Summary and book reviews of The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen X
The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
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  • Published:
    Sep 24, 2019, 288 pages

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Book Summary

From the award-winning author of Waking Lions, a provocative novel about how one mistake can have a thousand consequences

Nofar is an average teenage girl---so average, in fact, that she's almost invisible. Serving customers ice cream all summer long, she is desperate for some kind of escape.

But one afternoon, a terrible lie slips from her tongue. And suddenly everyone wants to talk to her: the press, her schoolmates, and even the boy upstairs. He is the only one who knows the truth, and he is demanding a price for his silence.

Then Nofar meets Raymonde, an elderly immigrant whose best friend has just died. Raymonde keeps her friend alive the only way she knows how, by inhabiting her stories. But soon, Raymonde's lies take on a life of their own.

Written with propulsive energy, dark humor, and deep insight, The Liar reveals the far-reaching consequences of even our smallest choices, and explores the hidden corners of human nature to reveal the liar, and the truth-teller, in all of us.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

The Guardian (UK)
Gundar-Goshen skillfully explores various dynamics of power—sexual, coercive, authoritative, familial—and portrays with great compassion and insight the humiliation, loneliness, and rage of society's outsiders. A perceptive and exquisitely observed novel, The Liar should win Gundar-Goshen a wide international readership.

Publishers Weekly
This tender and satisfying coming-of-age story leads readers to question how a split second can change lives.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The author unfurls her ironic fable—simultaneously timeless and contemporary—from a God's-eye view, with captivating authority and in lush prose...A psychological page-turner, rich in setting, character, and wisdom.

Author Blurb Joan Silber, National Book Critics Circle and PEN/Faulkner award-winning author of Improvement
This is a brilliant fable about the lure of lying and the lure of fame. The writing is wonderful—I was impressed and delighted at every turn. I came out feeling how much I'd learned from it—its astute way of being cynical and kindly and farsighted all at once.

Author Blurb Elinor Lipman, author of Good Riddance and The Inn at Lake Devine
Is it possible to marvel at/enjoy/admire/every page of a novel? I swear to a Yes, in the case of the joy-read that is Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's The Liar. It takes a rare skill to create characters who are all at once sympathetic and unforgivable—beautifully brought to life in writing that is both darkly funny and profound. What a talent! What a wonderful book.

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