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Merle

Merle

The Myth of You and Me - Leah Stewart This was a quick and enjoyable-enough read, focusing on the friendship between two women. Cameron, the narrator, ended her close, years-long friendship with Sonia several years before the story begins, but Oliver, her employer and friend, finally compels her to go visit Sonia once again. The main plot focuses on Cameron's search for Sonia, and lots of backstory is included along the way. The two threads are woven together well, and the pacing is good, with the author always leaving questions in the reader's mind to keep things interesting. The character development was good if not exceptional, and I found much of the book very relatable. If you've had (and ended) a very close friendship, chances are you'll find that The Myth of You and Me works well as a jumping-off point for introspection. I can see why it's apparently popular with book clubs.

That said, I was disappointed with the way things unfolded. Virtually all of the conflict in Cameron and Sonia's relationship is about boyfriends. Not only is this alien to my own experience, but the way it's presented, it seems as if, had Sonia not done this one stupid thing, the two would still have been the best of friends. I would have liked to see something more complex, an exploration of the subtler dynamics of relationships rather than yet another instance of the most dramatic and well-worn option available. Additionally, in a book that's supposed to be about the relationship between two women, the obligatory romance (was it really necessary in a book this short?) and a random revelation about Cameron's deceased employer take up altogether too much space toward the end of the book.

Some little things bothered me as well, like the fact that, although the book takes place in 2003, much of the drama depends on people mailing each other letters and being unable to phone anyone who's not at home. Nobody in this book has ever heard of cell phones or email, which middle-class Americans were certainly using in 2003; they're not that new! Overall, I thought the book was not awful, but a bit of a letdown.