Review: ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’ by Dorothy Koomson

MyBestFriendsGirlCover‘My Best Friend’s Girl’ is the story of thirty-something Kamryn who suddenly and in devastating circumstances becomes adoptive mother to her best friend’s little girl – enter Tegan, Luke and a whole lot of upheaval for independent Kamryn.

Koomson is an emotional writer, that almost goes without saying, and there’s plenty to tug on the heart-strings here. In particular, I often find that when people write dialogue including children they either go far too sophisticated for what is allegedly a five-year-old, or they use baby speak to the extreme which is just cloying: not Koomson. I’d go as far as to say that this is the first time I’ve had a convincing kid on the page – proper childlike emotions, some scrambled words but generally coherent, and above all naive and innocent in that beautiful way kids are. This is the emotional pull of Koomson’s novel; the touching interaction between Kam and Tegan which subtly highlights the frailty of each.

There were bits that irked me throughout this: if nothing else, if I had to hear the description ‘navy blue’ or ‘royal blue’ regarding eyes one more time I’d have lost the plot! A few things were a little too convenient and, equally, some were so inconvenient that you’re sat screaming at the page that a simple conversation and a bit of honesty would solve this: my willing suspension of disbelief did a fail a couple of times in this respect.

However, the plot between Kamryn and conveniently place Luke was a good backbone to the trials of being a new mother, and the addition of third-wheeler Nate, provides more than enough to sink your teeth into and fret over during the course of the novel, and indeed one of the continuing pulls is being unable to decide who Kam should choose: Luke or Nate? Both are ideal and flawed in equal measure, and the final decision perhaps doesn’t sit easily as a happily ever after, but then it’s not happily ever after; it’s ‘this is where we are and who we are’, and that’s the point of the novel, that it’s not about becoming the best mother and having the perfect family, it’s about finding your way through the most trialling of times.

Overall, ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’ would be the perfect addition to any summer read: sad in places but overall a testament to achieving anything we can and realising how amazing we can be when put to the test, it’s a touching journey throughout.

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