Book Review | Between Friends by Kristy Kiernan
Between Friends is Kiernan’s third novel and really showcases her beautiful writing and use of hot button, emotional issues to tell a compelling story a quality that has earned her comparisons to Jodi Picoult. The book transports readers into the lives of two women struggling with life-changing decisions and explores both timely moral issues and inherent truths about the definition of family. Ali would have been forced to give up her dreams of motherhood, if it weren’t for modern reproductive technology and the gift of her best friend’s eggs. Now the mother of 14-year old Letty, Ali, yearning for a second child, asks her best friend Cora’s permission to use another of her frozen embryos. But Cora’s struggle with degenerative kidney disease challenges Ali’s plans for the future, and threatens to tear apart her present life in the most unexpected of ways.
Ali and Cora have been friends since they were kids. They were so close that when Ali found out that she couldn’t conceive, Cora donated her eggs to Ali and her husband Benny, resulting in the greatest gift: their daughter Letty.
Now, as Letty turns fifteen, Ali years to have another child and wants to use the remaining embryos. Despite trouble in her marriage with Benny, the challenges in raising a teenager, and the fact that she and Cora aren’t quite as close as they once were, Ali wants to convince them all that now is the time for a new baby.
Meanwhile, Cora has a secret, one that will change all of their lives once again. Between Friends chronicles the complexities of the relationships between these four people as life throws curve balls at them, challenging everything.
I didn’t just read this book, I absolutely devoured it. The story was compelling from the first chapter, but as the plot progressed, twisted, and turned, I could not stop reading. I lost sleep, and my heart was torn into so many different directions by the characters’ experiences and feelings.
This story was so well-told. I typically dislike reading books in which the point of view changes between characters because it can be disjointing, but Kristy Kiernan pulls it off seamlessly and purposefully. Readers experience Ali’s and Cora’s points of view in first-person, which really helps with their character development and serves to move the story along. Letty’s part of the story is told in third-person, which I found really took me back to being fifteen- how does anyone know exactly what’s going on, exactly how you feel?
Emotions feel honest and raw in Between Friends. I felt so dedicated to the characters that as I could see that the book was ending, I started to worry that there was no way that everything could be resolved in time. Fear not, because everything is well though out and I wasn’t left hanging. I was brokenhearted and satisfied, two feelings that don’t usually go together.
Go read Between Friends, and then contact me so I have someone to discuss it with!
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*