cover image Friends Like Us

Friends Like Us

Lauren Fox. Knopf, $23.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-307-26811-1

Fox’s funny and bittersweet new novel tackles the fragility of friendship. In high school, heroine Willa was best friends with Ben, but the two drifted apart after their freshman year of college. The adult Willa is now best friends and roommates with Jane, who is like her in every way. After Ben and Willa reconnect at a high school reunion, he confesses that he was in love with her when they were teenagers. Though they fail to begin a romance, they do resume their friendship. But when Ben meets Jane and they start dating, a love triangle forms, with Willa serving as the essential, but confused third wheel. As Ben and Jane’s relationship becomes more serious, the attraction between Ben and Willa grows, and all three must cope with the consequences. Instead of making Willa’s story maudlin and clichéd, Fox (Still Life with Husband) steers her characters toward a surprisingly realistic and complex conclusion. A thoughtful, delicate book. (Feb.)