Best Friends Forever
One of the nation’s most beloved and successful writers of women’s fiction, Jennifer Weiner has become a literary phenomenon with millions of copies of her books in print. Her latest work, Best Friends Forever will delight fans and critics alike, following the ups and downs of a long-time friendship between two young girls who grow up to be two very different women. Addie Downs and Valerie Adler were eight when they first met and decided to be best friends forever. But, in the wake of tragedy and betrayal during their teenage years, everything changed. Val went on to fame and fortune. Addie stayed behind in their small Midwestern town. Destiny, however, had more in store for these two. And when, twenty-five years later, Val shows up at Addie’s front door with blood on her coat and terror on her face, it is the beginning of a wild adventure for two women joined by love and history who find strength together that they could not find alone.
An Interview with Novelist Jennifer Weiner
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Reading Group Guide
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
“If time was a dimension, and not a straight line, if you could look down through it like you were looking through water and it could ripple and shift, I was already opening the door,” says Addie Downs in her first chapter of Best Friends Forever. It’s been years since Addie has seen her long-lost best friend Valerie Adler. Addie and Val became instant best friends when Val moved into Addie’s neighborhood in the small town of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois. Ripped apart by betrayal their senior year of high school, they are reunited fifteen years later when Val shows up at Addie’s door asking for help.
In her sixth novel, Jennifer Weiner crafts a story full of mystery, humor, love, and forgiveness through the prism of female friendship.
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. “In all my years of fuming and resentful imagining, all the years I’d carried my grudge like a pocketbook I was afraid to set down even for an instant, I’d never considered that there might be a different way of looking at the situation, another truth,” says Addie of seeing Valerie after many years have passed (on page 96). What does this say about friendships? About personal relationships? About forgiveness?
2. Addie, who suffered from years of insecurity prompted by emotional eating and teasing, often perceives Val as her antithesis. Does this make her a reliable narra see more