Messud wrote the very excellent The Woman Upstairs, about the relationships of a mature woman. In this new novel, Messud has turned her perceptive gaze to a coming-of-age story of two girls, best friends since nursery school whose lives begin to diverge in middle school. What does friendship entail? What stories do we create for others and for ourselves? This is a beautifully poignant book.
Introspective book about relationships (my favourite topic); a single woman teacher and a Lebanese-Parisian family of three. The “woman upstairs” is a female construct – quiet, polite and causes no trouble; because of putting oneself down, becomes invisible and discounted. There is a terrific section describing the difference between longing and desire.