This irresistible debut, set in contemporary New York, provides a sharp, insightful look into how the relationship between two best friends changes when they are no longer coming of age but learning how to live adult lives.
As close as sisters for twenty years, Sarah and Lauren have been together through high school and college, first jobs and first loves, the uncertainties of their twenties and the realities of their thirties.
Sarah, the only child of a prominent intellectual and a socialite, works at a charity and is methodically planning her wedding. Lauren—beautiful, independent, and unpredictable—is single and working in publishing, deflecting her parents’ worries and questions about her life and future by trying not to think about it herself. Each woman envies—and is horrified by—particular aspects of the other’s life, topics of conversation they avoid with masterful linguistic pirouettes.
Once, Sarah and Lauren were inseparable; for a long a time now, they’ve been apart. Can two women who rarely see one other, selectively share secrets, and lead different lives still call themselves best friends? Is it their abiding connection—or just force of habit—that keeps them together?
With impeccable style, biting humor, and a keen sense of detail, Rumaan Alam deftly explores how the attachments we form in childhood shift as we adapt to our adult lives—and how the bonds of friendship endure, even when our paths diverge.
Alam's debut is a sweet yet cutting exploration of the bonds of friendship in competitive New York City. Sarah and Lauren have been best friends since high school, through college, love, jobs, and the realities of adult life. Lauren works as an associate editor for a publisher of cookbooks, is single, and pursues a carefree, on-the-go lifestyle that offers no prospect of settling down. Sarah, the daughter of a retired singer and a former advisor to the president, leads a charmed, career-free life. Recently engaged to pedestrian Dan, Sarah hopes the wedding will be a low-key affair but is anxious her socialite parents will keep that from happening. As a way to reconnect and keep her parents at bay, Sarah asks Lauren to be her maid of honor and help plan the wedding. Alam moves the story forward with seamless transitions from Sarah to Lauren's voice, punctuated by scenes of biting dialogue; however, the interplay of voices never serves as an integral part of the plot, and rambling takes over in sections. In the run-up to the wedding, the closeness Sarah was hoping to reignite looks forever extinguished when Lauren misbehaves on a bachelorette trip. As Sarah's life moves forward, will she come to realize that there is nothing wrong with growing up, even if that means growing apart from Lauren? With astute descriptions of how values, tastes, desires, and ambitions change over two decades, Alam's tale of a divergent friendship smartly reflects the trial and error nature of finding a mate and deciding how to grow up.
The Colors of Friendship
Easy read. Hits several chords regarding how relationships begin and change over time. Looked at through socio-economic, professional, sexual, coupled, and single lenses, accentuating what makes us different and the same. In short, "It's Complicated--like all good friendships..
What a waste
This book was a waste, details that didn’t matter, no plot, and didn’t connect. Bought it on the sale rack, and now I know why it was there.
I had a hard time getting in to this book and sadly it never caught my interest. If I weren't so stubborn about finishing books I would have left it unread after page 20...