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Synopses & Reviews
Rachel Clines debut novel, What to Keep, was praised as “striking . . . lovely” (Entertainment Weekly), “tangibly real” (Los Angeles Times), and “eminently readable” (Salon). Set in 1990s Hollywood, My Liar portrays the complex connection between two talented women, each striving to realize her own vision of success in work and in love.
Annabeth Jensen, thirty-three, is a film editor. A native Minnesotan, she is most comfortable playing nice and working behind the scenes, even after ten years in Los Angeles. Then she crosses paths with up-and-coming director Laura Katz. Self-confident, assertive, and alluring, Laura seems to be the perfect mentor and the ideal best friend–especially after she hires Annabeth to edit her new film, Trouble Doll.
Yet as Annabeth cuts and recuts the film that both women hope will assure their futures, she finds herself wanting creative control almost as badly as she craves Lauras approval. Meanwhile, Laura, who trusts almost no one (certainly not her slippery producer, her brittle screenwriter, or her wayward husband), finds herself increasingly reliant on Annabeth. And when Trouble Doll emerges from their collaboration, uncomfortable truths about both womens lives are forced into the light.
Rachel Cline illuminates the world of moviemaking with keen insight and wry wit. But My Liar looks far beyond the HOLLYWOOD sign. Its real subject is self-deception–in friendship, art, and life–and the enmeshed nature of communication and competition between women.
Praise for My Liar:
“Veteran screenwriter Clines second offering confirms her ability to expertly render complex characters entangled in uneasy alliances.”–Booklist
“My Liar is a seductive charmer of a novel–funny, knowing, poignant, (inclusively) hip and gratifyingly adult at the same time. It is impossible not to be drawn in immediately to the various dramas at the book's center, including the main character's adolescent-crush of a friendship with the glamorous and tough-as-nails director she works for. This is one of the most enjoyable novels I've read in an age.”–Daphne Merkin, author of Enchantment
“Looking with an outsiders fresh eye on that elusive place where Hollywood and Los Angeles–dreams and reality–intersect, Rachel Cline gives us an entirely new story of female friendships and careers in the movie business. This book shines as an architectural, literary, cinematic discovery.”–Carolyn See, author of There Will Never Be Another You
“My Liar is Rachel Clines tender, rueful tale of complicated people in a complicated city. Clines characters are wonderfully real, and through them she makes a case for kindness, self-forgiveness, and artistic integrity. A terrific read.”–Martha Moody, author of The Office of Desire
“In My Liar, Rachel Cline succeeds at being funny and tragic, satiric and deeply sympathetic, often in the same breath. With assured and compelling insight into the world of filmmaking–and into the fickleness of the human heart–Cline has written a beautifully balanced work, at once deftly entertaining and deeply felt.”–Katharine Noel
"Friendship, Hollywood-style, is the subject of Cline's underpowered second novel (after her well-received What to Keep). Mousy film editor Annabeth Jensen and chic, ambitious indie director Laura Katz, both in their 30s, meet at an industry party. Annabeth, who has a dark past ('the mostly absent alcoholic father, the raging mother'), is between jobs, and Laura is looking for a producer for her new project. Annabeth and Laura become unlikely friends and together begin prepping the feature, Trouble Doll, 'about a girl from the Midwest who comes to L.A. to find fame and fortune and winds up dead on the side of the road.' But as soon as the movie goes into production, the women's friendship shifts, with Annabeth feeling more like just another employee than a confidante. How Annabeth deals with a grand betrayal of their friendship forms the dramatic crux of this novel, but Annabeth's attempt to reassert control over her life may come too late; her defining (and not overly gripping) feature is her grinding insecurity, and it eventually tiptoes into maudlin territory. This novel is likely too meek to leave a lasting mark in the pantheon of Hollywood fiction." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The author of "What to Keep" delivers a brilliant psychological portrait of an intense friendship between two young women who love and use each other at the same time, in a dramatic story set in 1990s Hollywood.
About the Author
Rachel Cline, a native and current resident of Brooklyn, lived in Los Angeles from 1990 to 1999. During that time she wrote screenplays and teleplays, designed interactive media, and taught screenwriting at USC. Her first novel, What to Keep, was published in 2004.
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