Your best friend deserves the truth. But it will ruin her life. What would you do?
In summer, the small Cornish village of Gorran Haven fills with tourists, but in the colder months its pretty narrow streets are blissfully quiet, the bell on the village shop door rings only for locals, the beach is unspoilt, empty and safe.
It’s been over twenty years since four very different teenage girls sat on that beach, and swore to be best friends forever. Their lives went different ways after Emily left. But each remembered that promise. And none truly found friendship like it again.
Now, Emily’s back, with a secret she can’t face. She tries to hide away, take time to heal and make some difficult choices, but she runs into one of her old friends, and soon the four are reunited. Lolly, warm as ever, is a successful physiotherapist, married with kids. Yet smart, strong Amanda, who cherishes her teenage daughter, is alone and seemingly stuck in a dead-end job. And creative Jess is so much quieter than Emily remembers.
The bond is still there, and Emily realises their friendship might keep her together, but there are reasons why the women fell out of touch. Secrets that have lain dormant for decades start to surface, and then one of the women discovers a betrayal so big, it could turn each of their lives upside down.
It’s always those we’re closest to who have the power to tear us apart. Can friendship give Emily and her friends the strength to survive a devastating shock, or are some things unforgiveable?
Firstly, I LOVED this book. It had all the best elements of my favourite genres. There was the intrigue from a good drama (almost bordering on thriller-drama), the brilliantly written women, the little hints of romance, but most importantly, there was a great story.
I love books that are divided into character chapters, as it’s always super interesting to see different characters reacting to the same events. I thought Emily was a fascinating character, her sudden and quite dramatic lifestyle change really intrigued me, and her disillusionment with her movie star lifestyle was really interesting. Watching her come to terms with happiness by herself was seriously empowering, and her quiet confidence was actually quite inspiring.
Lolly was super sweet as well. I liked the fact that although she seemed naive, she was definitely more aware of what was going on around her than she seemed, and the twist at the end was super clever. Watching her relationship with her husband, and how it develops and changes throughout the book was one of the story lines that really hooked me in – despite it being quite subtle and almost slow-moving, there was a real sense of suspicion surrounding their marriage that kept me gripped.
Amanda was absolutely my favourite. What’s not to love about a strong, independent, unapologetic but caring and kind woman? She was completely brilliantly written, and despite having a somewhat unusual job she showed some moments of true humanity that made her really relatable. I thought that Mansell wrote Amanda seriously well and added in some finer details, such as her relationships with her daughter and her ex-husband, that warmed me to the character even more.
Jess was a clever final character, she was really relatable but provided a sort of grounding presence in the group. She did have her own dramas and problems happening throughout the book, but for some reason I found Jess a very reassuring person, as she was realistic, strong, and honest. Because of all these traits, I was super invested in her getting a happy ending, and loved watching her story play out.
This book surprised me as it wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be, but then I loved it more than I thought! It was superbly written, with wonderfully complex but relatable characters, and I would 100% recommend this to anyone!
Her Best Friend’s Secret
Bookouture, 1st April 2019