Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Faking Friends – Jane Fallon

Contemporary Fiction
4*s

This book was just what I needed in the post-Christmas haze, a story of revenge played out in exquisite detail between Amy and her best friend Mel.

Jane Fallon has the knack of making what could be a flat tale of a friendship gone wrong into one where I genuinely cared about some of the characters, a book that made me wish that some of the lovely people that surround Amy were in my life too, although I have to say I’d give Mel a miss.

Amy and Mel grew up in a small village near Maidenhead in Buckinghamshire, best friends since the age of eleven when Mel offered the hand of friendship which Amy grasped willingly. Mel, even at that age knew she was going to be famous and the fabulous caricature which is Sylvia, ensures that she is turned out for any auditions with ringlets in her hair and blue eye-shadow pasted to her eyelids. Amy stayed in the background and decides to go to university to study history but the girl’s friendship is too strong for the separation to lead to a cooling of their relationship.

When we first meet her Amy returns from working in America for a surprise visit. She heads for her flat that she shares with her fiancé Jack to prepare for Mel’s fortieth birthday party. Surprised (understatement intended) to find another woman’s belongings in her home, complete with toiletries in the bathroom, she determines to find out who they belong to.

The scenes are set with just enough drama to be entertaining without over-egging the pudding which could tip them into farce. Amy has decided not to confront Jack with what she knows until she has made a plan, and for anyone who has for whatever reason, had to be evasive with the people they are closest to, will recognise the awkwardness this quickly causes.

Most of the story is told from Amy’s perspective interspersed with the girl’s back-story of the long friendship which adds depth to the narrative in the present time as Amy decides to get down and dirty to get her own back. Later on we get some input from Mel herself, something that threw me at first as I didn’t see it coming, but was well worth it as we see the set up some action which plays out like a slow-motion car crash.

As is usual in this domestic noir type story there is a romance, friends that go above and beyond the call of duty. The problems of living on the outskirts of North London, the cost of rent, the lack of fashionable shops and the trek to get anywhere useful are all dotted through the narrative thus appealing to all those commuters that will probably see this book advertised on the tube. With guest appearances by a cat, a seventies rug and a various assortment of furniture, this book is sure to appeal all of us who want to believe that life doesn’t end when a relationship does.

I love a bit of fun and frippery, Jane Fallon has the ability to make me chuckle and wince in the space of a page but even the revenge planned and executed isn’t nasty with a capital N. In my opinion those who wronged Amy got everything they deserved!

I’d like to say a big thank you to one of my favourite publishers, Penguin UK who allowed me to read a copy of Faking Friends ahead of publication on 11 January 2018.

First Published UK: 11 January 2018
Publisher: Penguin UK
No of Pages: 447
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

20 thoughts on “Faking Friends – Jane Fallon

  1. This does sound like quite the tale of revenge, Cleo – And I do appreciate it when an author can effectively use some wit to tell the story. I agree, too: it’s a challenge to keep this sort of story from going ‘over the top.’ I’m glad this one didn’t go to far, so to speak.

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    1. Years ago she published a book called ‘Getting Rid of Matthew’ which a bunch of us adored and I’ve followed her work ever since – this one about a toxic friendship looks at a different angle of relationships but had a definite spark to it to.

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  2. Great review! I started chuckling as soon as you said revenge was a good subject for the post-Christmas haze. This doesn’t sound like my usual at all, and I thought it was going to be all serious and angsty at first, but you make it sound like a lot of fun – I must try her some time 😀

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  3. This does sound like a fun little read, and I know what you mean about it being perfect for the time of year. Enough with the Christmas cheer already-let’s read about some people behaving badly 🙂

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