The Book of Goose

by Yiyun Li is a complex novel about adolescent friendship akin to Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend. Growing up in the countryside in post-World War II France Agnès and Fabienne use their wild imaginations to entertain themselves. Fabienne dictates macabre stories to Agnès and, as a prank, they decide to try to get it published, with Agnès standing in as the only author. Improbably, the book shakes up the Parisian literary scene and Agnès is celebrated as a child prodigy. Many years later, living in America, Agnès learns of Fabienne’s untimely death and muses on the effect that her literary fame, and the hoax that produced it, had on both girls’ lives.