Book Review: The Gospel According To Drew Barrymore, by Pippa Wright

Friendship is like a shark: it has to keep moving forwards to survive.

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Esther and Laura have been best friends since they were seven. Quite a bit has changed since then . . . They’ve swapped school for full-time employment, boyfriends for bugaboos, experimental hair-dye for salon-preened locks – and their friendship has evolved just as much. But they remain close, knitted together by the bonds of time . . .

So when Esther is told that Laura has gone missing, she immediately leaves her husband and small child for San Francisco and begins to trace her friend’s last movements. All she has is an email from Laura: ‘I’m channelling Drew Barrymore, as ever. The Gospel, right?’

In trying to understand why Laura has disappeared, and what on earth Drew Barrymore has to do with it, Esther needs to look back. Back at the secrets woven into their friendship and the truths she’s avoided facing for so long.

***

As a Drew Barrymore fan and roller skater, I was all over this as soon as I saw that cover. The blurb quickly intrigued me, so many thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy.

Esther and Laura have been best friends for practically their whole lives. Now, all grown up, their lives have drifted apart somewhat, though they’ve kept their friendship. With Esther settled down in the UK with a husband and baby, and Laura off working at a vineyard in Napa, it’s fair to say their lives have taken very separate paths.

When Laura suddenly disappears, Esther drops everything to go and find her, and is forced to question how much of their friendship has really lasted the years and distance.

As a Drew Barrymore fan, I really enjoyed the way the girls, Laura in particular, lived her life by the gospel according to Drew. I thought the links to Drew’s films were cleverly written and subtle enough to not seem ridiculous.

I also enjoyed the stark contrast in personalities between Esther and Laura. I can’t say I overly connected with either – finding Laura conceited, selfish and inconsiderate, and Esther too much of a push-over, and generally a bit of a doormat – but these contrasts are what made the story work, especially as they grew up into more independent women.

Pippa has done a great job of keeping the reader intrigued, switching from present day to flashback sequences that offer more insight into Laura’s persona, and adding several twists and turns to the story as you work along with Esther to piece together the clues of Laura’s disappearance.

The Gospel According to Drew Barrymore is an original read, offering an entertaining and insightful look into the very heart and depths of both human character and friendships.

Rating: star-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-rating

Release date: 26 March 2015
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Goodreads

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