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The Friends We Keep

by Jane Green

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13813150,349 (3.8)5
Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known each other since university. Their friendship was something they swore would last forever. Now years have passed, the friends have drifted apart, and none of them ever found the lives they wanted - the lives they dreamed of when they were young and everything seemed possible. Evvie starved herself to become a supermodel but derailed her career by sleeping with a married man. Maggie married Ben, the boy she fell in love with at university, never imagining the heartbreak his drinking would cause. Topher became a successful actor but the shame of a childhood secret shut him off from real intimacy. By their thirtieth reunion, these old friends have lost touch with each other and with the people they dreamed of becoming. Together again, they have a second chance at happiness... until a dark secret is revealed that changes everything. The Friends We Keep is about how despite disappointments we've had or mistakes we've made, it's never too late to find a place to call home.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Great. Started slowly. Ended quickly. I liked the characters. ( )
  nwieme | Mar 19, 2020 |
The Friends We Keep by Jane Green is a compelling novel of friendship, secrets, betrayal and ultimately, forgiveness.

In 1986, Evvie Williams, Maggie Hallwell and Topher Winthrop form a life-long enduring friendship. Evvie is a half-Jamaican former child television star, Maggie is the beloved only daughter of a financially comfortable family and Topher is the only child of a wealthy family. Despite their disparate backgrounds, they are immediately inseparable during their university years. Evvie is the only one of the group who must work to make ends meet and she becomes a bartender at a local pub. Much to everyone's surprise, Maggie falls for Evvie's co-worker, whom the trio dubs "Evil Ben" since he does not talk or smile much. After graduation, the three friends go their separate ways but before Evvie leaves, she makes an unexpected choice that becomes the first of several secrets she keeps from Maggie and Topher.

Maggie is a caretaker who shows how much she loves people through cooking. Her unrequited crush on Ben Curran is her only unhappy memory during her University years. After graduation, Maggie moves to London and becomes a career woman but she secretly harbors hope she will marry a man who takes care of her. Much to her shock, Maggie's path crosses with Ben and they eventually marry. Unfortunately, wedded bliss is elusive as they struggle to have children and Ben's drinking spirals out of control. Maggie does everything in her power to help Ben and keep his alcoholism hidden but will she remain in their tumultuous marriage forever?

During University, Evvie discovers how to control her binge eating and after graduation, she is offered a modeling contract in New York. Her career is wildly successful but her longtime pattern of choosing the wrong man continues to haunt her. Following her return to New York after attending Maggie and Ben's wedding, Evvie eventually makes a fateful decision that forever changes her life and her friendship with Maggie and Topher. This secret haunts her and she does everything in her power to keep it under wraps, but will it remain hidden from the person it will hurt the most?

Topher also moves to New York following graduation where he pursues an acting career. A successful soap opera star, he is mostly content with his career path. Topher is wary of relationships but he eventually discovers happiness with two rather unconventional relationships. It is not until nearly mid-life that Topher finally reveals a devastating childhood secret but will he take the necessary steps to completely heal from this traumatic event?

Spanning thirty years, The Friends We Keep is a poignant yet heartwarming novel of friendship. Each of the characters are vividly developed and despite their flaws, they are immensely appealing. The storyline is engrossing and follows Topher, Evvie and Maggie from their University friendship, their lives after graduation and their reconnection after their 30th university reunion. Jane Green's portrayal of their personal struggles and their enduring friendship is heartfelt and quite touching. An absolutely beautiful story that readers are sure to enjoy.
( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
Really excellent book that follows the life of three college students in England. Years later they end up living together, life has not gone quite as planned. I love her imperfect characters. One of her best books yet! ( )
  lhaines56 | Dec 14, 2019 |
If you ever see me picking up a book by this author please RIP it out of my hands and toss it back on the shelf. If I had not started and stopped reading two books previously this week, I would have tossed this one in the DNF file.

Sophomoric and remedial, the plot lifted from those paperback novels that proliferated in the 1960's this was ridiculous. ( )
  Alphawoman | Oct 20, 2019 |
The Short of It:

A story of friendship and forgiveness. It will most definitely be on my list of faves at the end of the year.

The Rest of It:

Evvie, Topher, and Maggie met in college and instantly hit it off. Every strength and weakness is known, every fear, every insecurity. Nothing is a secret until one of them makes a grave mistake which threatens the friendship as they know it.

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I have been reading these great books lately about life, and love and friendship and they are just giving me life right now. I love to meet characters that grow. You know what I mean? They start one way, and grow with each page and that is how they are in The Friends We Keep. They mature and age and well, they just seem like people I could easily be friends with which makes me love them more.

Your college years. You will always remember them and in this book, their college years mean so much to them that they don’t know what to do when they don’t have that going for them. They seem a little lost and doubtful about their future adult selves and honestly, who hasn’t been there?

I’ve never read Jane Green before so I can’t compare this book to others she’s written but I CAN tell you that I want to read all her books now. All of them.

The Friends We Keep is a really great read and one that I did not want to end. Find a copy and read it!

For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter. ( )
  tibobi | Aug 8, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known each other since university. Their friendship was something they swore would last forever. Now years have passed, the friends have drifted apart, and none of them ever found the lives they wanted - the lives they dreamed of when they were young and everything seemed possible. Evvie starved herself to become a supermodel but derailed her career by sleeping with a married man. Maggie married Ben, the boy she fell in love with at university, never imagining the heartbreak his drinking would cause. Topher became a successful actor but the shame of a childhood secret shut him off from real intimacy. By their thirtieth reunion, these old friends have lost touch with each other and with the people they dreamed of becoming. Together again, they have a second chance at happiness... until a dark secret is revealed that changes everything. The Friends We Keep is about how despite disappointments we've had or mistakes we've made, it's never too late to find a place to call home.

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