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A Beautiful Lie Paperback – 4 Jan 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens (4 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408805758
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408805756
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Another memorable debut novel . . . Beautifully told this debut is set in 1940's India at the time of the Partition, with themes of tolerance that still resonate today' (The Bookseller)

'A challenging but extremely rewarding book dealing with big themes of truth, prejudice, and friendship, but also the simple love of a boy for his father. The Indian setting conjures up a society on the brink of change, rich in period detail and geographical beauty, and the characters are attractive and vividly drawn. A fascinating introduction to a vital moment in history. Though beware - the ending will make you cry' (Daily Mail)

'This is a refreshing first novel, simply and expertly told. A great debut' (Ink Pellet)

'Irfan Master has created a richly detailed portrait of India in 1947 and peopled it with a collection of well realised characters, each of them almost strong enough to merit a novel in their own right' (Guardian)

Book Description

An atmospheric, quirky and moving debut novel, set in India. Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize and nominated for the 2011 Branford Boase Award

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S on 15 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tinuviel on 7 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
This debut novel is a book wonderful in both its writing and its scope. Bilal is a likeable character whose motivations you can understand and wholly sympathise with, despite the fact they're based on a lie- no matter how beautiful.It is hugely evocative, full of atmospheric descriptions that really help you gain a sense of the time and place during which it's set. There are some heart-warming scenes that make you smile accompanied by gorgeous imagery. However, be warned, there are also heart-breaking moments and an underlying tension and sense of pathos running throughout. Despite the strength of the friendship between Bilal and his friends, despite the good intentions behind the decisions Bilal makes, there is no getting away from the inevitable tragedy of the ending. Ultimately, with the benefit of retrospect, we all know the fate of the India in 'A Beautiful Lie'. Although there is hope for the future, we know there can be no happy ending.
All in all a wonderful, wonderful read that kept me engaged throughout and I found at the end that some of the characters, particularly Bilal and Chota, had taken up residence in my heart. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

A Beautiful Lie
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SJH @ A Dream of Books on 13 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback
I received this book to review and was initially a little unsure about whether or not I was going to enjoy it. Although I am a fan of historical fiction, I tend to read books set against an English or American backdrop, so a story set in India is not normally the sort of thing that I'd choose. However, it was a really interesting read and taught me a lot about a key event in India's history.

The story is based around the partition that took place in India in 1947, when India won freedom from British Colonial rule and Pakistan was created. This led to a split along religious lines. The story is narrated from the point of view of a small Indian boy called Bilal, who wishes to keep the news of the partition from his dying father. He believes that the partition would break his father's heart so he recruits his friends to help him with his lie. I loved the way that Bilal's friends all banded together to support him with his decision. Although religious differences eventually come between some of them, they're best of friends and will do anything at all for Bilal.

I knew nothing at all about the history of India before reading 'A Beautiful Lie' and it was both fascinating and educational learning more about the partition and understanding the repercussions that it's had and the long-term effect it's caused on the people of India. The book was fast-paced and interesting and I was swept along with Bilal's story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dot on 18 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
A Beautiful Lie is Irfan Master's debut novel; it is set in 1947 during the partition of India. Bilal is a young boy whose father is dying; he knows that he does not have long left. Bilal knows that if his father found out about the Partition then he would be heartbroken. So he has to do everything that he can to prevent the news from reaching his father's ears. Saleem and Chota are Bilal's best friends and they do everything that they can to help.
Although Bilal's main focus is to protect his father from the truth; he and his friends cannot help but get caught up in the violence and politics taking place in their country.
Irfan Master is dealing with an extremely serious subject and one that still has great relevancy today. It is written at a level that young adult readers would understand without being patronising. Bilal's love for his father shines out throughout the book. He tells a lie to protect his father but at the same time he must face up to the reality of what is happening in India and how different his country and his place in that country will be once his father has died.
A Beautiful Lie is an excellent debut novel and I think that Irfan Master will be an author to look out for in 2011.
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