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'Blistering, confronting, and utterly compelling' LOUISE O'NEILL
'Engaging and profoundly compassionate' DAISY BUCHANAN
"Men see women in two separate categories. There are the women they sleep with, and the women they fall in love with. And they will treat you differently based on that."
From the day they first meet as teenagers Fern and Jessica are best friends. Despite their differences, they are there for each other throughout everything, navigating the difficulties of growing up and fitting in. That is, until Jessica crosses a line that Fern can't forgive.
But now, more than ten years later, Jessica has unexpectedly reappeared in Fern's life.
A lot has changed for them both - but can their relationship be different now they are older? Is it possible for either of them to rewrite the role that they have been cast in? Or will their shared history ultimately be doomed to repeat itself?
Set between the present day and the past, GIRL FRIENDS is a blisteringly funny and devastating novel: both a joyful celebration of female friendship and a razor-sharp look at the damage we can all cause to those we claim to love the most.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The opening page of Girl Friends should bear a warning. Perhaps something such as: “Likely to send reader spiralling into vivid memories of their most uncomfortable teenage years”. Told between present day and the early 2000s, Holly Bourne’s third adult novel is a bittersweet ode to female friendships but also a brutally incisive analysis of the way women are treated by themselves, their peers and by society at large. When Fern’s former best friend Jessica comes back into her life unannounced, she is both thrilled and terrified by her return. Fern knows there’s good reason she left Jessica in her past but finds herself as drawn to thirtysomething Jessica as she had been in her suburban secondary school nearly two decades before. From festivals and first-time drug-taking to self-harm and sexual assault, Girl Friends serves up periodic gut punches as Fern relives her formative years in a novel that will hit home especially hard for anyone who came of age in the particularly cruel early noughties.