This is a spoiler-free review.
Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Expected Publication April 6th, 2021 by Ecco.
A warm, incisive new novel about the enduring bonds of marriage and friendship from Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Nest.
Flora Mancini has been happily married for more than twenty years. But everything she thought she knew about herself, her marriage, and her relationship with her best friend, Margot, is upended when she stumbles upon an envelope containing her husband’s wedding ring—the one he claimed he lost one summer when their daughter, Ruby, was five.
Flora and Julian struggled for years, scraping together just enough acting work to raise Ruby in Manhattan and keep Julian’s small theater company—Good Company—afloat. A move to Los Angeles brought their first real career successes, a chance to breathe easier, and a reunion with Margot, now a bona fide television star. But has their new life been built on lies? What happened that summer all those years ago? And what happens now?
With Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s signature tenderness, humor, and insight, Good Company tells a bighearted story of the lifelong relationships that both wound and heal us.
Thank you to the publisher, Ecco/HarperCollins, and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own.
I’ve had The Nest sitting on my bookshelf for – and I’m not exaggerating – literal YEARS. My best friend (who I implicitly trust for immaculate book recommendation) gave me her copy after having read it back when it came out. And I still haven’t gotten around to it… 😅
But! Because of this little anecdote, my eyes were immediately drawn to Good Company – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s sophomore novel. So I was very excited when I was able to get my hands on an ARC. Finally, I would have read something by her to tell my friend about!
Good Company tells the story of two friends – Margot and Flora. As the synopsis says, this novel begins with Flora finding her husband’s old wedding ring – the one he told her he lost a the bottom of a lake many years ago. This revelation has Flora realizing that maybe her picture-perfect marriage wasn’t as flawless as she had once thought, and makes her question if their past was as rose-tinted as she remembers it.
…And that’s about it. Honestly, my biggest critic of this novel is that nothing really happens in it. 🤷🏻♀️ Things go exactly as you expect, there’s no surprise, hardly any drama, and no real resolution at the end either.
The best part of this novel was definitely the writing. D’Aprix Sweeney is obviously a talented writer, and the story itself is very well written, but I was left at the end scratching my head and wondering what the point of this novel was.
Nevertheless, all the characters in this story felt full and believable. Unfortunately, however, it also felt as if most of the characters stayed stagnant throughout the novel. Nobody really grew or changed that much. They ended up ruminating on their past more than they actually dealt with the conflicts happening in their present.
And the flashbacks themselves, woven throughout the novel, were stellar. They were so enjoyable to read, brimming with life and conflict and growth – they wound up overshadowing the present tense this story was set around.
I know I’ve been complaining a lot, but really, this story wasn’t a complete letdown! I think this novel would have dragged a lot more and had a lot less going for it if a different author had written it. But because the characters felt real – even if annoyingly so at some times – and it had writing that infused so many small moments of revelation and heart into this novel, Good Company was still was an enjoyable read overall (despite its hiccups).
Have you read Good Company?
What did you think of it?
Let me know!
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