Rosenfeld (Why She Went Home, 2004, etc.) subversively suggests that best-friendship is as complicated and co-dependent as the average romance.
Wendy is solid, responsible, gainfully employed, attractive and married. Daphne is erratic, emotional, beautiful and spoiled. Since they bonded in college 15 years ago, their relationship has chartered a steady course: Daphne provides the excitement; Wendy is the clean-up crew. But suddenly things have shifted. Daphne has finally left the older, married Mitch (cause of many late-night, suicide-threatening phone calls to Wendy) and clicked with hotshot lawyer Jonathan. This coincides with Wendy’s marriage sinking into bored annoyance; fixated on her failure to conceive, she has turned husband Adam into little more than a sperm donor. After their lovely wedding, Jonathan and Daphne find a beautiful Brooklyn brownstone to renovate, just as Wendy and Adam are evicted and have to move into an even dingier apartment than the one they are leaving. Then Daphne gets pregnant, just like that! It’s really more than Wendy can bear. Smugly happy with the relationship when her friend was needy, she’s ashamed to realize that she doesn’t much like the less-dysfunctional Daphne. Her reaction to good fortune reveals to Wendy how petty she is; readers are likely to agree, and her unpleasantness is a problem. Implying that such power plays lie at the heart of female friendships (other peripheral pals are also skewered and roasted), Rosenfeld isn’t quite trenchant enough in her observations for the novel to be as unnerving as she intends.
A black comedy that could have been sharper and funnier.