You’d do almost anything for your best friend.
You’d take a bullet, take her in, or take her anywhere she needed to go. You keep her kids and her confidences. And, as in the new novel, “Best Friends Forever” by Kimberla Lawson Roby, she’d do the same for you. Probably.
Celine Richardson was absolutely furious at her husband, Keith.
It was bad enough that he came home at 5 a.m., but lying about where he’d been was the last straw. It was obvious that Keith was cheating on Celine — but what Celine couldn’t figure out was why.
He claimed that she acted like she never had time for him, and Celine had to admit that she’d been awfully busy for the last few months. Building her business took a lot of her time, but didn’t they have date nights? Sure, she’d been preoccupied now and then, but when they sent their 10-year-old daughter, Kassie, to spend the weekend with Celine’s best friend, Lauren, didn’t Celine and Keith spend alone-time together?
They did, but that wasn’t good enough for him. He was cheating on Celine with some tramp, but he wouldn’t come out and admit it.
And yet — that wasn’t the worst thing in Celine’s life.
Just a few days before Keith’s first lie, she found a lump in her breast and, after rounds of doctor visits and too many tests, her worst fears were confirmed. It was malignant, but Keith was full of excuses why he couldn’t accompany her to the hospital and Celine knew instantly that she could never again rely on her husband for support.
Still, she wasn’t alone. With the help of her best friend and her brother — and no thanks to her no-good, absent husband — she’d be just fine.
But Keith wasn’t done, and neither was cancer. Celine’s recovery didn’t go well, and her soon-to-be-ex had a bombshell to share, one that she sensed wasn’t the whole story. And just when Celine thought she couldn’t take any more, Lauren spoke her mind.
Friendship, as you know, is never one-sided. It’s a give-and-take, and that includes “Best Friends Forever.”
From the very first scene in which a delicious scandal erupts, author Kimberla Lawson Roby gives her fans a story that’s sordid and scary but also, in an odd way, spiritually uplifting. Roby’s Celine is a strong, God-loving woman who’s totally out of patience, but I enjoyed that she’s given a lifeline as well as two surprises, one right after the other.
While that ultimately leads to what I felt was an abrupt ending that left me hanging, it also gave me hope that we haven’t heard the last of these characters.
And the takeaway? I liked it, and I think you will, too: readers get a great girlfriends novel that’s easy to read, super-quick to finish, and that can happily be passed around or recommended for a book group. If that sounds like a dream read for you, then get “Best Friends Forever.” It could be a book you’ll do anything for.
“Best Friends Forever,” by Kimberla Lawson Roby, copyright 2016 by Grand Central Publishing, is 183 pages and sells for $24.