From my list on featuring complex female friendships.
Who am I?
I love to read and write about complex characters and particularly the “unlikeable” female character. Many readers connect with my characters because they are flawed—they don’t always think or do what we want them to, or what we think they should do, which is often (frustratingly) the case with the real-life people we love and care about. Real, complex people exist in real, complex relationships, including friendships that don’t always serve them—or that do serve them, but in unconventional or superficially unclear ways. I think that reading about contradictory, inconsistent, and confused characters in relationships helps us to be kinder and more empathetic people—and, quite possibly, better friends.
Genevieve's book list on featuring complex female friendships
Why did Genevieve love this book?
Friendship takes work. These ongoing, necessary maintenance efforts are not the dramatic material of most friendship novels, but this book is all the more admirable for examining its realities.
This book tells the story of May, an independent, not unhappy but somewhat lonely woman on the brink of 40, who hasn’t made much effort with her far-flung friends—or any friends—in years. Presented with a 30-day leave from her job as a gardener at a university, she makes plans to visit four old friends for a few days each.
May is warmly welcomed, though the reunions are often stilted, sometimes awkward, and that’s what makes them honest: you can’t skip the hard parts when you’re learning a new rhythm, even with an old friend. Post-pandemic, this is an especially good book for people trying to find their way back to IRL friendships.