Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Best Friend's Girl by Dorothy Koomson

A friend passed this book on to me. Over the holidays I picked it up looking for something light. Little did I know that the plot was not as light as I had intended despite the soap operaesque description on the back cover.

Reading My Best Friend's Girl I had the distinct impression that Dorothy Koomson heard a story about a mother/daughter duo that seemed unlikely and her imagination went wild guessing how the team had found one another - what could have possible happened that these two ended up together? Wasn't there anyone else to take the girl? Why not? She took the idea of an adopted daughter whose father is involved through a previous romance and built on it. Then she decided to throw a screwy love triangle into the mix just to see what would happen with all of the characters.

The plot does read like a soap opera. Best Friends. Boyfriend. Boyfriend sleeps with best friend who ends up pregnant. Two years later the affair is discovered, chaos ensues, no one speaks to each other. Three years after that mom dies of cancer... What next? The book starts with the what next but does go back and forth to explain how the characters all got themselves into the situation that they did. Despite the overly dramatic plot, the book is interesting. As I read it I found myself pondering how I would deal with any of the situations that Kamryn, the main character, found herself in. I questioned how I would agree to take on the daughter of my former-BFF and raise her as my own. And how would I put together romance, friendship, work, and grief? Koomson dealt with all of those issues in the course of the novel.

There is something about the British. I couldn't help but think of Bridget Jones' Diary and About a Boy as I read My Best Friend's Girl. The Brits have a funny way of describing themselves, their physical appearances, and their foibles that is uniquely... well... British.

I never would have picked this book up on my own. At the end I didn't love it. I wasn't thrilled with the ending of the story. But, despite all of that, I'm glad I read it. I pondered questions that I would not have pondered otherwise. And there is something appealing about British literature.

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