Review: Friends Like These by Wendy Harmer
Friends Like These
Greed, fraud, betrayal and resurrection - this is a search for something to believe in. A search that takes us to a baby-naming, a same-sex wedding and a funeral all performed by Jo Blanchard, newly trained civil celebrant. Jo, recently single and a 45-year-old mother of two, is the former deputy headmistress of Sydney's most exclusive private girls' school - Darling Point Ladies College. A year ago she was forced to abandon her post in a scandal that had all the social set talking. In fact, they're still talking. Jo is moving on, but with friends like hers, maybe leaving them behind is her only option.
Wendy began her career as a journalist and has had a hugely successful career in comedy, on stage, television and radio. She has written many scripts for television and theatre, and six books for adults. Her Perlie in the Park books, a series for young readers, are bestsellers in Australia and have been published in ten countries around the world. The animated Perlie is now screening on Australian TV. Wendy lives in Sydney with her husband, Brendan, and their two children, Marley and Maeve. She still finds time to be involved with the Manly Football club and takes her regular turn at the school tuck shop.
WARNING: This book is not a comedy!! I have grown up knowing Wendy Harmer as one of Australia's leading female comedians. The last book I read of hers was Farewell My Ovaries which was absoluately hilarous. Friends Like These is not a 'laugh out loud' comedy. The humour is much more subtle, which is what I think went wrong with my reading experience here. My expectation that this book was going to be extremely funny was set before I read the first page, it was a Wendy Harmer book after all! I think I would have enjoyed this book much more if I had no preconceived expectations. The story itself was fine and the characters were interesting. I can't help thinking I would have enjoyed this more if it had been written under a pseudonym, I wouldn't have guessed in a million years Wendy Harmer was behind it.