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Extended Audio Sample The False Friend Audiobook, by Myla Goldberg Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (1,900 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Myla Goldberg Narrator: Myla Goldberg Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9780307751294
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fascinating and fresh…Written with psychological shrewdness, generosity, and a sure hand.”

    Washington Post

  • “A compelling exploration of the fallibility of memory, explored through richly drawn characters.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Suspenseful and smart…A timely take on the fraught emotional terrain of American schoolgirls.”

    People

  • “Goldberg’s intelligence and psychological acuity are evident on every page…She’s a smart, witty, highly observant writer, and in her latest, the author’s prose is as exceptional as ever.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Cinematically weaving together Celia’s uneasy present with her disturbing past, Goldberg explores the intensity and volatility of friendships between young girls as well as the slipperiness of fidelity and memory.”

    Village Voice

  • “Personal and authentic…Deep and emotionally complex…Goldberg’s portrayal of Celia and Djuna’s friendship is insightful and powerfully resonant.”

    Associated Press

  • “Goldberg does a scarily fine job describing the mean dynamic in a clique of five 11-year-olds…Tense and marvelous.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “The term mean girls is elevated to a new level in Goldberg’s moody novel…This is a layered, understated novel about the complex, ambiguous nature of memory and its effect on the dynamics of relationships.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Selected for the October 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kjersti Egerdahl | 2/19/2014

    " Reading and reviewing this for the ELLE magazine Reader's Prize! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yolanda | 2/18/2014

    " Myla has a perfect way of explaining and capturing the relationships between friends. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Suzze Tiernan | 2/4/2014

    " Very readable but I'm not sure I got anything out of it. Was there any resolution? What was I supposed to read into it? Maybe I read it too fast and din't get the deep parts? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele | 2/1/2014

    " It was a pretty good story, but it kind of went nowhere. I kept thinking that something was going to happen, but it really didn't. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 angie | 1/21/2014

    " such a disappointment after "bee season" which i loved "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 1/17/2014

    " I really liked this book, but the ending mystified me. Anyone else scratching their head? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kerri | 1/13/2014

    " There was potential with the story line, but it never went anywhere. There was a lot of mundane detail that made me think there was relevancy but there wasn't. This book was a waste of my time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bryan | 1/9/2014

    " 'Paternalism at any age is condescending.' (p. 42) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tara | 12/19/2013

    " I didn't care for this book. It was very slow, I was always waiting for something to happen. I reached the end and nothing happened. Don't waste your time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sherree | 11/26/2013

    " I didn't much care for this book. I kept thinking things would pick up and it would seem like they were just about to, and then they just wouldn't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie Burditt | 10/10/2013

    " I was a little disappointed in not knowing what truley happened to the missing girl. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hildy DeFrisco | 8/30/2013

    " I enjoyed this book but the ending was bit abrupt for me. Good for discussion though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diana Murphy | 6/16/2013

    " Goldberg captures the casual cruelty of elementary school-aged girls but doesn't do all that much with regard to the story. Not sorry to have read the book but will likely forget that I have. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcia A | 6/16/2013

    " Ayelet Waldman liked this novel more than I did. It's somewhat painful to read about middle school girls' bullying, even if it occurred years ago, as in this story. I would recommend many other novels over this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pam | 2/26/2013

    " False promise for a great novel. The title fooled me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karly | 11/27/2012

    " It's interesting to a point that draws you in but the writing isn't anything noteworthy and the plot revolves around one character moping about something that happened to her in the past, not the most exciting book ever. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wendi Olson | 3/26/2012

    " Didn't care for her writing. The plot was so-so, good thing it was a quick read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rebekah | 1/11/2012

    " I do not get the big deal about Myla Goldberg, honestly. Her writing stinks and her story was disjointed and hard to follow. I gave this book two stars because I always love reading about nostalgia, no matter how bad the writing or lame the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 8/1/2011

    " I wish the author had gone just a little further and showed if the main character's future was changed by her examination of the past. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meaghan Murray | 6/24/2011

    " It was enjoyable, but i was waiting for more at the end. It was lacking an ending and I wanted more information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 5/21/2011

    " This book is beautifully written and has a stunning ending that is not hammered home. It would probably be a good read for parents who are concerned about bullying, one way or another. The reader slowly learns the story as the characters are developed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sherree | 5/11/2011

    " I didn't much care for this book. I kept thinking things would pick up and it would seem like they were just about to, and then they just wouldn't. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tara | 5/8/2011

    " I didn't care for this book. It was very slow, I was always waiting for something to happen. I reached the end and nothing happened. Don't waste your time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yolanda | 4/30/2011

    " Myla has a perfect way of explaining and capturing the relationships between friends. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Julie | 4/25/2011

    " Why? Why did I read this book-much less finish it? Why did the author write it? I really can't figure out why I stuck with it. A waste of time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daphnar | 4/24/2011

    " I liked this book. Although nominally about the way that girls can be mean to each other, it is also a interesting study on the vagaries of memory. How do we reconcile our past actions with the sense that we are basically good? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 angie | 4/20/2011

    " such a disappointment after "bee season" which i loved "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 4/13/2011

    " While not as strong as The Bee Season, I very much enjoyed this story about a woman who suddenly has a memory from the past that threatens to destroy her life as she's been living it. 20 years ago her best friend was kidnapped...or was she? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sarah | 4/12/2011

    " I really didn't like it. Kept reading to find out what really happened and after reading the last pages several times, I'm still not sure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcia | 4/6/2011

    " Ayelet Waldman liked this novel more than I did. It's somewhat painful to read about middle school girls' bullying, even if it occurred years ago, as in this story. I would recommend many other novels over this one. "

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About the Author
Author Myla GoldbergMyla Goldberg is the author of several books, including The False Friend, Wickett’s Remedy, and the bestselling, critically acclaimed Bee Season, which was widely translated and adapted to film. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.