Book Reviews

Book Review: The Loyal Friend

By A.A. Chaudhuri

Publication Date:  June 23, 2022

341 Pages

I’ll jump right into the blurb:  When Natalie met Jade, she was a shy librarian who valued her orderly life more than social interaction.  A year later, their best friends.  Natalie has gotten in shape at Jade’s fitness classes and actually made a few friends with other women at the gym. But when Jade goes missing, Natalie falls into a tailspin.  In part out of concern for her friend, but also because it could be possible she had something to do with Jade’s disappearance.

As the investigation deepens, not only might Natalie’s secrets come to light, but also those of Susan and Grace, two other members of the gym whose past misdeeds are tied together more closely than it might seem.

I’m going to have an unpopular opinion on this one, but I was never able to get into this book.  It’s told primarily from Natalie, Susan, Grace and Jade’s points of view.  The timeline isn’t linear.  The author will bring up a teaser in the present, then jump back in time to explore that teaser more fully.  Honestly, I found this jarring.

“The Loyal Friend” interpreted by Wombo Dream

Despite the fact that the women couldn’t have been more different socially, their voices were all the same.  They all suffered from some form of early trauma or present-day mental illness, which should have been really interesting to read from their point of view.  Instead, the author told me how they feel, what they did, what they thought.  I never felt any real emotion from any of the narrators.

I’ll admit, the backstories were well thought out and compelling.  Some of the clues slid into place really well, some felt convenient.  I think what brought my rating out of the “average” range was the final chapter.  That point of view was, in my opinion, unnecessary and the voice didn’t match the age of the character.

However, a lot of people really loved this book and my opinion is in the minority.

I rated this book two stars.  ⭐⭐

Thank you to NetGalley and Hera Books for proving the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

If you have a different view of this book, drop me a comment.  I’d love to chat about it.

Until next time, thank you for visiting.

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