About the book
Four friends, one big secret… and the journey of a lifetime.
It’s nineteen years since they stopped speaking to each other, but now Morgan needs to contact her three best friends from school: Paige, Emily and Tiff.
Her teenage son wants to meet his dad and Morgan can’t ignore his requests any longer. And Paige, Emily and Tiff all knew what actually happened back then. Even if that was what led to their friendship group falling apart, they’re the only people Morgan can think of who might be able help her find the man who disappeared without a trace before she could tell him she was pregnant.
Can Morgan persuade her old friends to go on a road trip to track him down? As adults – with marriages, children and a whole bucket-load of their own problems – will they be able to work together to solve the mystery? And if so – just when forgiveness for the past looks like it might be possible – how will they cope with the biggest shock of all?
A story about love, families and how the people who know you best are the ones you will always need in your life. Totally heartbreaking, brilliant, uplifting fiction for fans of Jill Mansell, Paige Toon and Sheila O’Flanagan.
What do I think?
When We Were Friends, slowly charts the lives of four school friends, Morgan, Emily, Tiff and Paige. The story considers the value of their relationships as they transition into adulthood. Tonge focuses primarily on the four women who somewhat reluctantly reunite after falling out at their school prom 19 years ago. Morgan asks for help from her friends, leading them to reform The Secret Gift Society from their school days. Through their reconnection they find they’ve kept life changing secrets from each other and during a trip to France and then Cornwall they share their stories. The truths revealed bring arguments and reconciliation, with the four friends realising that their bond can be greater than the secrets between them.
I thought the storyline was engaging and the characterisation was consistent throughout making you want to find out what would happen to the women. The book explores themes of trust, forgiveness, understanding and reconnection with elements of mystery threaded through.
Some parts of this novel were possibly more detailed than they needed to be, which slowed down the pace, however it is well written from start to finish. The overall tone of the book makes it easy to read and might challenge you to reconsider the value of your own relationships with your friends. I liked outlying characters too, such as their French teacher who brought wisdom to their conversations.
Samantha Tonge clearly has an eye for understanding people and her observations are revealed as she brings her characters to life. Overall, I would recommend When We Were Friends to anyone who enjoys family drama, reflecting the reality of the challenges we all have in our own lives and how this can affect our relationships.
Purchase link: https://mybook.to/Wewerefriendssocials
Samantha Tonge is the bestselling and award-winning author of fifteen romantic fiction titles published by HQ, and most recently Aria. Her first book for Boldwood, Under One Roof, will be published in February 2022 and marks a broadening of her writing into multi-generational woman’s fiction. She lives in Manchester with her family.
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N.B. I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts are, as always, my own. For more information, please see my disclosure page.