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The Art of Friendship

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We all expect our friendships from childhood to last forever... Libby and Kit have been best friends ever since the day 11-year-old Kit bounded up to Libby's bedroom window. They've seen each other through first kisses, bad break-ups and everything in-between. It's almost 20 years since Libby moved to Sydney, but they've remained close, despite the distance and the differen We all expect our friendships from childhood to last forever... Libby and Kit have been best friends ever since the day 11-year-old Kit bounded up to Libby's bedroom window. They've seen each other through first kisses, bad break-ups and everything in-between. It's almost 20 years since Libby moved to Sydney, but they've remained close, despite the distance and the different paths their lives have taken. So when Libby announces she's moving back to Melbourne, Kit is overjoyed. They're best friends - practically family - so it doesn't matter that she and Libby now have different ...well, different everything, actually, or so it seems when they're finally living in the same city again. Or does it?


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We all expect our friendships from childhood to last forever... Libby and Kit have been best friends ever since the day 11-year-old Kit bounded up to Libby's bedroom window. They've seen each other through first kisses, bad break-ups and everything in-between. It's almost 20 years since Libby moved to Sydney, but they've remained close, despite the distance and the differen We all expect our friendships from childhood to last forever... Libby and Kit have been best friends ever since the day 11-year-old Kit bounded up to Libby's bedroom window. They've seen each other through first kisses, bad break-ups and everything in-between. It's almost 20 years since Libby moved to Sydney, but they've remained close, despite the distance and the different paths their lives have taken. So when Libby announces she's moving back to Melbourne, Kit is overjoyed. They're best friends - practically family - so it doesn't matter that she and Libby now have different ...well, different everything, actually, or so it seems when they're finally living in the same city again. Or does it?

30 review for The Art of Friendship

  1. 5 out of 5

    Veronica ⭐️

    Lisa’s last book, The Shape of Us, has been shortlisted for the AusRom Today Reader’s Choice Award for book of the year, and Lisa has been shortlisted for the Best Established author. The Shape of Us was also in my top 10 reads of 2017. The Art of Friendship wasn’t exactly how I imagined it to be. I thought it was going to be a BFF, follow their lives, a bust up then HEA. Basically it was along those lines but so much more. It was a look at the different types of friendships we have during our li Lisa’s last book, The Shape of Us, has been shortlisted for the AusRom Today Reader’s Choice Award for book of the year, and Lisa has been shortlisted for the Best Established author. The Shape of Us was also in my top 10 reads of 2017. The Art of Friendship wasn’t exactly how I imagined it to be. I thought it was going to be a BFF, follow their lives, a bust up then HEA. Basically it was along those lines but so much more. It was a look at the different types of friendships we have during our lives. Friends that come and go and those that we have known forever, these know all our secrets. Sometimes you follow different paths, as is the case with Libby and Kit, but there is so much history that binds you. Friends come and go, people change, and your best friend from childhood and your teens may not connect with you in adulthood. Is there a time when you should let these friendships go? “There’s something about friends we form in childhood that makes them hard to let go, even when we no longer have anything in common.” The narrative is written in both Libby and Kit’s POV so the reader gets a very good idea of how both women are thinking of the friendship and each other. However, the main focus is on Libby as she moves through different friendship groups and how these friendships affect her relationship with Kit. Watching their relationship was painful with the back and forward bitterness and Libby’s overreacting to situations. I was really hoping the girls would work it out as lifelong friendships are so precious. Ireland conveys through her story that some friendships are for a common reason, some only for a season and others are a bond that traverses time and distance. The Art of Friendship will make you stop, think, ponder and question every friendship you’ve ever had. Lisa Ireland came across this idea of friendships and how they impact our life after seeing an article on ghosting, which is apparently a real thing in this overly connected world of social media. Ghosting: (noun) The practice of ending a personal relationship with someone suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication. Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for my copy for review purposes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com 4.5 stars Friendships, we have them and we lose them. Sometimes we can’t live without them, other times we are up in arms about ending them. The Art of Friendship is a new novel that puts one great big ring around a friendship between two women that formed in childhood, has lasted the distance but is now at a breaking point. The Art of Friendship explores how one relationship formed from childhood, grows and changes. Ireland asks the reader to consider; what h *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com 4.5 stars Friendships, we have them and we lose them. Sometimes we can’t live without them, other times we are up in arms about ending them. The Art of Friendship is a new novel that puts one great big ring around a friendship between two women that formed in childhood, has lasted the distance but is now at a breaking point. The Art of Friendship explores how one relationship formed from childhood, grows and changes. Ireland asks the reader to consider; what happens to long standing friendships when we grow into adults? For the leads of this novel, Kit and Libby, they have supported one another through many good times and bad. Now twenty years into their friendship and despite the physical distance that has separated them, the two have made an effort to maintain their friendship. When Libby finally returns home to Melbourne, a chance to be back in one another’s lives, in a full time capacity, presents itself. For Kit, this is welcome news as she considers Libby to be family. However, events and feelings transpire that begin to show just how different these two women now are. Can their friendships survive and thrive, or are their differences just too great to overcome? Friendships are an everyday part of our lives. What I loved about this novel was Lisa Ireland’s ability to tackle in the everyday. Her novel captures the essence of normality. Her tone and overall writing style is one that sits well with me. Ireland’s writing is best described as down to earth and incredibly straightforward. Ireland tells it as it is, she takes ordinary moments in our lives and is able to put the issues under the spotlight. She draws out our grievances, reservations and inner thoughts to a tee. Although the title and main subject matter does concern itself with the emotionally fraught territory of friendship, there are plenty of other just as compelling themes for the reader to explore in this novel. With the overriding theme of friendship, Ireland draws all readers, not matter their creed, into her novel. However, running alongside this main concept is a great side focus on careers, love, relationships, family backgrounds, marriage, parenting, finances, personal satisfaction, anxiety and bullying. It sounds like a lot of ground to cover, but the way in which Ireland tackles these everyday problems is what makes this book both resonating and truly special. I really loved Ireland’s characterisation in her previous novel, The Shape of Us and her new novel again demonstrates her aptitude in this region. Although you make not like both of the main characters (Libby may get under your skin) it is impossible to deny that they have been composed exceptionally well. I enjoyed following of the lives of both leads, it was an entertaining and at times self reflective process. I did stop and reflect on my own friendship history. It was a little confronting at first, but the insight I gained from Ireland and the heartfelt journey her characters embark upon was well worth the emotional ride. I appreciated the set up of this novel very much, within the unfolding narrative we see a friendship form from childhood, solidify in high school, cement itself in university years and slowly take a downfall in adult years. It is an interesting cycle to say the least. The parts I enjoyed the most were the flashbacks to the very early days in Kim and Libby’s friendship. I loved the being transported back to a time (late 80’s/90’s) I look upon with great fondness. Ireland’s closure of The Art of Friendship is not a completely straightforward one. After some soul searching, confrontation, emotions, tears and some unresolved issues for the characters of The Art of Friendship, Ireland chooses to exit the novel at this point. For me, this ending worked well. That’s real life, in a nutshell! The Art of Friendship is one novel that really hit home, I uncovered some hard truths, but I am thankful for the experience I shared with Lisa Ireland and her character set. The Art of Friendship is a book that I heartily recommend. It is a very contemporary and connective novel that examines a commonplace aspect of our lives, friendships. Do we need certain friendships as much we think we do? I’ll leave you with that final note to explore. The Art of Friendship is book #41 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Eleven-year-old Libby and her parents had had to sell their farm and move into the city. Woodvale in Melbourne was nothing like the family was used to, but it didn’t take Libby long to make friends. Kit lived over the road from Libby, and the very first day she had spotted Libby at her bedroom window, Kit declared they would be best friends forever. As they moved through school together, first primary then high school, their friendship didn’t falter. It was when Kit was in London that Libby met Eleven-year-old Libby and her parents had had to sell their farm and move into the city. Woodvale in Melbourne was nothing like the family was used to, but it didn’t take Libby long to make friends. Kit lived over the road from Libby, and the very first day she had spotted Libby at her bedroom window, Kit declared they would be best friends forever. As they moved through school together, first primary then high school, their friendship didn’t falter. It was when Kit was in London that Libby met Cameron, married him and moved to Sydney. Through letters, emails and long phone calls, the two friends remained close – it was twenty years later when both Libby and Kit were in their late thirties, and Libby’s son Harry was thirteen, that Cam announced he’d procured a top job in Melbourne. They were returning home. Kit was ecstatic as was Libby. But would their friendship be the same? Kit was Harry’s godmother and thought the world of him, as he did her. But Libby’s life went a different way when she, Cam and Harry moved into Arcadia Lakes; a new, elite subdivision with elegant housing and much more. Keeping up with the wives of the executives was something which scared Libby half to death, but she would do it. But at what cost? Would Kit and Libby remain friends? Would their lifetime of friendship sustain any issues that might arise? The Art of Friendship by Aussie author Lisa Ireland is a look at how people grow; how they change and how they remain the same. The difference between childhood friendships, and adult friendships is vast – that person you befriended as a child might not be one you’d befriend as an adult. But what happens when that friendship goes from childhood through to adulthood; when two people turn out to be vastly different from each other? The complexity of our lives – from being parents, to careers, basically to choices we make – is real and emotional. Lisa Ireland has tackled all issues in The Art of Friendship with sensitivity and she makes it very realistic. Highly recommended. With thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for my ARC to read and review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Childhood best friends since the age of eleven, Kit and Libby have always been there for one another over the years. A friendship that would last forever or would it? It's been almost 20 years since Libby moved from Melbourne to go and live in Sydney, but she and Kit have always kept in contact. So when Kit hears that Libby is returning to Melbourne she couldn't be happier and can't wait to see Libby again. Only it seems things are different between Kit and Libby and their strong friendship bond Childhood best friends since the age of eleven, Kit and Libby have always been there for one another over the years. A friendship that would last forever or would it? It's been almost 20 years since Libby moved from Melbourne to go and live in Sydney, but she and Kit have always kept in contact. So when Kit hears that Libby is returning to Melbourne she couldn't be happier and can't wait to see Libby again. Only it seems things are different between Kit and Libby and their strong friendship bond they once had all those years ago is starting to become strained. Will they be able to get back their strong friendship they once experienced when they were younger or is it too late? The Art of Friendship by Aussie author Lisa Ireland is the first book I've read by this author and what a terrific book to begin with. I thoroughly loved this book and I'm looking forward to reading more books by this author. Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sally Hepworth

    STOP WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING AND READ THIS BOOK. Okay, you can't do that, because it's not out yet. Sorry. But as soon as it is, refer to my statement above. I loved Lisa Ireland's first book The Shape of Us--I mean LOVED it--but this, friends, is even better. I connected to this book on so many levels. It is simple yet complicated, sad and real, uplifting and funny. It is about the friendships we hold and those we lose. Something about it felt intensely personal. It is that book that forces you STOP WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING AND READ THIS BOOK. Okay, you can't do that, because it's not out yet. Sorry. But as soon as it is, refer to my statement above. I loved Lisa Ireland's first book The Shape of Us--I mean LOVED it--but this, friends, is even better. I connected to this book on so many levels. It is simple yet complicated, sad and real, uplifting and funny. It is about the friendships we hold and those we lose. Something about it felt intensely personal. It is that book that forces you to put it down periodically and reflect on it. I will be thinking about this book for a long time.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    Three and a half stars. Libby and Kit first met as eleven year olds, after Libby and her family moved to Woodvale. Over the years, despite living in different places at times, the friendship has remained strong. So when Libby announces she and the family are moving back to Melbourne, Kit is overjoyed. She will get to see more of Libby and also Libby’s son Harry, to whom she is godmother. It all sounds ideal. What could possibly go wrong? Libby, on the other hand, has some reservations about the m Three and a half stars. Libby and Kit first met as eleven year olds, after Libby and her family moved to Woodvale. Over the years, despite living in different places at times, the friendship has remained strong. So when Libby announces she and the family are moving back to Melbourne, Kit is overjoyed. She will get to see more of Libby and also Libby’s son Harry, to whom she is godmother. It all sounds ideal. What could possibly go wrong? Libby, on the other hand, has some reservations about the move. More so after she arrives and meets her husband Cam’s work colleagues and their wives. But if it helps Cam’s career she is prepared to try and make the best of it. Till events take a turn that Libby never expected and friendships are threatened. This is an interesting read and the characters are identifiable, although I found for various reasons I didn’t really like either of the two main characters. However I could understand where they were coming from. It does make you think about the amount of unspoken comments, feelings and hurts that are often repressed in some relationships as people try and maintain a friendship. To me the whole situation at Arcadia Lakes sounded like a nightmare, being managed and organised like that. This provides an interesting look at female friendships and also other relationships that are sometimes fraught with problems. Another good Australian novel that is easy to read and quick to power through.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Smith

    What an incredible novel this turned out to be! In Lisa Ireland’s latest, she examines the intricacies of friendship and asks the question: do lifelong friendships have a use by date? But friendship isn’t the only issue to come under the microscope. Lisa also takes a look at parenting, self-confidence, the lengths people will go to fit in with their chosen crowd, the tendency to unfairly judge others, relationships and domestic violence. It’s a smorgasbord of social issues but just like a puzzle What an incredible novel this turned out to be! In Lisa Ireland’s latest, she examines the intricacies of friendship and asks the question: do lifelong friendships have a use by date? But friendship isn’t the only issue to come under the microscope. Lisa also takes a look at parenting, self-confidence, the lengths people will go to fit in with their chosen crowd, the tendency to unfairly judge others, relationships and domestic violence. It’s a smorgasbord of social issues but just like a puzzle, all of these pieces fit neatly together, forming a picture of contemporary Australian life that many will be able to relate to. Libby and Kit have been friends since they were eleven. Now forty, they’ve spent the majority of the last twenty years navigating their friendship by distance. When the two finally live in the same city again, they’re initially thrilled, but very rapidly their friendship begins to stretch under the strain of differing views and lifestyles. Now, I’m just going to cut right to the heart of it here: I really did not like Libby. Not in the beginning, not in the middle, and not at the end. She was obsessed with perceived social status to the point of making herself sick. She was insufferably hovering over her son to the point of stifling him. Her low confidence in herself made her short-change her husband over and over. She was a wanna-be even though she didn’t even want to be. Judgemental people with a low self-esteem can be incredible toxic, and I saw shades of many people I have known throughout my life in Libby. Kit, on the other hand, I adored. Was this Lisa Ireland’s intention? Maybe, maybe not, but her skill as a writer was entirely on display as Libby repeatedly misjudged Kit. You didn’t have to like Libby to love this story. Through Libby’s toxic behaviour towards Kit, Lisa demonstrated the minefield that friendship can sometimes be. Kit reached a point where obligation began to outweigh affection, and what an interesting question this is. We can all probably cite an example of a friendship we’ve had that has been imbalanced. You’re the one who always calls or turns up, etc. At what point do we just pack it in and demote the friendship to an acquaintance? As well as being thought provoking, this is a highly entertaining read. The ‘Arcadia-wives’ cracked me up with their superficiality. I really liked Kit’s blossoming relationship and her grand gesture towards the end. But what I really loved about this novel, what made it really perfect for me, was the reality check. Not everything pans out perfectly at the end, tied up with a neat bow. Some things are resolved, but others just continue as they are, much like life itself. Lisa shows us the importance of not taking things at face value. There is more to any person you meet beyond the facade they present to the world. Whether you want to wipe them or dig deeper is on you. The Art of Friendship is Lisa Ireland at the top of her game. It’s a smart and entertaining novel guided by a very big moral compass. Women of all ages will enjoy this story and I highly recommend it as a book club title. Perfect timing for Mother’s Day too! Thanks is extended to Pan Macmillan Australia for providing me with a copy The Art of Friendship for review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    marlin1

    It gives thought to the ‘type’ of friendships you have through out your life. An enjoyable read

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pan Macmillan Australia

    This is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day or just a great read for women of any age. Australian Lisa Ireland looks at just what makes some friendships last a lifetime and others for only a short while. Libby and Kit are childhood friends growing up in Melbourne then Libby gets married and moves away to another city. The two friends correspond the whole time and when years later, Libby’s husband gets the dream job back in Melbourne, the two friends are so excited to be living close to each other This is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day or just a great read for women of any age. Australian Lisa Ireland looks at just what makes some friendships last a lifetime and others for only a short while. Libby and Kit are childhood friends growing up in Melbourne then Libby gets married and moves away to another city. The two friends correspond the whole time and when years later, Libby’s husband gets the dream job back in Melbourne, the two friends are so excited to be living close to each other again. But have they changed too much to go back to the way they were? And what about the new friends Libby has made of the wives of her husband’s new work colleagues? What secrets do they hide behind their Stepford Wives façade? Throw in an only child with anxiety, a handsome private school principal and you get a great read! - Leanne

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sam Still Reading

    I always look forward to a new Lisa Ireland novel without exception, so perhaps it seems strange that I’ve waited almost a month after release to read and review The Art of Friendship. I was waiting for a less busy time to dedicate myself to reading this wonderful story and I’m glad I did because I didn’t do much else besides read once I’d opened it. The Art of Friendship is a wonderful story that pushes both the characters and the reader to their limits. It makes you question how you see your f I always look forward to a new Lisa Ireland novel without exception, so perhaps it seems strange that I’ve waited almost a month after release to read and review The Art of Friendship. I was waiting for a less busy time to dedicate myself to reading this wonderful story and I’m glad I did because I didn’t do much else besides read once I’d opened it. The Art of Friendship is a wonderful story that pushes both the characters and the reader to their limits. It makes you question how you see your friendships and ask yourself bluntly, is this working? The story is about two friends from childhood, Libby and Kit. Kit is the first friend Libby makes when she moves to an outer suburb of Melbourne and the girls are close friends through their teens and into their early twenties. They are separated physically for nearly twenty years after Libby moves to Sydney. Libby and her family then return to Melbourne after her husband Cameron accepts a job offer that’s nearly too good to be true. Libby and Kit will be able to see each other much more frequently and relive the close friendship of their youth. Well, that’s the way it should have gone but then we wouldn’t have such a great story. Over the years, Kit and Libby have become very different people with differing values, opinions and life paths. Being closer just exemplifies the differences between them and it’s uncomfortable for them both. Is this a friendship that should have run its course a long time ago or is it worth repairing? Lisa Ireland throws up this difficult conundrum that I’m pretty sure most people would have faced over time. What happens when your friends don’t match your life? Because if variety is the spice of life, it sure feels awkward and not-quite-right. Over the course of the story, the differences between Kit and Libby are highlighted, along with the major struggles in their lives. Libby is a stay at home mum, university dropout and has put all her eggs in the one basket – son Harry. She has put her heart and soul into Harry’s life being just right. Dealing with the stress of living very closely with the wives of her husband’s colleagues only fuels Libby’s need to be liked and perfect. Sure, it’s all a bit Stepford-wife like but Libby knows she has to succeed here. So when Harry turns out not to be her perfect petal, she is beyond devastated. Lashing out at Kit is one way she lets out her frustrations. Kit is the total opposite – part time lecturer, job helping women experiencing domestic violence, single, no kids and comfortable in herself. But when Kit starts a relationship with Libby’s arch-nemesis, the friendship turns to home truths and low blows. What I really admired about The Art of Friendship is that it wasn’t afraid to show the ugly bits. That Harry might be a bit of a weird kid. That Libby would sell her soul to be perfect and part of the in crowd. That Kit can be too outspoken and passionate. That sometimes, friendship is going through the motions rather than truly caring for each other. It was a bit uncomfortable at times as the truths were laid bare and the characters revealed to be far from perfect. But I just wanted to keep reading. Even though I found Libby a bit lacklustre in ambition beyond Harry and appearance, she was still adequately redeemed at the end of the novel. I must admit to being Team Kit, as I felt she was open to her faults and at ease. Overall, I loved the story. The pacing is tight, the secrets satisfying and pages just turned themselves. Overall, this is Lisa’s best book to date. Thank you to Pan Macmillan for the copy of this book. My review is honest. http://samstillreading.wordpress.com

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie Garner

    What a great story about the balance between friendship and family. Lisa does a wonderful job of delving in to the heart of friendship that begins in childhood and moves on through a young adult travelling to getting married and having a family. Kit and Libby will finally, after many years, be living in the same city. They can't wait to be able to see each other again on a regular basis. They find, however, that the dream doesn't always translate well in to reality. Even though they are close in What a great story about the balance between friendship and family. Lisa does a wonderful job of delving in to the heart of friendship that begins in childhood and moves on through a young adult travelling to getting married and having a family. Kit and Libby will finally, after many years, be living in the same city. They can't wait to be able to see each other again on a regular basis. They find, however, that the dream doesn't always translate well in to reality. Even though they are close in geography, they have never been further apart. If you are a fan of Desperate Housewives or the Real Housewives TV shows, then this book is for you as Libby becomes a part of the Housewife set. As you can imagine, there are secrets...lots of lovely and horrifying secrets. These secrets can make or break a friendship and Libby needs to decide if they are worth losing her best friend for. It looks at what happens when you get caught up in the new world your husband has moved you in to and what it takes to belong. The Art of Friendship reminds us all that sometimes we don't always know what is going on in our friend's life that could be influencing the way they interact with us at any given time. Friendship is about the highs but it is also about getting through the lows and being there for each other, even when you don't necessarily like one another at that point in time.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Leanne Francis

    Loved the beautiful and simple storytelling but this is a novel layered with depth and meaning, Lisa’s captured the complexities of friendship perfectly, loved it

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bree T

    As an adult, friendship feels like such a tricky thing. Far more so than when I was a child. I’m not really sure what it is – perhaps it’s moving interstate as an adult without knowing anyone. I still have friends from my high school years but we are spread out all over the globe now, contact restricted to liking each other’s photos on facebook. I would imagine that were some of them to suddenly move close to me, it would be almost like getting to know them all over again. And I’d imagine that t As an adult, friendship feels like such a tricky thing. Far more so than when I was a child. I’m not really sure what it is – perhaps it’s moving interstate as an adult without knowing anyone. I still have friends from my high school years but we are spread out all over the globe now, contact restricted to liking each other’s photos on facebook. I would imagine that were some of them to suddenly move close to me, it would be almost like getting to know them all over again. And I’d imagine that there’d probably be a few teething problems, much like Libby and Kit experience. Libby and Kit became close friends through proximity, which is often how you meet and become friends with someone as kids. Their friendship survives attending different high schools and Libby’s moving away to Sydney during the university years. Although they do get to see each other in person each year during a Boxing Day tradition, the majority of their interactions have been by phone, letters, emails. They are also leading quite different lives – Libby is married with a son and Kit is quite determinedly single with a job she devotes herself to. Libby has never really carved out a career niche for herself and has no regrets leaving her job behind to move to Melbourne. I loved so much about this book – firstly, it’s set pretty close to where I live! Libby moves to an area not far from where I am now when she’s a child and when she moves back as an adult to an exclusive new development ‘community’ it’s not unlike where I live, in a way, which is in a newly developed area of what used to be market gardens and farmland. A lot of what Libby sees around her is familiar to me and like Libby, I’ve never really known what I’ve wanted to do with my life in terms of a career. And although I don’t think I’m quite as involved a parent as Libby, I understand that reaction to protect your child, to perhaps look for the excuses and to automatically assume that they’re the victim. I think that’s only natural, to a certain extent. But Libby definitely goes a lot further with this than I believe that I would! I really liked the way Libby’s issues with her son played out, especially as it bled into her friendship with Kit – entrusting her with his care but then being very upset with the way Kit had handled things, which angers Kit. I think both Libby and Kit feel as though it will be easy to pick up this friendship when Libby moves back to Victoria but the reality is very different. Libby is living in a rather exclusive area, a gated community with its own golf course, country club and it comes with the wives of her husband’s work colleagues, who demand her social inclusion in events and planning. Kit has moved, she’s still in the western suburbs but not this new version. She has little time for Libby’s new friends and the lives they lead and seems confused about Libby’s lack of focus and desire to find a job. One of the incidents I felt best demonstrated a divide in their personal lives was when Kit suggested they return to Paris for their 40th birthdays. Libby immediately says she needs to discuss it with her husband and think about the implications of leaving their son and Kit can’t believe this, derisively wondering why she needs to ask her husband’s permission. She doesn’t, but I was curious that was the conclusion she jumped to. If my husband made a snap decision to go overseas without consulting me to work out logistics (even if money wasn’t an issue at all) I would be really annoyed. Likewise I wouldn’t do the same to him. We discuss everything, even if it’s just me going to the football with a friend or him needing to go to a work dinner. Kit seems to see Libby’s husband as quite controlling or demanding from the outside looking in. Which to me, was interesting – is that what marriage looks like to people that aren’t and don’t really do relationships? Who don’t have to….not answer to someone else, but at least think about them and consult them or use them as a sounding board for decisions and opinions. I think this was a really strong, believable look at the world of adult friendships – not only negotiating that entire world of them but also making them, keeping them and trying to hold onto those ones that have been important to us for years. The characters are sharply realistic – down to earth but also flawed. This book is mired in the day to day routines of busy people and the juggling that involves as well as the various domestic issues that come into play. And it’s also not a neat and tidy finish either….there’s no magic solution for the fact that these two people are very different to how they were as children, nor for the fact that some horrible things get said. Instead I would describe the ending as ‘cautiously optimistic’ and I feel as though that’s a really good choice, in keeping with the story that has been constructed. Life isn’t neat and tidy, it’s messy and full of awkward moments, broken connections and tough times. Lisa Ireland’s last two books have absolutely excelled at portraying that uncertainty and I’ve loved them both.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Certified Book Addicts

    The Art of Friendship is my first book by Australian author Lisa Ireland. From the moment I started reading, I enjoyed spending my time with two best friends, Libby and Kit in Melbourne. Libby and Kit have been best friends since primary school and have navigated high school and adulthood together. However, on the brink of their fortieth birthdays they discover that their friendship is not what appears to be. Libby living in Sydney for much of their adult lives has caused a distortion of their p The Art of Friendship is my first book by Australian author Lisa Ireland. From the moment I started reading, I enjoyed spending my time with two best friends, Libby and Kit in Melbourne. Libby and Kit have been best friends since primary school and have navigated high school and adulthood together. However, on the brink of their fortieth birthdays they discover that their friendship is not what appears to be. Libby living in Sydney for much of their adult lives has caused a distortion of their past and the present is not turning out to be as wonderful as they anticipated. Lisa has written an honest yet warm narrative about childhood friendships that will speak the truth to women everywhere.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Houllis

    This is the story of besfriends who met at the age 11 years old and grew up together. Over the years their lives take different paths Libby is married to Cam and mother to 13 year old. Kit single living in the house she grew up with her mother in Melbourne. Kit's mum passed away a year earlier Libby is living in Sydney for 20 years with family when her husband gets a job in Melbourne as Lawyer executive of Housing development company that comes with house. So they move there Libby and Kit think This is the story of besfriends who met at the age 11 years old and grew up together. Over the years their lives take different paths Libby is married to Cam and mother to 13 year old. Kit single living in the house she grew up with her mother in Melbourne. Kit's mum passed away a year earlier Libby is living in Sydney for 20 years with family when her husband gets a job in Melbourne as Lawyer executive of Housing development company that comes with house. So they move there Libby and Kit think they will have more for each other but Libby ends up meeting the wives of Cam boss and executives. This put a strain on Kit and Libby 's friendship. Lisa Ireland does an excellent job looking at a close friend between two and how their lives changes over the years as does their friendship. I think if your looking to read a book about friends this it you should give this one go and pick it up to read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    I'd been saving this book as a special occasion read - for my annual weekend away with my daughter. I couldn't put it down. Literally. Thankyou Lisa. This book is about friendship and how it changes, but it's so much more than that - especially relevant in this instaperfect environment. Some confronting themes, and some oh yes, I get that moments - it explores both the fellowship and the competitiveness of female friendship, the roles we all play, and the choices we make. Oh, and I loved it. Hav I'd been saving this book as a special occasion read - for my annual weekend away with my daughter. I couldn't put it down. Literally. Thankyou Lisa. This book is about friendship and how it changes, but it's so much more than that - especially relevant in this instaperfect environment. Some confronting themes, and some oh yes, I get that moments - it explores both the fellowship and the competitiveness of female friendship, the roles we all play, and the choices we make. Oh, and I loved it. Have I said that?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Moxon

    This book will resonate with many people who have had a friend since their childhood. A sure page turner. I really enjoyed both main characters of kit & Libby. Lisa has a way of pulling you into the characters emotions & taking you on a journey. I really enjoyed it as much as ‘the shape of us,’ her last book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Lovely story that had me putting chores off to keep reading & page turning. Loved the intertwined DV back story..... a real true to life story that occurs far too often. Thanks LI for the lovely journey and gentle reminder to be the truest of me!!!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Janine

    I enjoyed this book but did find the first half a little slow.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    I enjoyed reading this book, even though it was a bit heavy going in various sections.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    Absolutely LOVED this book, from start to finish and read it within a 24 hour period! I felt the pain, laughter and love from all of the characters....well worth more than 5 stars! I think this book will stay with me for a very long time.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Marsh

    Devoured this in 2 days. A thought-provking read about friendships, long-lasting and recent, that will have you evaluating your own friendships long after you've turned the final page. Thoroughly enjoyed. Devoured this in 2 days. A thought-provking read about friendships, long-lasting and recent, that will have you evaluating your own friendships long after you've turned the final page. Thoroughly enjoyed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jaylee Neal

    I enjoyed this book, I honestly couldn't pick who I loved so so much but honestly Lisa out did herself! I enjoyed this book, I honestly couldn't pick who I loved so so much but honestly Lisa out did herself!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    Kit and Libby met and became best friends as 11 year olds. As they grew, their lives took them in different directions, but they kept their friendship intact through letters and phone calls. On the cusp of their fortieth birthdays, they again find themselves living in the same city, only 15 minutes apart. But has their friendship survived the years apart? Can it survive them being together again? I really enjoyed this book. Lisa Ireland does an incredibly realistic job of portraying the relations Kit and Libby met and became best friends as 11 year olds. As they grew, their lives took them in different directions, but they kept their friendship intact through letters and phone calls. On the cusp of their fortieth birthdays, they again find themselves living in the same city, only 15 minutes apart. But has their friendship survived the years apart? Can it survive them being together again? I really enjoyed this book. Lisa Ireland does an incredibly realistic job of portraying the relationships between women. You see your own friends and colleagues in her characters. Their relationships and interactions reflect yours. It's a real gift to be able to create these fictional people, but you feel that they are actually real people, and when you have to leave them at the end of the book is almost feels like the loss of a friendship. Beyond that though, it makes you reflect on the friendships in your own life. Through the story, seeing the same event through both Libby and Kit's eyes, makes me wonder about those interactions in your own life. Did my friend perceive it the same way I did? Was I overstepping boundaries? Highly recommended!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    I bought this book when it first came out which is over a year ago now, I got just over a quarter of the way through but was getting annoyed with one of the main characters and obviously wasn't in the mood for being annoyed because I put it down with the intention of picking it back up down the track, but it never happened. Luckily my friend has just started a bookclub and she chose The Art of Friendship as the first book our group needed to read, which gave me the opportunity to pick it back up I bought this book when it first came out which is over a year ago now, I got just over a quarter of the way through but was getting annoyed with one of the main characters and obviously wasn't in the mood for being annoyed because I put it down with the intention of picking it back up down the track, but it never happened. Luckily my friend has just started a bookclub and she chose The Art of Friendship as the first book our group needed to read, which gave me the opportunity to pick it back up. I started from the beginning as it had been so long between reads. And what a great novel it was, I still didn't like Libby, the main character who annoyed me the first go-round, but this time I was in the right headspace to be able to deal with that. This novel really does explore the many aspects of friendship, old friendships, new friendships, long-distance friendships, colleague friendships, friendships you make because you belong to the same group or because your kids go to school together, and the way they survive or don't survive. It really made me think about the friendships I've had over the years and the ones I have now, those that are just a few likes on Facebook and those that interact, those I catch up with or chat to regularly and those that I might only have contact with now and again, but I know they are there for me if I ever need them. Not many of my friendships from childhood or even highschool have survived the test of time, (not past Fb anyway), which is kind of sad in a way but also made me wonder about those past friendships and why they died. As I said, I didn't like Libby, one of the two main characters, I found her need to please everyone, to make people think she was something she wasn't, (to make herself be something she wasn't), to be very annoying, I've never been one to pretend or to 'keep up with the  Jones', so I always find people like this very false. As the story progressed and you get an idea of why she is how she is, I still didn't take to her, but despite that, I enjoyed the novel this time around. Kit, on the other hand, I liked a lot, yes she did make some questionable decisions and they both had a hand in making their friendship one that wasn't wholly based on truth and honesty, but she was still more real and likeable than Libby. I liked the way Lisa Ireland drew out the secondary characters backstories and how we think we know one thing about them but it turns out to be something completely different, I especially liked that in reference to Libby's husband. With Libby's son, we get to explore, bullying, mental health, and healthy parenting and some of the outcomes are unexpected. Lisa Ireland has done a great job of bringing these important aspects to life and giving you something to think about.  Spousal abuse is yet another theme that comes up in this novel, why and how people let it happen and how they are able to hide it, also, how friends and colleagues miss or justify signs that it is happening. It isn't a straightforward topic and there isn't always a way out or a right way of dealing with it.  Lisa explores so many themes in this novel and she does it so well. A really great story that I'm glad I finally got around to finishing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rae Hawkins

    Love Lisa Ireland's books. She has the best story line that has you loving the characters right from the start Love Lisa Ireland's books. She has the best story line that has you loving the characters right from the start

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adina Shaw

    Depicted the accuracy of having a childhood friend and then branching out when you are older! Loved it, very detailed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sigrid Eckhart

    Started very interesting but I became increasingly annoyed with Libby throughout the book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Parsons

    I loved this book! Most of us have had those friendships, you know the ones that started when you were kids and continue to blossom into adulthood? I know I have. But what happens when one of you moves away and your lives take a different trajectory? Some friendships run their course and there's nothing you can do about it. Or is there? Lisa Ireland's enchanting story of childhood friends Kit & Libby, takes us on an adventure. You will be charmed by their childhood antics, and be heartbroken as t I loved this book! Most of us have had those friendships, you know the ones that started when you were kids and continue to blossom into adulthood? I know I have. But what happens when one of you moves away and your lives take a different trajectory? Some friendships run their course and there's nothing you can do about it. Or is there? Lisa Ireland's enchanting story of childhood friends Kit & Libby, takes us on an adventure. You will be charmed by their childhood antics, and be heartbroken as they drift apart. But this story is about so much more than just friendship. I adored being transported back into the 1980's & 90's and can't wait to explore her back catalogue.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cookie1

    I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this book at all. However as it moved on, after Harry was removed from school, the book really became alive for me. Of the two friends I think Kit appealed to me more, although I did feel sorry for Libby toward the end.

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