had still been Nofar's friend. Nofar's only friend, to be precise.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen . Copyright © 2019 by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen . Excerpted by permission of Little Brown & Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Firekeeper's Daughter
    Firekeeper's Daughter
    by Angeline Boulley
    Angeline Boulley's young adult novel Firekeeper's Daughter follows 18-year-old Daunis — ...
  • Book Jacket: Winter in Sokcho
    Winter in Sokcho
    by Elisa Dusapin
    Our unnamed narrator is a young French-Korean woman who works at a guest house in Sokcho, a popular ...
  • Book Jacket: Second Place
    Second Place
    by Rachel Cusk
    Rachel Cusk's Outline trilogy drew much of its substance from monologues and dialogues that swirled ...
  • Book Jacket: The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
    The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
    by Julietta Henderson
    The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman is the comedic debut novel of writer Julietta Henderson. It ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Girl in His Shadow
by Audrey Blake
The story of one woman who believed in scientific medicine before the world believed in her.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    by Jennifer Saint

    A mesmerizing debut novel about Ariadne, Princess of Crete for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.

  • Book Jacket

    Crossing the River
    by Carol Smith

    A powerful exploration of grief that combines memoir, reportage, and lessons in how to heal.

Who Said...

Never read a book through merely because you have begun it

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!


Solve this clue:

A S I T closet

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.