Saturday, 28 February 2015

Review ~ How to Make a Friend by Fleur Smithwick

23347027
Random House - Bantam Press
January 2015



I was intrigued by the cover and the title of this book for two reasons. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, I wondered how do we really make friends,  as most of my friends I seem to have made without conscious effort and secondly, the paper cut-outs on the book cover reminded me of spending hours with intricate paper cut-out books as a child, they were always such a  treat when I was unwell or in need of comfort.

And then it struck me that this book is about someone constantly in need of comfort, as Alice is initially such an isolated child, and the reassurance of having a friend like Sam is one bright spot in an otherwise rather sad childhood. As Alice grows to maturity, from necessity, she puts away her childish needs and Sam for a time disappears until a traumatic incidence brings him back into Alice's life.

What then follows is a microscopic look at the way families interact and of the way that our characters are largely influenced by own role within that family. Alice is emotionally fragile and vulnerable and when Sam reappears, no longer a child like figure, Alice needs to make some difficult choices.

A rather slow start to the book makes this a little hard going in places however, once the story starts to develop I felt that the narrative became more interesting.  The idea is original and quirky and a good example of analysing complex personalities and I felt that the author did a reasonable job of bringing Alice’s story to life.




My thanks to Netgalley and Random House UK Transworld Publishers for me ecopy of this book.


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