Our female friends are some of the most important people in our lives - and for good reason: they're the ones who lift us up when we're down, crack us up laughing when we need it most, and help us to shine our absolute brightest at all times. So, naturally, we're obsessed with all things BFF-based... particularly when it comes to books.
When we settle down with a good novel, it's almost like sitting down for a chat with a beloved pal – and things get even more incredible when the book is focused on the powers of a badass female friendship.
“Female friendship is a theme I love to write about,” she told us. “It features strongly in all of my books, and I love to read about it too.”
So start your own bestie book club with French’s 10 absolute favourites.
1) The Bridget Jones series by Helen Fielding
“Bridget Jones has it all. Searingly funny and tender, Bridget's life-long friendships with Shazza and Jude (& Tom) are the absolute backbone of the book. The romance of the story is wonderful, but it's the strong love between the friendship group that gives the book/s real heart and comedy. Everyone needs their own Shazza and Jude!”
2) The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
“Bounty hunter Stephanie is as cool and sassy as they come, which is what makes brassy, in-your-face Lula her perfect foil. They're opposites, but they've totally got each others back and they make a kick ass-team hauling in bail skipping criminals in Trenton, New Jersey. Fabulously funny, the series is twenty-four books in now and still going strong; a sure testimony.”
3) The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher
“I loved this for the way new sisters-in-law Maggie and Lara seemed unlikely to ever be friends at the beginning, appearing to be two very different women on opposite sides of the fence. Throughout the book their similarities reveal themselves slowly as they come to know and secretly support each other, and as the story unravels their relationship becomes the central theme of the book. Kerry's writing is always wonderful; deft and insightful on every page.”
4) Beaches by Iris Rainer Dart
“The film was good, but the book is so much better! There's no escaping the fact that it's a weepie, but it's so heartrending and beautiful too, a story of love and never ending friendship to sob your way through. Buy tissues.”
5) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows
“Stylishly written, this is a story about a fictitious book club set on the island of Guernsey during the Second World War. It cleverly weaves together letters, books and a community in a really delicate and beautiful way. The comedy is subtle, and the bond between the characters is heightened and rendered by the brutality of their wartime circumstance.
6) This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
“I could easily have included all of Marian's books here because she writes female friendship with so much gorgeous heart and warmth. This Charming Man features four women linked together by their connection to charismatic politician Paddy de Courcy. I won't give the plot away, but what really shines throughout this book is how strong women can be when they pull together.”
7) The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith
“In this book, three divorced fifty-something women seek revenge on their husbands who left them for younger women. Bought together by the suicide of an old college friend after her husbands infidelity, the women band together to set their own lives straight again. Funny, bitchy and smart, they certainly aren't ladies who lunch, but they are ladies who support each other brilliantly, and their community too.”
8) Tell Me Lies by Jennifer Cruise
“I'm a huge Jennifer Crusie fan - she writes fabulously funny and seriously hot romance! Tell Me Lies is the story of Maddie Faraday, and the book opens when she finds another woman's underwear underneath the seat of her husband's car. It goes from bad to worse when her husband goes missing shortly afterwards. It's chock full of wry comedy and dark humour, and it's packed full of strong female relationships; Maddie has a daughter, and she is a daughter and granddaughter. But most of interesting of all is her evolving friendship with her best friend Treva; suffice to say it's pivotal to the story.”
9) The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris
“I love it when you find a long-running series you adore and I hit the jackpot with this one! Sookie, a waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana, has a special gift; she has fae blood, which allows her to hear other people's thoughts. It sets her apart, even amongst the other weird and wonderful inhabitants of the town (think vampires and werewolves) but she has a true friend in fellow waitress Tara. She's Sookie's constant throughout the series, and boy does Sookie need a friend sometimes! The writing is fast and fabulous, and the friendships deep and satisfying.”
10) How to make an American Quilt by Whitney Otto
“Set in California, the story centres around Finn, a young woman at a cross-roads who spends the summer with her grandmother and great aunt to complete her thesis and make huge decisions about her romantic future.
While there she joins her grandmother's quilting circle, and the women who make up the circle share their own life-stories to help Finn reach the right decisions. It's a great movie too, one of those rare adaptations that bring new insight to the story.”
It’s an eclectic list – but we’ll definitely be adding more than a few of these to our bookshop very soon.
Kat French’s novel all about friendship is called Bed & Breakfast On The Beach and is available to order in all formats now.
Images: Rex / iStock