REVIEW: The Friends We Keep by Jane Green

Title: The Friends We Keep
Author: 
Jane Green
Publication Date: 
June 4, 2019
Format: 
eARC
Source: 
Edelweiss+
Genre: 
Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Rating:  4 ⭐️’s

The Friends We Keep is the heartwarming and unforgettable new novel from Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of The Sunshine Sisters and The Beach House. 

Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known one another since college. Their friendship was something they swore would last forever. Now years have passed, the friends have drifted apart, and they never found the lives they wanted–the lives they dreamed of when they were young and everything seemed possible.

Evvie starved herself to become a supermodel but derailed her career by sleeping with a married man.

Maggie married Ben, the boy she fell in love with in college, never imagining the heartbreak his drinking would cause.

Topher became a successful actor, but the shame of a childhood secret shut him off from real intimacy.

By their thirtieth reunion, these old friends have lost touch with one another and with the people they dreamed of becoming. Together again, they have a second chance at happiness . . . until a dark secret is revealed that changes everything.

The Friends We Keep is about how despite disappointments we’ve had or mistakes we’ve made, it’s never too late to find a place to call home. 

Review

Many years ago, when I was first married, I read my first Jane Green novel, Jemima J and fell in love with her writing. Since that time, I’ve read a handful of Jane Green’s novels, but I’ve drifted away from her women’s fiction, and fell into a bit of a romance vortex, reading many contemporary romances with strong alpha males, and beautiful, intriguing heroines. I’d forgotten the joy that can come from reading a good contemporary fiction book, and I’m so glad I was reminded of it as I fell into the pages of The Friends We Keep.

The Friends We Keep centers around three friends from university: Maggie, Evvie, and Topher. Unlike the romance books I’ve been reading lately, friendship is at the center of this story, and it is all the better for it. Evvie and Maggie meet those first few days of university, when everyone is scared, nervous, and trying to find themselves. They quickly find Topher, the missing point to their trio of friendship, and in this odd little group of personalities, they find their home. Unable to survive university without each other, they find themselves living together, and creating a cozy, little life together. But all good things must come to an end, and they soon find themselves going their separate ways, and creating their own lives, all while slowly drifting apart. It isn’t until their fifties, that these three friends find themselves at a a crossroads, where the only people they can turn to are each other.

Told over a number of years, The Friends We Keep moves between the three narrators, telling us bits and pieces of their lives both together and apart. While the book does center around their friendship, it is not without the romantic element, or the drama that often comes with relationships. There are secrets and lies amongst the three that could topple their friendship, or in the end, bring them closer together. I loved the layout of this story, and despite the fact that it wasn’t action packed, or overly plot driven, and still moved at a good pace, and never found myself bored with the story or the happenings going on around the three friends. Everything that happened had a purpose, and while I had some things figured out much before they happened, I still enjoyed the book tremendously.

The biggest lesson that we learn from The Friends We Keep, and Jane Green’s exquisite writing is that ultimately, good friends are the backbones of our lives. And without these friends, we will often times feel lost and alone in this sea of life. It teaches us how secrets and deception can quickly ruin a friendship, and how we can overcome these derisions in our lives. This book was written to not only give us the warm feels of friendship, but to also cause us to think about our own friends, and the roles that they play in our lives.

Overall, I was thoroughly entertained by The Friends We Keep, and I’d recommend it to any love of Green’s writing, or woman’s fiction in general!

Rating: 4 Stars

About the Author

Jane Green is the author of twenty novels, including seventeen New York Times bestsellers, one cookbook, and various short stories.

She is published in over 25 languages, and has over ten million books in print worldwide.

She has been part of the ABC News team, has had her own radio show on BBC Radio London, and has made regular appearances on TV and radio.

She contributes to a number of newspapers and magazines, and has a weekly column in The Lady magazine, England’s longest running weekly magazine.

A graduate of the International Culinary Institute in New York, Green is an avid cook, amateur decorator, and passionate gardener. She is also a regular storyteller for The Moth.

A resident of Westport, Connecticut, she lives there with her husband, a small menagerie of animals, and (too) many children.

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