So our July book for our book club was Between Friends by Debbie Macomber. We decided that we needed something a bit uplifting, something that was pure fiction, perhaps with a romance thrown in. We have been meeting since February, and with the exception of Water for Elephants, we haven’t had good luck with our selections.
So someone mentioned that Between Friends was on her to-read list. We found the book and decided that it was just what we were looking for. I went home and downloaded the book to my Kindle, and finished it in two days.
This book is not written as a novel, so to speak. It is made up of a series of letters, telegrams, birth and death announcements, and eventually e-mails, centered around two women, who have been friends since the first grade, and remain close friends through their whole lives, through a series of ups and downs and marriages, children, sicknesses, re-locations, etc.
The two main characters are Jillian and Lesley. Jillian comes from an upper class family, her father is a judge, and she never had to want for anything in her whole life. Lesley comes from a lower class family with an abusive alcoholic for a father and she grew up poor.
The difference in classes never seems to make much difference to either girl. They are best friends, and that is that. They go throughout the various stages of her life, Lesley meeting and marrying a man very much like her father and seeming to suffer the same fate her mother did. Jillian went off to college, eventually to move to New York and follow in her father’s footsteps.
I won’t give away the plot too much, but it is very interesting the way it was written as a series of letters, with current events written in to show you what part of history they were in at the time (elections, deaths, etc). I started reading and it took me a while to realize that the whole book was written that way and it wasn’t just the preface as books often have.
An easy read, a quick one, and a great summer beach read. I really recommend it – she made me want to keep reading to see what was going to happen. Through these letters she made me genuinely like each character, and care about where their lives went.
Overall 4/5 stars. I am interested in checking out the many more titles from this author.