Chicklit Club
 

LISA IRELAND

 

The Art of Friendship (2018)

 

Kit and Libby have been friends since meeting as 11-year-olds. Their friendship has survived attending different high schools, living in different cities, marriage and children whilst Kit remained unlucky in love. So, when Libby returns to live in Melbourne when her husband is transferred in his corporate lawyer job, it’s like their dreams have come true and they can resume their friendship properly. However, decades after they met, both have changed, and they struggle to find common ground in their relationship and more, seem to irritate each other.
This is a really beautiful story of the intricacies and complexities of female friendship. It is skilful writing that can weave the minutiae of everyday life into a compelling yet simple story and layer it with such depth and meaning. You may not love either of the characters but every reader will relate. (LF) 8/10


 

The Shape of Us (2017)

 

This story centres around four women who bond over an online weight-loss forum. Mezz, a small-town doctor, is embarrassed about her weight and worried it could be affecting both her career and her marriage. Jewels runs a thriving cupcake business and has a great relationship with husband Matt but she desperately hopes that losing weight will help her conceive a much-wanted child. Ellie has transferred to Canberra from England to be with her girlfriend, who moves in political circles. She’s not totally happy with her new life though, stagnating in her art career and piling on the kilos. Kat is a Bosnian refugee who is estranged from her family. And her relationship with her partner – and father of her daughter Ami – is not looking too solid either.
This is a great story, with authentic characters who are dealing with a multitude of issues that many readers will relate to. The narrative flowed effortlessly, and the forum posts were tied in nicely. I also appreciated that each character dealt with their weight problems in their own different ways. The only negative: that the storyline for Kat took a turn that has become all too common in women’s contemporary fiction – one I was hoping wouldn’t eventuate from the very first signal. 7/10

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