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The Friendship Test    by Elizabeth Noble order for
Friendship Test
by Elizabeth Noble
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2005)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Four friends develop a friendship in college that carries them through twenty years. It is forged one night when they develop a 'friendship test' based on an old television show about personalities. Tamsin is the mother-type, the peacemaker, the organized one. Freddie is a foreigner, an American at Oxford who clings tightly to her newfound friends in the absence of her family. Reagan is headstrong and determined, ready to forge ahead in the business world. Her only weakness is Matthew. But Matthew falls for Sarah, a sweet, gorgeous woman, someone not even Reagan can fault.

Twenty years later, although they are friends, a great deal has changed. Everything the women thought about their friendship is challenged and tested. Can they come through it unscathed? This is an entertaining, although mostly forgettable book. Although the plot is interesting enough, after over four hundred pages I still struggle to think of anything out-of-the-ordinary that occurred. The characters are not as well-developed as they could be, except for Freddie. The reader is given much more insight into Freddie's life and motivations than those of the other women. Reagan's story, by contrast, is not fully developed and the reader is left hanging with only minimal resolution. Reagan seemed more a caricature of a driven woman than an actual real person - and anyone with that determined an attitude would never hang onto a childish desire for twenty years.

I enjoyed the author's first novel, The Reading Group much more than The Friendship Test. Although turning the latter's pages is a decent way to spend reading time, it's more of a fluff book than thought-provoking.

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