How To Make a Friend by Fleur Smithwick
Genre; Difficult to define – contemporary, suspense, some crime, supernatural?
Now, Alice’s life almost resembles something happy, normal. She has a handful of close friends and a career as a photographer. But when a tragic accident shatters the world Alice has constructed, the sense of isolation that haunted her in childhood returns. And with it, so does Sam.
To Alice, he looks and feels like a real person, but how can that be so? And who will decide when it’s time for him to leave again?
This is a NetGalley book and I requested it because I liked what I read on the blurb and I’m glad that I did, even though, as you can see, when it came to defining a genre, I didn’t know where to put it. It has a lot of different elements in it. But that was no bad thing.
When Alice is young, she has an invisible friend but as often happens, she grows up and her friend, Sam, leaves. But after that awful night, he reappears much to her confusion. The book follows Alice and her difficulty managing to have an invisible friend in the real world where the likelihood is that she is having a traumatic event happen in her life and he is not real. Mental illness is explored as is friendship, grief, loss and love. But it’s not as simple as that as Sam (her invisible friend) seems to have a lot at stake in their friendship and their relationship deteriorates. This is where the supernatural and crime come into play. It’s not overt in what it does. It’s very subtle and gets under your skin just enough. It’s a book that will keep you guessing and when you close it, will just leave you with enough of a weird feeling that you will continue to think about it for a little while afterwards.
I also liked the way Smithwick writes. I liked the tone. I was quickly settled and turning the pages and that’s not easy at the minute as you know because finding books that are holding my attention span at this time as I go through a reading blip is hard and Smithwick writes with a style I enjoyed.
I’m glad I picked this one up. I really enjoyed it and would pick up the next book by Smithwick.