For the contemporary square of Indiecember, I chose What Friends Do by C E Shields.
13 year old Debbie is terrified on her first day of High School (Secondary School in Ireland) until she meets outgoing Antoinette. They becoming friends, and Antionette brings color and laughter to Debbie’s life. They form a strong bond, but will their friendship last the storms of life as the young girls grow and their circumstances change?
Written in third person, past tense from Debbie’s point of view, the confident voice of the author envelops you into these characters lives so totally that you forget you’re reading a novel. Each stage of life is described with skill. Both Debbie and Antoinette are real people, with strengths and weaknesses, and the author treats them with compassion.
I read this book in one sitting. It is sad to see the potential of the young girls turn into something else as they grow, the details of their roads not taken clear to the reader, but it makes their triumphs all the more meaningful. The narrative perfectly captures the bitter sweetness of life. The shame of family and the yearn to be different of youth, the call to adventure, which ultimately leads to the desire to return to the familiar and a greater appreciation of your roots as you age.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be sure to look for more books by this author.
I award What Friends Do…
What Friends Do is available for $2.95 ebook on Amazon.