I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.My Very Best Friend by Cathy Lamb
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on July 28, 2015
Genres: Fiction, General, Contemporary Women, Family Life
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From a childhood friendship sustained over years and distance, to a journey of discovery, Cathy Lamb's poignant novel tells of two women whose paths converge with unforeseen results--and reveals the gift of connection, and the challenges that can change everything for the better... Charlotte Mackintosh is an internationally known bestselling romance writer who has no romance, and remains a mystery to her fans. In fact, she has little in her life besides her work, her pampered cats, and her secluded home off the coast of Washington. And then there is her very best friend, Bridget, who lives in Scotland, where Charlotte lived until she was fifteen. Bridget, whom Charlotte hasn't seen in twenty years, but continues to write to--though the replies have stopped. Hurt by the silence, an opportunity arises to find answers--and maybe much more. Charlotte must finally return to Scotland to sell her late father's cottage. It was his tragic death when Charlotte was fifteen that began her growing isolation, and the task is fraught with memories. But her plans are slowed when she's confronted with the beautiful but neglected house, the irresistible garden--and Toran, Bridget's brother. Capable and kind, Toran has the answers Charlotte seeks. And as she is drawn deeper into the community she thought she'd left behind, Charlotte learns not only more about her dear friend, but about herself--and discovers a new and unexpected path.
Charlotte is a bit odd, but she is happy. Living alone on a secluded island with her four cats, her career of writing romance novels lets her be alone. Between writing, walking her cats in their custom made stroller and writing letters to her best friend Bridget, Charlotte feels her life is very full. Then she has to travel back to her childhood home to prepare her family home for sale. Scotland is home to her oldest friend and her first love, and she is not sure if she can go back to the carefree version of herself that they know. The past rears its head in intense and unexpected ways and Charlotte is forced to grow in ways she didn’t think she could.
I wanted to be able to give this book a better review, but I just can’t. My Very Best Friend covers some very heavy topics such as sexual abuse, AIDS and discrimination. The problem isn’t in the heavy topics, it’s that there are too many heavy topics. The plot skips back and forth over them in a vaguely cohesive manner and by the time they are all tied together it seems rushed. The characters were strong, but again slightly too many. This book seemed as if it was trying to pack three different books into one – a frothy chick lit, a deep meaningful social issue novel and a female supportive friends book. On their own they would have been great as each sub-plot is richly detailed. My Very Best Friend is in no way a bad book, it just could have been more succinct as the story almost gets lost in the detail. Cathy Lamb is obviously a talented author she just needs to not try to put everything and the kitchen sink in one book.