Best of Friends, by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury 2022)

Neil's picture

Best of Friends follows the lives of two women from Karachi, from 1988 when they are teenagers, then in London in 2019 when they are successful career women. They have been loyal if combative friends despite following very different career paths, one in finance, the other in human rights. The book's portrayal of their lives and long term friendship is powerful and profound, tender and insightful. An incident in 1988 echoes and resonates over the years, and ultimately impacts their friendship in the present. Your impression of the book will hinge on whether you are convinced by this echo from the past having such a powerful impact 30 years later. I enjoyed the book, it's beautifully written, atmospheric and compelling, but I have reservations about the crisis late in the story. I'll still read her next book, though.