**Giveaway is now closed**
Female friendships are tricky. Women get very close in a pretty short period of time, and though the bonds of sisterhood can be beautiful, they can also be devastating. Breaking up a romantic relationship isn’t usually as heartbreaking as losing a close girlfriend. The raw pain associated with this kind of sadness sets the tone for You Knew Me When, Emily Liebert’s novel about a woman named Katherine who is forced to return to a painful past, face the people she left behind, and figure out who she used to be.
Katherine, an intimidating makeup executive, has to return to Manchester, her hometown, after the death of Luella Hancock, an eccentric and enigmatic woman whose elegance was matched by her generosity. As a shy and awkward child, Katherine moved to Manchester and instantly became close with both Luella and a neighbor girl her age, Laney. Luella exerted major influence on Katherine, eventually encouraging her to leave her bubble and attend NYU, while Laney stayed behind in Manchester and followed a more traditional path. For various reasons (no spoiler alert necessary!), Katherine and Laney had a major falling out. Now, years later, Katherine is thinner, prettier, and more confident about herself. When she shows up in Manchester for Luella’s funeral, Laney greets her with open hostility. However, when both of them learn that they have to clean out Luella’s house together in order to benefit from her will, they begin to unravel their pasts and find ways to reconnect.
The story is appealing and well-written, but what makes this book stand out is the palpable vulnerability of the two lead characters. Laney and Katherine demonstrate that, no matter how many years pass, it’s hard to get over hurt feelings and missed chances. Both of the women may be grown up, but on the inside they are still the girls who were like sisters until their friendship met a sudden end.
Because You Knew Me When is fiction, the relationship between the two women is more salvageable than it probably would be in real life. Still, it’s nice to think that old rifts can be repaired and that people can go back to where they used to be without sacrificing who they’ve become. Liebert tackles the delicate balance of female friendship with obvious experience, and the result is an absorbing read with enough surprises and good characters to make You Knew Me When a memorable experience.
Thanks to Sarah Hall Productions for the book in exchange for an honest review. They are giving away FIVE copies, along with Zoya nail polish (limited edition, named after characters in the book) to some lucky US readers.
Tell us if you ever had a falling out with a close female friend and if your friendship has been repaired since then.
One entry per person.
Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted.
US only. Giveaway ends September 17th at midnight EST.
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