Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just Jennifer

MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche (Ballentine, January 2012)

When Rachel Bertsche moves to Chicago to live with her boyfriend and then marry him, she realizes she’s going to need a new, local BFF (Best Friend Forever). She had loads of BFFs when she lived in New York and when she was in college at Northwestern, but now as a married young woman in a new city, she’s not sure how to go about auditioning and finding a new BFF. Rachel begins a year long campaign to have 52 girl dates hoping to find her female soul mate. Some of her dates are past acquaintances, some she meets at classes, speed-dating, some she meets after she writes an online essay about her search, but for a year, she keeps her eyes open for a potential new BFF.

Rachel writes an honest story about her search for a new BFF, including the good dates, the ones she knew wouldn’t work and the ones who dumped her. She reads about friendship during this year and gathers statistics, some of which she proves to be true at the end of the year, but her quest is not entirely scientific. She explores the difference between loneliness and depression and helps her recently widowed mother who followed Rachel to Chicago, adjust to her new life and find a group of friends for her.

Through her year long journey, husband Matt is supportive of her search and even “double dates” with Rachel when her date is married or has a boyfriend. While Rachel’s story is touching and enjoyable in a “like me” sort of way, it strikes me that as a newly married woman she might want to put this much energy into her now married relationship, though if she is this comfortable with and has such confidence in her relationship with her husband, she has the perfect skill set to find and nurture a new BFF relationship, a person who may turn up when Rachel least expects it.

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