In her back-cover blurb for this novel, the author tells us about some famous people who achieved a lot at a young age only to sadly (and curiously) all die at age 27. Some might say there is something metaphysical about this. I, however, believe (and this book backs me up) that what happens at this age is a lot easier to explain. We breeze through our teens thinking we are invincible. Then when you hit twenty you begin to realise that you might have to do something to actually make yourself invincible. Yet at this point there is still no need to worry, because you still have some options, you just have to pick one and make it happen. But by 27 you are officially referred to as being in your late twenties. And if things are not happening, you are late. They may never happen. You are facing a life crisis; not teenage, not mid-life... this is the big one.
Renee is twenty-seven and has everything she worked hard for in her early years both professionally and personally. We meet her in the opening chapters browsing through Facebook to catch up on the lives of her old friends from college. She somehow comes to the conclusion that they all seem happier than she is, yet she can't recall any one of them ever working as hard as she did for it. The flowers look a lot rosier on the other side. But it's not until she organises a re-union of six of these old friends that she begins to see the prickly thorns underneath each and every one of them. Together, these vividly drawn characters sum up the issues that face us people of around this crucial age today.
The characters are realistic, their dramas riveting and the writing profoundly charming as Ruth Heald expertly takes you through a tumultuous year-long journey through the lives of the modern day twenty-something.