You and I have had positive and negative experiences, just like everyone else. AndI get that the teenage years can be difficult - it's for young women I wrote my novel, Victorian Town. I wanted to capture the essence of what defines a true friendship ... and what might destroy it.
I recently attended a seminar where the speaker, a professional literary agent, volunteered to read and give feedback on outlines of novels. When he came to mine, as he stood at the front of the room behind a podium, I felt pretty certain he was going to understand the tension I tried to convey between my two main characters, Abby and Jess, at the thought of losing one another forever over a love interest. I thought he would grasp how important a best friend is and how strong that connection can be with its many facets: leaning on one another, sharing secrets, knowing one other so well, loyalty and love.
But he didn’t.
He told me that a young woman would easily choose a guy she liked over her best friend, even if it meant losing her friendship forever.
As soon as a few of the women in the audience shook their heads in disagreement, I knew I'd touched on something. Our best friends are our anchors and we do not leave them lightly, even if we are vulnerable and lack strength of conviction.
We can be shattered by the loss of a best friend who has cast us aside for the sake of a romantic interest or friend, and the hurt of that event will never be forgotten.