the next good book

The Book of Goose

By Yiyun Li


348 pages

What’s it about?

When Agnes receives the news in America that her old friend Fabienne has died she suddenly feels free from her past.  She decides to write about their friendship and what transpired between them those many years ago.

What did it make me think about?

This is a story of friendship, manipulation, exploitation, and storytelling.

Should I read it?

Yiyun Li has a gift.  This is a beautifully crafted story about a pair of girls who are trapped in a life that confines them.  How they choose to try to free themselves from these hidden bonds makes for a thought provoking story. “Fabienne and I had raised ourselves to be the make-believers.”  I am sure Yiyun Li is going to tire of being compared to Elena Ferrante but the similarities are hard to ignore.  This is a also a story of a complicated friendship that is propelled forward by a gifted mind.  Fans of the Neapolitan series by Elena Ferrante are also going to be fans of “The Book of Goose”.


“But were we not, in a sense, two blind girls?  One would walk everywhere as thought not a single mine were buried in the field.  The other would not find the courage to take a step because the whole world was a minefield. Had they not been placed side by side by fate, they would lived out their different lots. But that was not the case for us.  Fabinenne and I were in this world together, and we had only each other’s hands to hold onto.  She had her will. I, my willingness to be led by her will.”

Related books: