Can We Still Be Friends Review

Yesterday I got home from church, poured a large glass of wine, texted Karl saying if he was still to pass a shop could he buy me some chocolate, prayed one of those “sorry God/ help God ” prayers that follows a service you’ve just done hasn’t gone the way you wish it had and settled down with a book and the rugby after watching Fried Green Tomatoes which happened to be on. A proper lazy Sunday afternoon was indulged in.

The book turned out to be one of those plough through to the end in one go and enjoy it loads type – which I was glad about.

In terms of the service which hadn’t gone as hoped – that’s for tomorrow or rather the reason I found it difficult is addressed in tomorrows post -when I review Russell Herbert’s Growing through Church: A practical and theological vision for all-age worship, (which Karl has been given to properly review for something and which I have happened to pick up to learn from/ review on here).

Back to the chill out book that was Can We Still Be Friends by Alexandra Shulman. Before I start I’d like to clarify that I haven’t missed the question mark which should logically be in there, it’s not in the title. It was one of those surprise me type titles I pick up in the local library from the recent titles section.

It’s a book covering three years of post-uni friendship of three friends living in London. The main characters of Kendra, Sal and Annie are contrasting characters of different middle-class backgrounds.

Annie is stylish and organised in PR, Sal is a chaotic journalist and Kendra goes into community work – seeking to do something worthwhile, whilst escaping her higher middle-class background.

The story is a novel by the editor of British Vogue which is on one level just a good read. On another it is a cliched feminist text. Story about a woman who falls in love and then realises she can leave the guy when it shows itself to be a mistake- check, story line relating to a woman’s right to choose – check, narrative about the women in the workplace imitating men for negative results – check, lesbian coming out story – check and so I could go on for quite a while.

There was the occasional continuity error as well. The debate about women priests, which was the one going on at the time, is referred to as the debate on women bishops.

All that said though it is a good read with an excellent story, which contains various cultural and current affairs references of the time which do take you back. The characters come alive and are vibrant and interesting people who you can empathise with in different ways.

The coming out story is dealt with in a way which whilst being very much of the time deals with issues which are just as familiar today as they would have been in the 1980′s. The same is true of the subject of alcohol and substance misuse which is addressed here.