More Friendships Between Women

Georgetown LibraryStaff Picks

More Friendships Between Women

Recent fiction focused on female bonds

Previous Read Feed entry Friendships Between Women highlights titles featuring authentic depictions of friendships between two women.
The novels collected here, published since the release of that list, echo its titles in that they all skillfully portray the close bonds between pairs of women.  More specifically, they capture the way that deep connections between women can contain tension alongside affection and thereby can prove nourishing one moment, challenging the next.
Among one another, the following titles also share a coming-of-age component, demonstrating how the struggles that women face as changing individuals can impact their bonds and that, to endure and thrive, the friendships between women must grow up as they do.

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
Mel Vaught and Sharon Kisses bond quickly in college, connecting over their rural roots and artistic talents. With complementary styles, the women also develop a professional partnership, working on ambitious animation projects for years before they break through with a feature based on Mel’s life. Along with career success, both women face significant personal challenges, and they must determine anew the place that their friendship has in their lives. 

Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney
After dating in high school, university students Frances and Bobbi remain friends and collaborators. One night while performing Frances’ poetry together, they draw the professional interest of writer and photographer Melissa. Bobbi is attracted to Melissa, while Frances develops feelings for Melissa’s husband Nick. The bonds that develop across the foursome test Frances and Bobbi’s friendship, creating distance where there previously had been only closeness. 

Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam
Best friends since the sixth grade, Sarah and Lauren find their lives as adults have less in common than they once did. While Sarah plans her wedding, Lauren focuses on her career in publishing and opts to remain single. When Sarah asks Lauren to be her maid of honor, both must decide whether they can be the women they are now as well as the friends they’ve always been. 

The Sun in Your Eyes by Deborah Shapiro
Vivian Field meets Lee Parrish at college, and in the wake of a fling of Lee’s, the young women become close. Despite the power of their bond though, they have been out of touch for years. When Lee contacts Vivian and asks her for help in finding information about Lee's father, a deceased rock star, their subsequent trip recalls their past connection while also raising difficult questions about its essence.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith
The unnamed narrator and Tracey meet as young girls in a dance class. Alike in their backgrounds and living circumstances and sharing an interest in dance, they become friends. While their closeness does not endure, their friendship and the formative years it spans remain significant as Tracey pursues dance professionally and the narrator becomes the personal assistant to a famous and absorbing pop star.

-- Julia S.