Best Friends For ever? Really? Can the tensions and stresses of day-to-day living sustain friendship after childhood, the teenage years, young adulthood? We can be jealous, petty and mean as well as generous, supportive and loving and time and circumstance can make the flaws all the more apparent.
In my new novel, Between Friends (just released), the title speaks for itself. There are not just two friends, but three – and a triangle always leaves room for tensions, secrets or exclusion. Throw a charming but manipulative man into the mix and stand back for the explosions!
Each of the friends – Marta, Jane and Carrie – is very different. Marta is generous, a do-gooder – but she is an organiser too, and she is sometimes blind to the feelings of others. Carrie has been hurt in the past and likes to control her relationships and sex life, concentrating instead on her career – but there are flaws in her life plan, as she begins to find out. And Jane, mother of three and securely married, has a secret that threatens to derail her life.
I became fascinated by the ebb and flow of the friendship between Marta, Carrie and Jane. Each has strengths and weaknesses and each must learn a lot about themselves – and how much they can depend on each other – to survive. Selfishness, betrayal, lies, jealousies, different values, ambitions and lifestyles all play a part.
Can they stand together in the face of Tom Vallely’s power games? Because it’s the only way they will be able to defeat him. Or is he too clever at sowing mistrust?
Just to give you a taste, here’s a short passage from the beginning of the book
Sometimes Marta wondered how different her days might be if they were a family rather than a couple. If, instead of putting on a business suit at the sound of the alarm, she were to wake to the snuffling cries of a baby and pad across the carpet in the bedroom she shared with Jake to a cot in the corner. She imagined the feeling of picking it up, this squalling infant, of holding it to her breast and hushing it with love and milk.
She picked up her coffee from the counter of the small café, filled with a disappointment so profound that for a moment she thought it might set her weeping. This morning, again, her hopes had been dashed.
Still – she placed the cup on the table in the window and dropped her briefcase on the floor – it was a day of rare promise. She could see it in the slant of the morning light hitting the chiselled stone of the Georgian tenements across the road, and feel it in the warmth of the sun already beating through the window. It was going to be hot, a day for walking the beaches from Silverknowes to Cramond Island or strolling up the Pentland Hills with a flask of tea and a pack of sandwiches. A day not to be wasted.
By nature cheerful, she allowed her spirits to lift.
Across the road, sun hit glass as a door opened, reflecting low rays of light sharply into her eyes. A man emerged and stood, undecided, as the door swung to behind him. Was he a celebrity? It was August, and Edinburgh was teeming with personalities and stars, real and wannabe. Authors were here for the Book Festival, jazz musicians were opening their souls for the world’s inspection, dancers, actors, comedians and television personalities were vying with each other for attention and audiences.
She watched as the lights changed and the man crossed the road. He was tall and slim, stylishly dressed with well-cut jeans, brown loafers, a crisp white shirt and a grey sweater tied loosely round his neck. A battered brown fedora sat jauntily on his head and he carried a brown leather holdall over one shoulder. He was heading straight towards her.
Surely she knew him? …
Excerpt From: Jenny Harper. “Between Friends.” iBooks.
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