The Liar tells the story of Nofar, an unremarkable girl whose whole life changes one summer when she tells a lie that spirals out of control, changing the lives of many people around her.
I am of two, very conflicting minds about this book. First, the positives. Ayelet Gundar-Goshen is a beautiful writer. She has created a beautiful character study, showing us a cast of very different characters that are all fully developed and three-dimensional. She really explores how actions of one person can deeply change the character and lives of another. Also, she deftly talks about problems in Israel without getting political or making the moments feel at all forced. Instead, this novel really feels like a slice of life.
Now for my problems with the book. I really don’t feel like this is the right time for this book. We are in a currently in a climate where women are not being believed when they come forward with accusations of sexual assault and so a book in which the main character fakes a rape doesn’t feel right. I feel like this book could be used as a weapon to show why we shouldn’t believe women. This is a very serious subject and I feel like this book doesn’t handle that fact. There is one character who Nofar interacts with that makes her feel bad about her story but I never felt that she felt the weight of what she was doing enough or that she had changed the way the public would view other women who were actually assaulted.
That said, I would recommend this book for the writing and the characters if you can get past the repercussions of the novel, which I found I wasn’t always able to do.