Three childhood friends reunite as adults and attempt to get their lives back on track.
Although they were boarding school roommates, Camilla, Loulou, and Roz couldn’t be more different as adults. Camilla is an unhappily married mother, Loulou is the owner of a successful wine bar, and Roz is a glamorous TV host who refuses to settle down. They’ve been out of touch for years, but when Camilla invites Loulou and Roz to a dinner party at her London home to reconnect, the women discover something shocking: Camilla’s husband is having an affair with Roz, who didn't realize who he was. Overcome with humiliation and anger, Camilla leaves her family, moves in with Loulou, and changes her entire life. As the years go by, the three women try to sort out their messy, complicated love lives, build their careers, and mend their friendships. So many things happen in the book’s nearly 500 pages that it’s almost unbelievable: There are births, deaths, affairs, marriages, divorces, scandals, and even a knife attack. There’s no shortage of drama, but with such a frenetic pace, it’s sometimes difficult to find the time to care about the characters or become emotionally invested in their struggles. Mansell (Sheer Mischief, 2018, etc.) has a troubling tendency to focus on weight, with characters frequently mentioning that Camilla is overweight, as if this is the source of all her problems. Even side characters’ weights are mentioned so often that it’s distracting. Published for the first time in the U.S. after being originally published in the U.K. in 1991, some of the language and many of the attitudes are dated, which makes it hard to get lost in the story.
Readers looking for nonstop drama may enjoy this, but those seeking well-developed characters should look elsewhere.