Asking for a Friend – About the Book
The bottom of Jess’s world is falling out. Cocooned in her dorm in the winter of 1998, she’s reeling, and wants to be left alone. But a chance encounter with the older, otherworldly, elusive Clara has Jess awestruck. Clara, newly returned from a two-year trek drifting around the world, is taking a stab at normalcy for once, and the place she starts is university, where she struggles to fit in. Upon meeting Jess, though, Clara feels an instant connection, and everything seems brighter. Soon, the two are inseparable, undeniable necessities in each other’s lives. But when tragedy strikes, they are unceremoniously torn apart, sent tumbling down different paths. And with each passing day, their unbreakable bond is tested more and more.
As they endure love and heartbreak, marriage, anxiety and isolation, and the complicated existence of motherhood, Jess and Clara must learn how to love each other through it all—and whether growing up inevitably means growing apart.
Spanning two decades, Asking for a Friend follows the tempestuous journey of female friendship, exploring whether its fundamentals—history, familiarity, loyalty—are enough to make the relationship everlasting.
Asking for a Friend by Kerry Clare follows the lives of two best friends from young adulthood to motherhood spanning almost three decades. The book isn’t typical female contemporary fiction. Instead, it is a true love story between two friends – Clara and Jess. It explores themes including abortion, miscarriage, breakups, infidelity and the natural course of how a friendship changes over time. While in college, there is a moment that even implies that their friendship could be more.
The characters are flawed, but each is so likeable. Clara is the dreamer who never fully accepts the reality of her life. Jess is the more emotional and needs stability. As different as they are, they compliment one another. Reading this as a woman reminds you of those intense friendships that may have to cool off when university is over and real life takes over. Friendships change and may even end for a time. That doesn’t change how important that friendship may be to you, and it certainly doesn’t change the love between Clara and Jess as they find their way back to one another again and again.
Some people may walk away thinking that Asking for a Friend was written specifically for them – it is that authentic. It felt that way to me. Even though it covers decades, you never feel like Clare is speeding through the story. It is a well written book abouta complicated friendship that is hard to let go of and it will one day make a great movie.