THE FRIENDS WE KEEP by Jane Green

THE FRIENDS WE KEEP

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Throughout college, Evvie, Maggie, and Topher were the best of friends. But time and the mistakes that come with simply being human may strain their love to the breaking point.

The daughter of a hardworking Jamaican immigrant and an abusive American banker, Evvie Williams grew up a child actor, ironically starring as an adorable daughter in The Perfect Family. That’s when her struggles with weight began, as her mother put her on her first diet at age 7. After her father hit her mother one too many times, she and her mother pulled up stakes and moved to London. Years of yo-yo dieting later, she heads off to college, where she meets Maggie Hallwell, the redheaded only daughter in a raucous and somewhat posh family from Sussex. They discover Topher, the son of the impossibly glamorous Joan Winthrop, while shopping for dorm furniture. Immediately smitten with each other, the three are inseparable, even rooming together for the last years of college. Of course, there’s also Evil Ben, so dubbed because he never smiled at Evvie, even when she began bartending at the same local pub. Nonetheless, Maggie falls head over heels in love with Ben at first sight. Green (The Sunshine Sisters, 2017, etc.) masterfully switches from one character's perspective to another's, devastatingly sketching their successes, showing how they're riddled with pain, and setting them on a collision course. Maggie eventually marries her beloved Ben, yet their seemingly perfect marriage is fractured by a lack of children and Ben’s catastrophic drinking, which Maggie desperately tries to keep secret. Topher embarks on a successful acting career and finds love. Yet he’s also struggling with a secret about his past. Evvie has not only lived a glamorous life as a supermodel, but also raised her son, Jack. And she, too, hides a few secrets. Thirty years later, the friends reunite, but one of their secrets threatens to destroy everything.

Love, grief, and forgiveness illuminate this compelling summer read.

Pub Date: June 4th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-399-58334-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2019




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