I just recently started reading Myla Goldberg’s latest novel, The False Friend, and so far I like it. This book didn’t immediately capture my attention as did her debut novel, The Bee Season, but instead grew on me gradually. I’m now over a third into the book, and I’m now enmeshed in the narrative. What has been most striking is the mystery that lies at the heart of the story, at least the mystery as it stands in the first third of the novel. For the longest time, we’re not told about the specifics of Celia’s relationship with her childhood friend, Djuna, especially regarding the latter’s disappearance. At first, this narrative lacuna seemed to me more of a hindrance than anything. We’re thrown into Celia’s unsteady world so quickly in the opening of the novel that it’s a little bit disorienting. I felt as if I didn’t really have a grasp on what I was reading because of these plot holes. (They didn’t seem like the inviting kind of gaps.) But what starts out as a hurdle actually evolves into an impetus for reading further. The mystery became more seductive, more elaborate. And I like the fact that we don’t really begin to get much detail surrounding Celia’s dilemma until a third of the way into the book. I just hope that the remainder of this narrative engages me in a similar manner.
No False Start
- Filed under: Fiction,