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It might be Valentines Day but Gillian Harvey‘s brand new book One French Summer is the perfect Galentines Day read, with one of the main themes being female friendships. 💫 To tell us a little more about how this inspired her writing, Gillian has written us a post! Keep reading below ⬇️
Friendships are odd things. Some are transient. Some wax and wane. Some people feel as if they’ll be in our lives forever, but move away. Life takes people in different directions and people move in and out of our lives.
These days, we never have to let anyone go – we can collect them like little momentos through social media – reconnect with people from our past we’d never have found again without the magic of the internet. Sometimes, scrolling through a friend list, we alight upon someone and reconnect. Sometimes we wonder who on earth someone is and how they ended up there in the first place.
Then there are the special friends. The ones you’d be in touch with even if social media didn’t exist. The people who you hold onto through all phases of your life. Who you know will be – to coin a famous friends related phrase – ‘there for you.’
Like many of us, I’m guilty of neglecting certain friendships. Sometimes months pass without me making contact beyond the odd direct message. Living in France can sometimes mean I don’t see a couple of my closest friends for months or occasionally years (thanks Covid19). In fact, writing this has made me realise I need to set up a few Zoom calls, stat.
Luckily, these friends remain friends despite my neglect. Because they’ve transitioned to being (in my eyes, at least) family. Family I’ve chosen, beyond any chance DNA connection. Friends I can laugh with, cry with, even argue with in the knowledge that we love each other. Friends who I can be completely and utterly myself with because they’ve already seen the worst of me (teenage me, drunk me, anxious me, pregnant me, post-natal me and – worst of all – food-poisoned me).
In ‘One French Summer’ Katy has a brilliant group of close friends. Friends who see her for who she is, and love her no matter what. Friends who aren’t afraid to tell the truth, even if it might occasionally hurt. Friends who laugh together, cry together, argue together and grow together.
And friends who, like mine, perhaps aren’t always appreciated enough.
‘And as they laughed, Katy felt the years slip away. There was Vicky – the girl she’d met in teacher training; and Sam, who’d been working at the school since her early thirties. Ivy, who’d taken about two years to thaw out when she’d first started working at the school, but who’d become a close friend over the years that followed. A lot had happened since then, she thought: Ivy’s divorce; Vicky’s promotions; Sam having the twins, and the terrible pregnancy that had seen her on bedrest for almost three months. And they’d been there for each other throughout it all. Always finding something to laugh at, no matter how difficult it seemed. And she knew, despite the state of her marriage, that she was still incredibly, immeasurably lucky to have this ‘second family’ of friends.’ — One French Summer, by Gillian Harvey
You can read Gillian’s brand new book One French Summer here: 🇬🇧 🇺🇸

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