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To My Best Friends Paperback – 26 May 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (26 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007305540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007305544
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 628,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for To My Best Friends:

‘You’ll need someone to discuss it with as soon as you’ve turned the final page, and make sure you have tissues to hand.’ The Independent on Sunday

‘Conceptually brilliant and exceptionally moving.’ Rachel Johnson, The Lady Magazine

‘I cried buckets, this book is amazing’ Melissa Hill (Author)

“a bittersweet tale of friendship, frocks and very modern families." **** The Sun's Buzz magazine

"A warm, wise page-turner that has the wit of Sex And The City and the emotion of P.S. I Love You." Red (Top ten beach reads – august issue)

"An exploration of the power and pitfalls of female friendship, it's both funny and moving." The Culture Edit, Net-a-porter.com

“Heartfelt."**** Star

‘To My Best Friends is smart, poignant and real.’ Heat

‘I finally got round to reading the book (not for want of trying) and love it.’ Lauren Laverne

‘a warm, inspiring story about love, friendship and letting go.’ Good Housekeeping

‘an emotional, life-affirming novel about the power of female friendships.’ Grazia

‘There aren't many books that can make me properly sob, but this is one of them. Cleverly structured, To My Best Friends is a grown-up tale of love and loss that got me thinking about the complicated nature of female friendship, with all its joys and sorrows. Sam Baker's writing is humane and life-affirming’ Jojo Moyes

‘Sam Baker has written a glorious hymn to one of the strongest, yet most underestimated loves in life – that of the woman for her girlfriends. You will love this book, I promise ’ Allison Pearson

‘really engaging and entertaining, a really good read’ Jane Fallon

‘A gorgeous indulgence of a novel. Full of friendship, flirting and frocks. It’s irresistible’ Adele Parks

About the Author

Sam Baker grew up in Hampshire and after a degree in politics at Birmingham University became a journalist, going on to edit some of the UK's biggest magazines. For six years she was Editor in Chief of Red magazine, where she set up the Red Hot Women Awards recognising achievement across politics, science, tech, the arts, media and charity, as well as championing support for Refuge, the charity for victims of domestic abuse.

In 2015 she co-founded and launched The Pool with Lauren Laverne, the online platform that makes inspiring and original content for busy women.

Sam is married to the novelist Jon Courtenay Grimwood and lives in Winchester. When she’s not working or writing she escapes by devouring crime novels or watching box sets.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A to Z TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 May 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you are looking for the perfect holiday read, you've come to the right place. This book asks, and answers a question that most women will understand "Do you ever know your best friends as well as you think?". The story involves the friends of the deceased Nicci who has bequeathed her most precious possessions, namely her garden, her children and her husband to her best friends, Mona, Lizzie and Jo.

I found that Nicci was as real a character as I've come across in novels of this genre, despite it being clear from the very first few lines of the book that she has died. Totally stylish and seemingly having it all in her life, once she has died, her three friends and also her husband David will find out that they didn't know as much as they thought they did. Whilst grieving, and going through the wardrobe that is the catalogue of her life, it's revealed that there is more to her, and as life starts to go on they will realise there is a reason each of them has been entrusted with the area they have as, beyond the grave, Nicci seems to be directing things her way.

This book, despite some of the subject matter inevitably being rather sad, is a light and interesting read. I found all the characters believable and the dialogue was very real. There were moments of humour and the portrayal of contemporary family life in the various households in this book rang very true. Though I didn't find the direction the plot took that surprising, it was satisfying and the book was well paced and written throughout.

I really enjoyed this book and will probably read it again - recommended, this is I should think set to be one of the must-buy holiday reads of this year.
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Format: Paperback
The book begins with a very poorly Nicci starting write her letters to her friends, and so the book does start with a fairly depressing tone. Soon after this, it cuts to Nicci's funeral and aftermath so for a few pages there really isn't anything that happy about it which was odd yet I was strangely compulsed to keep reading. Due to Nicci dying so early on, we don't get to know her as a character at all, only through the memories of her friends, which are interspersed throughout the present day story, and are flashbacks relating to certain items of Nicci's clothing that are special to her, and I really loved the way Baker approached this style of telling Nicci's story. It was also a look back at the other characters too, which was interesting comparing them to their current personas.

The other 3 female characters were easy to follow because they were all so different. Yes, they are all Nicci's friends but that is where the similarities end really - Mona is a single mum, working hard to provide for her young son whilst hiding a huge secret from her friends, one she knows they won't approve of. Lizzie is married but very unhappily so, and desperately wants to have children. Jo is a step-mother, something she loves, and the accountant for Nicci's clothing shop but she really wants a child of her own with her husband. I love how Baker weaves all these stories together, the characters were all very likeable, and had their own problems to deal with, as well as the passing of their best friend. It affects them all in very different ways which I think was a realistic representation of such an event, and as such you can sympathise with the women and how they all deal differently with how life turns out after Nicci's death.
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Format: Paperback
Sam Baker creates real characters - that could be your best friends too, I'm sure. The concept of this story is really original. Nicci Morrison bequeaths her most treasured people to her best friends, the friends that have taken her through thick and thin. The friends that she trusts because they represent stability. Of course this has its drawbacks, that was what Sam intended and it made for a genius twist. It encompassed love and loss and how friendship can get you through most things, no matter how hard they are to deal with.

To My Best Friends, as you can imagine, is as good as getting a group of your best girls around, opening the wine and dips and having a good old girlie gossip. It's fun, original and fresh. The characters are really rounded, nothing out of the ordinary, which makes them so likeable. But, for me, it was Sam's knowledge and love of fashion that made the book extra special. Dipping into memories to tell us about the different fashions gone by was a great idea and enabled me to recognise Nicci as a character too. I also liked the way that Sam so easily got inside the heads of her male characters. The emotion, from both sexes, spilled out way beyond reading between the lines.

My only criticism is that I didn't want the book to end and could quite easily have continued in the lives of Mona, David, Lizzie and Jo, and their kids. Which I always find is the best compliment I can give.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book solely on the basis that Allison Pearson recommended it, and I've always enjoyed reading her newspaper columns. However I have to say to Allison that I really didn't love it. I didn't hate it either but the best I can say about it is that was OK. One of the reviews said that this book is for lovers of chick-lit only and I have to wholeheartedly agree. The central character dies right at the beginning (and I'm not sure I'd have liked her much anyway, as she came across post-mortem as shallow and materialistic) and then nothing much happens except her immediate friends and family try to cope with her death. If you like emotional drama then this is the book for you. If you want a book in which something actually HAPPENS then give it a miss.
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