Between Friends

Between Friends

by Kristy Kiernan

I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is Between Friends by Kristy Kiernan.

Kiernan is one of the new generation of Florida writers — you know the last ones, with the blaze of Miami sun and the hail of bullet, the drug smugglers, fast boats, faster women and general air of weirdness that permeates the southeast shore. Kristy does not write about these things. She’s set on the Gulf Coast, recently beleaguered but perhaps against all hope, to be spared. These books are on the gentler shores of Captiva, Sarasota, Pensacola.

Kiernan writes about average folks caught in the strong winds of transition. She likes to take perfectly happy families and throw hand grenades into the living room — medical catastrophe is her specialty. And then she reminds us there are no ‘perfectly happy families’ and that catastrophes just clear the way for what comes next.

In Between Friends she asks us just how far we’d be willing to go for our besties. You can say you’d give your nearest and dearest a kidney, or an ovum — but would you? What happens to the dynamic of a friendship as the players change, as you do, and grow up and away from each other, which you will? If you gave your best friend the chance to have a family, what does she owe you? And where does that leave your spouse — is he forced to be a third wheel? And who does that child belong to?Ê And oh, by the way, that miracle child, once she gets a little older, she’s going to have all the problems and issues of any kid. They don’t stay on the shelf no matter how magical the conception.

Kiernan writes books about the intricate relationships between women, but we can be grateful for her generosity in writing her male characters. They are not just husbands and boyfriends but people who have opinions and are sometimes not the best people they can be — but who is?
Between Friends, elegantly written and hopeful in spirit despite the minefields in the road, another for the quickly growing Kristy Kiernan shelf in my library!

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