For readers of J. Courtney Sullivan and Emma Straub, and for fans of Firefly Lane, comes a poignant and astute novel about life, love, and the ever-evolving nature of female friendship by the author of Waiting for a Star to Fall.
The bottom of Jess’s world is falling out. Cocooned in her dorm in the winter of 1998, she’s reeling, and wants to be left alone. But a chance encounter with the older, otherworldly, elusive Clara has Jess awestruck. Clara, newly returned from a two-year trek drifting around the world, is taking a stab at normalcy for once, and the place she starts is university, where she struggles to fit in. Upon meeting Jess, though, Clara feels an instant connection, and everything seems brighter. Soon, the two are inseparable, undeniable necessities in each other’s lives. But when tragedy strikes, they are unceremoniously torn apart, sent tumbling down different paths. And with each passing day, their unbreakable bond is tested more and more.
As they endure love and heartbreak, marriage, anxiety and isolation, and the complicated existence of motherhood, Jess and Clara must learn how to love each other through it all—and whether growing up inevitably means growing apart.
Spanning two decades, Asking for a Friend follows the tempestuous journey of female friendship, exploring whether its fundamentals—history, familiarity, loyalty—are enough to make the relationship everlasting.
About the author
KERRY CLARE is the author of novels Waiting for a Star to Fall and Mitzi Bytes, and editor of The M Word: Conversations About Motherhood. A National Magazine Award-nominated essayist, and editor of Canadian books website 49thShelf.com, she writes about books and reading at her longtime blog, Pickle Me This. She lives in Toronto with her family.
"This novel is like the best kind of friend: honest, wise, complicated, endearing, smart—and Kerry Clare as a writer is all these things, too. What a poignant, observant tribute—and elegy—to the life sustaining force that is friendship between women. Clare sees it so clearly: the way friendship can be a love story, complete with heartbreak and redemption. I plan to share this book with my dearest friends, all the while marvelling at how lucky I am to have them, and how much better a place the world is with Clare's books in it." —Marissa Stapley, New York Times bestselling author of Lucky
"Kerry Clare's Asking for a Friend is a love story about female friendship. Through shifting perspectives and slices of life, this book follows two women from their instantaneous connection through the next twenty years, as they navigate the realities of relationships, jobs, losses, and motherhood, with their bond as a lifeline. I was drawn in by Clare's clear-eyed depiction of pregnancy as a tightrope walk of yearning and fear. This book is honest, intimate, compassionate, hopeful, and sometimes heartbreaking; it made me reflect on my own friendships with women, both long-lasting and short-lived." —Shashi Bhat, author of The Most Precious Substance on Earth