Following the intense, toxic friendship of two kindred spirits across their lifetimes, The Best Friend is a dark, suspenseful novel and first standalone from Jessica Fellowes, New York Times bestselling author of the Mitford Murders series and the companion Downton Abbey books.
Bella and Kate. Kate and Bella. From childhood they were bosom friends, Bella sensible and cautious, Kate gregarious and just a little dangerous.
Yet in spite of their intimacy, their trust is fragile. Men came into their lives and things changed: a black seed was set in the heart of their relationship. Over decades, acts of both cruelty and love ferment until one shocking event tests them more than ever. Neither will escape unscathed.
Reminiscent of Elena Ferrante and Sally Rooney, and for readers of Leila Slimani’s The Perfect Nanny and Ashley Audrain’s The Push, The Best Friend explores the darkest corners of female friendship, a place where loyalty and betrayal intersect with deadly consequences.
- (Macmillan School
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Set in England and spanning 76 years, this searing domestic noir from bestseller Fellowes (the Mitford Murders series) chronicles shy protagonist Bella's toxic relationship with narcissistic, charismatic Kate. The girls meet at age six and are inseparable until they're 17, when Kate kisses Bella's crush and then moves away without disclosing her new address. At 42, Kate—a married actor with an eight-year-old son—moves to Bella's neighborhood. Though Bella—a married painter with a nine-year-old daughter—still harbors hurt, resentment, and distrust, she's unable to resist the pull of Kate's orbit. The pair fall back into old patterns, with Kate manipulating Bella at every turn, but then Kate's actions kick off a devastating chain of events that changes the trajectory of both women's lives and causes ripple effects for decades. The tragic tale unfolds largely via revelatory snippets of conversation between the keenly drawn characters, lending a voyeuristic air. Fellowes paints an unflinching portrait of female friendship that should appeal to fans of Julie Mayhew and Leïla Slimani. Agent: Eugenie Furniss, Peters Fraser and Dunlop. (U.K.) (Sept.)
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