Best friends tell you everything; about their kitchen renovation; about their little girl’s schooling. How one of them is leaving the other for a younger model.Best friends don’t tell lies. They don’t take up residence on your couch for weeks. They don’t call lawyers. They don’t make you choose sides.
Best friends don’t keep secrets about their past. They don't put you in danger.
Best friends don’t always stay best friends.
I was lucky enough to win a copy of 'The Broken' in a competition organised by THE Book Club on facebook and the same club chose this book as 'Book of the Month' for May 15.
Reading this book, I was reminded of an old proverb used in my country, saying 'Il-hbieb sal-bieb' which means 'Friends stop at the doorstep'.
How far are you prepared to go in order to help your best friend in difficulty? How deep are you prepared to be dragged into their personal problems? What comes first, your best friends in distress or the stability of your own family? These questions lie at the heart of this book.
Two best friend couples: Dan and Sasha, and Josh and Hannah. The former couple is well-off, living in a big house with state-of-the-art furniture, wearing designer clothes and driving expensive cars. The former is a middle-class couple living in a flat and struggling to make ends meet. Each couple has a young daughter, same age, same school, same class. But inspite of the financial differences, both families enjoy each other's company, going out together or chilling at each other's home.
But one day, out of the blue, Dan leaves Sasha for another woman, cracking this friendship in the process. Sasha is distraught and can't accept the situation but Dan has his reasons. Naturally each turns and clings to their best friend couple for support. Josh and Hannah decide to stay neutral, while helping their friends, but when things deteriorate, they find it very difficult not to side with one or the other. Soon their own lives are dragged into the whirlpool of their friends' problems with detriment to their own family. Whose side should they take? What would the other part do or think? Who is telling the truth? And who is lying?
In the meantime we read snippets from the point of view of a girl named Lucie. Who is she? And who is Eloise? How are they related to the main story? This is only uncovered at the very end.
This is a very different kind of book from what I usually read, and though I didn't find myself blown away by any spectacular twist, I found myself engaged and wanting to find out how things would end up. The characters are all solidly-built and very realistic and each of them can be very easily associated to real-life acquaintances and relatives.
'The broken' is an interesting and fascinating read, exploring friendships and relationships. It serves as a good eye-opener for people trusting their friends too much and for those treating friends as family. Well done to the author and I will certainly be looking for more of her books.