Published 20th September HQ Stories
Imagine the worse thing a friend could ever do.
This is worse.
When Mel receives an unexpected email from her oldest friend Abi, it brings back memories she thought had been buried forever. Their friendship belonged in the past. To those carefree days at university.
But Abi is in trouble and needs Mel’s help.
Inviting her to stay with her family is the least she can do.
Just for a bit while she sorts herself out.
After all, friends look out for each other don’t they?
I was lucky enough to meet Adele Parks in the summer when she was ‘pitching’ her book to readers, she spoke about the worse thing a friend could do, agreed with my suggestion and then told me this was worse, much worse. Yes, of course I was intrigued!
So, what’s it about then? Abi and Mel best friends in university but as is often the case, have lost touch over the 17 intervening years. Mel is now happily married with children, while Abi has found success in America working in TV. When Abi gets in touch, in crisis and needing a friend Mel remembers the highlights of their friendship and welcomes her into her home.
Abi is wealthy and beautiful, envy inducing to many women and this instills a sense of inadequacy in Mel’s otherwise happy and content life. But these women have their own secrets and in this case of ‘friends reunited’ all is most definitely not as it first seems.
This book is terrifically written, perfect contemporary fiction in the ‘chick lit’ genre. I liked both women, I empathised with Mel’s desire for Abi’s magnetic glamour, despite a very happy home and work life, that wish for the other life, the grass is always greener. This was something that resonated with me, insofar as despite achieving all that my university self wished for, those university days were such fun. And I think the author has tapped into this feeling and then magnified it with Abi’s charisma, making her ‘circle’ a very desirable place to be, as a student and in adulthood too, at least for Mel. The characters were well created and importantly to me, all authentic. As the story progressed things took a somewhat darker turn and Adele Parks was correct, this was worse than I imagined, much worse!
I can’t say too much more about the plot without spoilers and seriously, no one likes a spoiler right? The book is written from multiple points of view including, Abi and Mel, plus Mel’s husband Ben, who not surprisingly is less enthralled with Abi as a houseguest that has outstayed her welcome. Written entirely in the third person there was some overlap allowing the reader to gain insight into the same situation from different perspectives which, although slightly disorientating, I liked a lot. The story is told over a 5 month period, where trust me a lot can happen. The chapters are relatively short and therefore easy to just read ‘one more chapter’.
Published last Thursday this was a book I liked a lot, an easy but engaging read with a nice amount of shock factor plus some decent twists along the way. Recommended by me? Of course!
Thanks as always for reading.