Originally published December 2014
Any friendship worth its salt is going to have its ups and downs.
Such is the case with Amy and Bev, in Emily Gould’s book, “Friendship.” The tale of two 20-somethings now becoming 30-somethings, not married, and with flatlining careers in NYC, Gould crafts a lovely yarn that reads light but isn’t without depth. In fact, it tackles some of the heavier stuff not often included in friendship rom-coms—when the relationship goes south, in a disastrous way.
In fact, what comes to mind is “Bridesmaids,” a wonderful movie about what can go wrong in a friendship (to the point of being uncomfortable to watch)—and if there is a way back into the friendship after lines are crossed.
The book starts off with the ball in Amy’s court—decent, artsy boyfriend, a steady job and cool digs. Meanwhile, Bev is living paycheck to paycheck on temp work, still mourning the end of the relationship she thought was “it.” But fortunes often change, and in this case, after 250+ pages, Bev appears to be moving forward with her life as Amy is flaming out.
It would be interesting to know what others think of Amy and Bev, as while the book starts out setting up Bev as the needier of the two women, it’s Amy that has the Kristen Wiig-bridal shower-meltdown moment. And while a single night of reckless behavior alters Bev’s life forever, Amy pulls a few stunts that could leave readers’ jaws dropping. (Although, to be honest, I have to give it to her on the job front. I’ve been where she’s been, and the level of “WTF?!?” she was dealing with makes it completely understandable when she walks out.)
I’m not sure if the conflict feels completely resolved at the end of the book, but that’s fairly realistic, isn’t it? Have you ever lost a good friend? A best friend? And then, after a connection is re-established, it really is never the same? Maybe the point is to recognize that you can’t go back, but you can move forward. And even if the relationship isn’t what it was, it’s still valuable. And special. And worth it.