How does a feel-good book about the ups and downs that only come from that almost-sister level of close friendship sound? Good, right? Asking for a Friend had me laughing from page one and I loved jumping straight into the lives of Jemima, Meagan and Simi.
Opening sentence: Jemima had been staring at the same text for a good five minutes.
BFFs Jemima, Meagan and Simi
What’s so unique about this trio of friends – and not something you read about often – is they are all different ages. Writer Jemima is 42, Actress Simi is 35 and Comedy Agent Meagan is 29. They live in London and met at an improv comedy class and although none kept up the comedy, and all have different personalities, they became instant friends.
They’d been best friends for over a decade and were so entangled in each other’s worlds, it was hard to know where one began and the other ended.
When we meet them, Simi is going through a big break up, and all three women are single, so Meagan and Jemima create the dating challenge: they can only date men their friends choose for them. In an attempt to date out of their usual type and have better luck.
Although the dating challenge was billed as a key part of the story, to me it wasn’t the focus. I loved reading what happened while they tried their dating experiment, but it was getting to know each woman’s backstory – and key elements that made each so unique – that was the heart of Asking for a Friend for me.
Meet Beverly Blake
One of my favourite storylines was Jemima trying to write her new book. I did develop a soft spot for Beverly Blake (of Beverly Blake Investigates), Jemima’s fictional sleuth. When Jemima hits a wall with her character development of Beverly while trying to write book three, she finds herself ‘borrowing’ elements of Simi and Meagan’s lives to fuel Beverly.
The only thing is, they are not always flattering stories and she hasn’t asked her friends if she can use their lives like this. Jemima is playing a dangerous game – and she knows it.
When you just want a story to make you feel good
From phrases and wry observations that pepper the story throughout to The Cave – the hottest piece of literary fiction around (read the book to find out more about this, you won’t regret it) and the Beverly Blake filth fest – Asking for a Friend was just so funny! It was such a joy to loose myself in the lives of these three amazing women.
Though her dad was American, she was as British as binge drinking and sarcasm so drawing attention to herself, even when dying, felt inappropriate.
Asking for a Friend is the debut novel from comedian and actor Andi Osho. The characters choice of careers are a biographical nod to Andi’s own career, which I enjoyed and also meant an authentic background knowledge came through.
Such a refreshing, funny and totally heart-warming read about loyalty, friendship and having the courage to be your true self. I zipped through this book and fully recommend if you need a feel-good boost.
- Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC;
- Get your copy of Asking for a Friend here;
- Published by HQ February 2021;
- 384 pages;
- My rating: