BOOK REVIEW: FRIENDSHIP by EMILY GOULD

Friendship

How does one explain that they found a book enjoyable and easy to read, while at the same time finding it uncomfortable and difficult to take in, with characters that were realistic and not all that likeable?

That’s the best way I can describe my reaction to this book!

Bev and Amy have been best friends since their first year of college. But now they’re 30 and their lives aren’t exactly what they thought they’d be by this age! They’re living from paycheck to paycheck (and sometimes not even making it that far!). Bev is doing temp work and Amy is plodding along at Yidster, a little known, not often frequented, blog site after a spectacular fall from grace at her previous blog employment some years earlier. There are hints that she gained some minor stardom at this job, and that her decline was very public, and very embarrassing, but this isn’t explored or explained in much detail.

I got the impression that Amy has the upper hand in this friendship, and that although it may seem like an equal partnership, she very much sees herself as quite superior to Bev. I think she feels that she will always be in a better position financially (regardless of her reckless spending and lack of savings), economically, and in both the relationship and employment spheres. It’s true, Amy has a boyfriend, the laid-back (horizontally so) artist Sam, and a permanent job (that she loathes). Bev has neither of these things, and with seemingly very little options on the horizon in all the areas where Amy seems to be thriving, is so down in the dumps she thinks she has hit rock bottom! Until she ‘accidentally’ falls pregnant; then she realises that it is possible to tumble down just a little bit further than she thought!

The two friends decide they need some time out. Amy is unsure that Sam is quite as ready to settle down as she is, and her abhorrent landlord has informed her that he is increasing her rent, yet again, something she knows she cannot afford. So they luckily get the opportunity to house-sit for a weekend. In doing so, they meet the homeowners Sally and Jason and begin a journey where they learn the intricacies of differing relationships and how they can learn from them.

Sally and Jason have been longing for a child, but have so far, after many years of marriage, not been able to conceive. Is it possible that Bev’s unexpected baby could be the answer for all of them? But while they are pursuing this option, they realise that there might be many variations of it. Will the solution be satisfactory to all involved? Is it possible that what Bev perceives as disastrous is actually the thing that will be the making of her, strengthening her and straightening out her life? And where does Amy fit into all of this, or is she just too self-absorbed to feature at all?

They say that no relationship is completely equal, and that there is always one in a partnership who gives more, and one who takes more; one who believes the other needs them more. Who’s who in this friendship, and is the balance about to unexpectedly change?

They say that no relationship is completely equal, and that there is always one in a partnership who gives more, and one who takes more; one who believes the other needs them more. Who’s who in this friendship, and is the balance about to unexpectedly change?

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