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.
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Read my Book Review
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Genre: Women's Fiction
Actual Rating: 4 stars
Jane Green has been one of my favorite authors for years. She is one of the authors that actually got me interested in reading back in the day and I am forever grateful for it. Her novels as known to move readers, make them take a deeper look at their own lives, and generally warm their hearts. While I didn't particularly find this one to be heartwarming, I was moved by her writing style and the way she made friendship the most prominent aspect of this novel.
In the Friends We Keep readers will meet Evvie, Maggie, and Topher. After meeting at university, they become inseparable friends which much to their astonishment, lasted a lifetime. There are many ups and downs, years of non communication, but ultimately, they belong together in the end. Jane Green weaves this novel through each POV even though it's told in the 3rd person. We learn of their lives together, apart, and ultimately as they find each other again. It is truly a beautiful story of friendship and I have to give the author credit for the way she made everything seem real to her readers. However, there were a few things in the book that I wish were touched upon more than they were.
Jane touches upon many things issues within the novel and while I appreciate them, I wish she was a bit more in depth with them. For example. Evvie goes through a period where she is a victim of domestic assault. The author tells us about it but doesn't go into enough detail to make it seem like it was truly an issue. I believe it was mentioned in only a chapter. I would have liked to see it become somewhat of a focal issue in Evvie's life. It does after all, affect her future relationships!
Another issue that is discussed in the novel is alcoholism. This issue is sprinkled throughout the Maggie's story and readers are really able to grasp her husbands issue with the booze. However. when he passed away because his liver couldn't handle it anyway, the author glazes over it. I wish there were a little more information about how he came to be diagnosed, how it affected HIM, and ultimately, more of Maggie's views on it.
Finally, Topher has an issue with plagiarism in the last 25% of the book. As a reader, you may have seen similar things within the writing community and just how much it affects the author who plagiarized and those who have BEEN plagiarized. Again, this issue is really glossed over. I get that Topher moved away and was upset that he allowed himself to do so unwittingly, but I wanted to see how it really affected him! There is also an issue of sexual assault and it's merely mentioned instead of explained in detail. I think I would have connected with the characters better if these issues were discussed more in depth.
Despite this all, I am still willing to give Jane Green 4 stars for The Friends We Keep. It well written, interesting, dynamic, and an all around lovely read. Would I recommend it? Absolutely! There were so many good things about this novel that I am unable to let the "flaws" affect how I felt about it overall.
You can find all the latest book reviews I have posted on the blog! I read various genres depending on my mood so there is a little something for any reader. xox Elle xox