Thursday, 6 January 2011

Review: A Beautiful Lie - Irfan Master

**Note: A Beautiful Lie is one of the books I'm reading for both the British Books Challenge and the Debut Author Challenge 2011**

Published: January 3rd 2011, Bloomsbury
Pages: 289 pages, paperback
Acquired: Sent for review

Summary (from Goodreads): An extraordinarily rich debut novel, set in India in 1947 at the time of Partition. Although the backdrop is this key event in Indian history, the novel is even more far-reaching, touching on the importance of tolerance, love and family.

The main character is Bilal, a boy determined to protect his dying father from the news of Partition - news that he knows will break his father's heart.

With great spirit and determination, and with the help of his good friends, Bilal persuades others to collude with him in this deception, even printing false pages of the local newspaper to hide the ravages of unrest from his father. All that Bilal wants is for his father to die in peace. But that means Bilal has a very complicated relationship with the truth.

My review: A Beautiful Lie is the first debut novel I’ve read this year and what a way to start 2011! A Beautiful Lie is absolutely stunning, Master’s writing is superb and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next.

In true Writing from the Tub tradition I shed more than a couple of tears while reading A Beautiful Lie – especially at the climax of the novel. Absolutely heart breaking. If you’ve read this one I’m sure you’ll agree.

Bilal and his friends are so true to life that I couldn’t help but be drawn into their world and feel as though I was going through everything they were. The boys go to great lengths to try and hide news of Partition from Bilal’s dying father and it’s clear that Master undertook so much research while writing the book – including travelling to India, and this really shines through in A Beautiful Lie.

I have to admit that Partition isn’t something I had much knowledge of before reading A Beautiful Lie but I’ve read a lot more about the topic since so I’m really pleased Master is helping to bring this topic to YA fiction, as I haven’t come across it in a YA novel before.

A Beautiful Lie is a gorgeous debut and I’d really recommend it. It will break your heart, it will make you cry but as the close the final pages I promise you’ll do so with a smile on your face.

First line: ‘Everybody lies’.

Read if you liked…: Buddha’s Wife – Gabriel Constans

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3/5
Total: 15/20 (B)

Other links:
Goodreads page link
Book Depository link


  1. Really great review! I reviewed this one for the Bookbag last week and like you, knew very little about Partition but found it really interesting.

  2. Isn't it great when a book can teach about something you know nothing about without making you feel like your reading a text book?! I am looking forward to reading this. But I am going to have to space out all these sad emotional reads.

  3. woow i am litterally dieing to read iit !!

  4. he is my teacherzz bro ufffffffffffft

  5. av read it unyil chapter 12 n i av to write a good review about wot av read so far as my hmwk so am just copyin dis





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