A lovely read looking at friendships, loyalty and of course, love. One of my favourite Jane Green books with some interesting characters from the ice-cool Portia, to the delightful gay best friend, Si and his bitchy asides.
Green ‘talks’ to her readers in a warm and believable way that makes for easy, but enjoyable, reading and I found Cath a refreshingly understated heroine.
I really enjoyed getting to know these characters over the course of the book, and found myself connecting with them as the story developed.
A humorous and mostly light-hearted read, with a twist and turn or two along the way.
Cathy and Simon are best friends from university, tightly bonded together by their struggles in love. Simon, the gay love of Cath’s life, is sharp, witty and scathing, she is a softer character – a gentle tonic to his sharp tongue.
Si’s approach to dating is to throw himself at every handsome man he meets, while Cath is much more guarded – choosing to play it safe by avoiding dating altogether.
And who needs men with such great friends in her life? Josh and Lucy, a married couple, are also friends from uni days conveniently living just round the corner. Ten years on from when they first met, the foursome still enjoy cosy dinners and long weekend brunches.
All is ticking along nicely until a ghost from the past appears – Portia. Portia, as her name suggest, is elegant, glmaorous and poised. An unlikely fellow university buddy, Portia has been absent from their circle of friends since a falling out between the group back at university.
Portia appears to have changed for the better and the four friends welcome her back. However, a lot has changed since they were 18-year-olds and a series of strange events has turned their lives upside down since Portia’s return. The friends are left questioning whether she has a hidden agenda.
Of course, there are a few additional story lines and surprises along the way. Cath’s stony heart is challenged with the introduction of James and some heartbreaking news for Simon shocks everyone.
Catherine Warner is unlucky in love. Our heroine is scatty, guarded and lacks confidence, but has a heart of gold. Her fabulous friends have always filled the relationship-sized hole in her life, and for the most part, she is happy that way.
Green often presents us with an imperfect heroine – for which I thank her. Chick lit heroines often fall into the perfect ‘girl-next-door’ category with shiny hair and confident personalities and it’s not a true reflection of the insecurities we all harbour.
Therefore, it is reassuring, to meet Cath – our likeable, yet shy, heroine with an unruly mop of frizzy hair and zero interest in fashion, hiding herself in shapeless black.
As we follow Cath’s journey, she ditches her corporate advertising job to follow her dreams of opening a bookstore. ‘Bookends’ is born and we meet James, the dishy estate agent helping her find the perfect location.
There’s every indication that James is interested in Cath on a romantic level – but our heroine has long since closed her heart to love, refusing to see the signs.
Some readers may find Cath a little timid to be a truly strong heroine. I feel with such strong characters around her as Si and Portia, the set of characters would have been overpowering with a more exuberant Cath. For me, Green pitched her heroine perfectly.
A book about old friendships, new jealousies, loyalty and love. This is an enjoyable read with some twists and turns along the way to keep the reader on their toes.
The story is shaken up when Portia, a glamorous blast from the past enters, keeping the characters – and reader – on their toes as she tests the characters freindships.
Portia offers the most intriguing thread in plot that is otherwise enjoyable, but fairly standard, chick-lit fare. A twist in Si’s story also offers a surprising change in pace later into the book.
I loved the set of characters in this book – lots of interesting and diverse personalities that could give the set of Friends a run for their money!
‘Portia with her cool green eyes and dirty laugh. Portia, who looked like she should have been a class-A bitch, but was, then, the greatest friend I’d ever had.’ Jane Green – Bookends
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