My Best Friend’s Girl

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My Best Friend's Girl - Dorothy Koomson, book reviewI had never read any books by Dorothy Koomson before, but the title of this book – ‘My Best Friend’s Girl‘ really intrigued me so I bought it. I was so glad that I did read it as it introduced me to a fantastic author, Dorothy Koomson, who is now one of my firm favourites.

I will just give a brief outline of the story of ‘My Best Friend’s Girl‘ without giving too much away I promise! We learn very early on in the book (in fact you learn this on the back cover) that Adele, the young mother of five year old Tegan, is dying from leukaemia. She has very little family so asks her best friend Kamryn to become Tegan’s legal guardian and eventually adopt her after she dies! This would be an incredibly big ask of anyone, but it is more so in this case because the two friends fell out so badly a few years ago and have not spoken since. The reason being that Adele betrayed Kamryn by sleeping with Kamryn’s fiancé who is also, unknowingly, the father of her child.

Kamryn is unable to refuse this request and so, after Adele’s death, the story follows her journey to gain Tegan’s trust and to become a real mum to her. It is a story of many ups and downs, feelings of guilt, anguish and extreme love, and by the time that you have finished reading it you will probably feel totally drained.

Added to all of this there are Kamryn’s ambiguous feelings towards her new boss Luke who is so good to her and Tegan. She starts to feel that they are becoming a real family unit until the unexpected appearance of Nate, her former fiancé and father of Tegan, and then everything is thrown into turmoil all over again. Also, as there is no love lost between the two men, she finds herself torn in all directions. I won’t tell you how everything ends up, but only to say that it is a real emotional roller-coaster for all the characters and anyone reading the book as well.

The central characters are all really strong. I started to like Kamryn as soon as I started reading the ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’. As it went on, I felt I was living every moment with her and almost agonising as much as she was. As I said, she is an immensely likeable and believable character, and if you like the characters you are reading about, you are very likely to enjoy the book! The other main character is Tegan, who you just feel is a beautiful child and you feel for any child who loses her mummy at such a young age. If they ever made a film of this book, I could imagine a little blonde girl who would tug at everyone’s heart strings! Even the other characters like Nate and Luke are very sympathetic and you do end up caring about what happens to them all!

“There were times when the book had me almost laughing out loud but at other times it had me in tears.”

Dorothy Koomson does deal with some issues in the book as well. Kamryn is black whereas Tegan is white, and sometimes they get some very strange reactions from people because of this. The author does not make a great deal out of this but it does show how cruel and thoughtless some people can be. There is also the issue of death and how you talk to a young child about this. Throughout ‘My Best Friend’s Girl‘, Tegan asks questions about where her mummy has gone and what it is like in Heaven, and Kamryn has to think very carefully about how to answer a five year old girl. She also doesn’t know whether it is better to talk openly about Adele to Tegan or not. Either way she is so worried about upsetting her, and it goes to show that there are no rule books about these sorts of things.

Kamryn also has a lot of emotional baggage from her past. It seems that she grew up as quite an ugly child. She was often told this and often felt she was the outsider looking in. Because of this Adele was her only true friend and Nate her only real love, which made their betrayal seem even more treacherous. One of the good things in the book is that Kamryn comes to a better understanding of why these things happened and ultimately feels able to forgive them both even though it is too late to tell Adele.

Overall I think this is a beautifully well written book about a very sensitive and emotional subject. There were times when the book had me almost laughing out loud but at other times it had me in tears. It’s written in such a way that this sort of emotion hits you very unexpectedly. It certainly took me by surprise one time when I was out at a play park and my daughters were playing very happily so I thought I could sneak chapter or two of this book. Before I knew it I was sobbing and very relieved that all the other nearby parents did not seem to notice!

So I hope I have given a good picture of how good this ‘My Best Friend’s Girl‘ is and if you think it’s your type of book I am sure that you will totally enjoy it! Just one small word of warning though – don’t read it in public!

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My Best Friend's Girl
by Dorothy Koomson

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Written by kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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