An Elle Magazine 2019 Best Book of the Year
"A brilliant fable about the lure of lying and the lure of fame. The writing is wonderful." --Joan Silber, National Book Critics Circle and PEN/Faulkner award-winning author of Improvement
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.
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The realization that we live in a world of liars is certainly sobering, but Israeli novelist Ayelet Gundar-Goshen manages to make it extremely entertaining too. Her page-turning novel revolves around teenager Nofar, who is spending the summer scooping ice cream and fantasizing that she’ll finally emerge from the shadow of her incredibly beautiful and popular little sister. But when a washed-up Idol-type star verbally harangues Nofar, all her pent-up anguish erupts—and a misunderstanding snowballs into a national scandal and a shot for Nofar to bask in the spotlight. The Liar pinballs from scene to scene and every character in the book’s large cast has something to hide. Gundar-Goshen’s clear-eyed understanding of human psychology makes her dishy story resonate.
Lies take life in this excellent novel about a young Israeli girl who finds power in deceit. Nofar Shalev is 17, exceedingly unremarkable, and stuck in the shadow of her beautiful younger sister, Maya. She spends her summer evenings working at an ice cream parlor and hopes to be noticed by her high school crush. Instead, she encounters Avishai Milner, a winner of a televised singing contest who is now washed up and without future prospects. After Avishai lashes out verbally at Nofar, the teenage girl flees to the alley behind the shop, and Avishai follows and grabs her, causing Nofar to scream. When asked by police if she had been assaulted, Nofar says yes. This lie snowballs into an unstoppable force, garnering media attention and sweeping up friends and family members along with it as Nofar battles between her building guilt and her fear of rejection if she comes clean. Though some characters fall to the wayside and leave the reader curious as to their purpose in the story, Nofar's internal journey makes up for it. This tender and satisfying coming-of-age story leads readers to question how a split second can change lives.