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Lilach has it all: a beautiful home in the heart of Silicon Valley, a successful husband and stable marriage, and a teenage son, Adam, with whom she has always felt a particular closeness. Israeli immigrants, the family has now lived in the U.S. long enough that they consider it home. But after a brutal attack on a local synagogue shakes their sense of safety, Adam enrolls in a self-defense class taught by a former Israeli Special Forces officer. There, for the first time, he finds a sense of confidence and belonging.
Then, tragedy strikes again when an African American boy dies at a house party, apparently from a drug overdose. Though he was a high school classmate, Adam claims not to know him. Yet rumors begin to circulate that the death was not accidental, and that Adam and his new friends had a history with Jamal. As more details surface and racial tensions in the community are ignited, Lilach begins to question everything she thought she knew about her son. Could her worst fears be possible? Could her quiet, reclusive child have had something to do with Jamal’s death?
Praised for “instilling emotional depth into a thriller plot” (New York Times Book Review on Waking Lions), Ayelet Gundar-Goshen once again brings together taut, page-turning suspense, superb writing, and razor-sharp insight into the fault lines of race, identity, and privilege and the dark secrets we hide from those we love most.
"An ethically complex literary thriller . . . Gundar-Goshen effectively employs the long history of tension between Jews and the Nation of Islam, as well as the latent prejudices of her characters, to cast doubt and build suspense . . . This brainy suburban suspense novel is both taut and timely."Publishers Weekly
“Unsettling . . . Gundar-Goshen presents the reader with glimpses into other stories . . . resolving some mysteries but leaving others to reverberate beyond the final page.”Margaret Quamme, Booklist (starred review)
"Gundar-Goshen navigates the landscape of racial prejudice, particularly the tension between Jews and the Nation of Islam, through the eyes of an Israeli immigrant who is already scarred by experiences of terrorism in Israel. . . Gundar-Goshen solidifies her brand with this ambitious novel, her first set in the United States. Flawed but relatable characters and off-the-charts emotional intensity with a sharply evoked Israeli cultural perspective."Kirkus Reviews
“Razor-sharp writing and exhausting drama that ends with great surprise . . . Gundar-Goshen trades in the peril of unexpected consequences that etch the future with foreboding, then, with the clang of a leg snare, there’s no escaping.”Jeffrey Mannix, Durango Telegraph
“Propulsive and psychologically complex"Andrew Esensten, Jewish News of Northern California
Praise for The Liar:
"Evocative... Moving... Gundar-Goshen writes sensitively of inner turmoil and loneliness."Teddy Wayne, New York Times Book Review
"Riveting... Rich and delicious... I slipped into The Liar like falling into a velvet milkshake... While Gundar-Goshen paces it like a thriller, you read The Liar for its playfulness and for its wisdom about truth and lies and guilt."Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times
"A poignant, thought-provoking tale of the #MeToo era."People
Praise for Waking Lions:The Guardian
"Begins with such velocity that you can't put it down."
"Riveting... Propulsive... Walking Lions yokes a crime story to thorny ethical issues in ways reminiscent of Donna Tartt and Richard Price."Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
"A sophisticated and darkly ambitious novel... Gundar-Goshen is adept at instilling emotional depth into a thriller plot."Ayelet Tsabari, New York Times Book Review
" Vividly imagined, clever, and morally ambiguous... A smart and disturbing exploration of the high price of walking away."Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air
"Immensely suspenseful... Gundar-Goshen's alarmingly realistic and superbly written novel will leave readers wondering what they might be capable of under duress."Jessica Howard, Shelf Awareness
- On Sale
- Aug 15, 2023
- Page Count
- 272 pages
- Little, Brown and Company