The false friend : a novel
Eleven-year-olds Celia Durst and Djuna Pearson are best friends, queen bees, and mean girls, as likely to turn on each other as the wannabes and hangers-on who vie for their favor. Until one day after school, when Djuna gets into a stranger's brown sedan and disappears forever.
Twenty years later, Celia is suddenly overcome by a long-repressed memory that packs a wallop. There was no brown sedan, there was no stranger. Celia remembers that the story she told their friends, parents, and the police wasn't the truth, that something very different happened to Djuna that day in the woods.
But when she returns to her hometown to confess her role in the tragedy, she discovers that no one else seems to remember Djuna's disappearance - or their friendship- the way that she does.
Goldberg (Bee Season) turns in a story about bullying, unhealthy childhood friendships, and the unreliability of our memories that is both penetrating and thought-provoking. Readers who enjoy this book might also like Laura Lippman's latest novel, I'd Know You Anywhere, about a woman who is psychologically manipulated by the man who kidnapped her when she was a teenager.