ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – The Good Friend by Jo Baldwin @jokbaldwin @RedDoorBooks #BlogTour
I’m delighted to be reviewing The Good Friend by Jo Baldwin today. It’s a fab read! My thanks to Anna at Red Door for the place on the tour and for sending me a review copy of the book. Red Door publish some amazing books so do check out their books.
If only she knew what sort of friend I really am . . .
Once upon a time, Jenny and Kath were best friends. Or were they?
Their reunion after eight years apart – when Jenny pays a visit from Australia where she’s settled – begins as idyllic. But all too soon, things begin to unravel and once the past is uncovered, there’s no going back.
This beautifully written, gripping and unforgettable psychological drama about love, lies and obsession will keep you reading long in to the night.
Keep your friends close, but your best friends closer
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The Good Friend is a fabulous psychological drama. It kept me gripped from start to finish.
Jenny is a gold medal winning swimmer. Eight years ago she emigrated with her father to Australia, leaving behind her best friend, Kath, and her ex-boyfriend, Tom. Now she’s returned as she wants some answers about certain things that happened back then but Jenny is not prepared for the truth. Kath and Tom now live in France, in the gorgeous Languedoc region and Jenny heads there for the summer.
First of all, I must mention the gorgeous setting. The area is portrayed beautifully and the stifling summer heat is described so evocatively that I could almost feel it. If it wasn’t for the fact that Jenny is uncomfortable with certain aspects of her stay it would almost be idyllic.
And there’s the thing. This book is about friendships, ones that may not be all they seem, and what happens when they become toxic. The relationship between Jenny, Kath and Tom is uneasy and sometimes difficult, but there are good times in amongst those tricky ones which makes it even harder for Jenny to get a handle on the truth.
The strength of this book is the underlying tension, the sense that all is not as it seems. There is a very manipulative character in this book and I never knew whether to believe what they were coming out with or not. As the story progresses, our narrator, Jenny, tells the story of her relationship with both Kath and Tom, and also starts to settle in and make friends in France, and this French village life was something I really enjoyed reading about.
I loved the ending. I thought it was perfectly done, rather sinister and chilling. The Good Friend is a fabulous debut and I enjoyed reading it very much indeed. I look forward to seeing what Jo Baldwin does next.
Since completing a degree in French, Jo Baldwin has spent a large proportion of her life in France, first in Paris where she worked in magazine publishing, and later in the Languedoc where she has a holiday home. Jo now lives in Oxford with her husband and three children and works in educational publishing.