Book Review: You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert

You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert is a story of childhood friendship in a small town. Katherine Hill and Laney Marten grew up together in a small town in New England, both had dreams to leave for the big city and become high flying somebodies but only one achieved her dream. Katherine left New England for New York and became a cosmetics executive while Laney became a mother and stayed in the town she grew up in. Katherine and Laney are reunited when a local neighbour and friend passes away, leaving a house to the once friends. The house forces the two women to revisit the disintegration of their friendship.

The novel is the story their friendship through the years and the impact of different life choices on their relationship. Liebert doesn’t just tell the story of the two friends meeting after many years apart, she’s cleverly constructed the narrative of the chapters to change from Laney’s perspective to Katherine’s perspective and Liebert also often uses flashbacks. I liked the use of flashbacks because it allowed me to understand the once closeness of the two childhood friends and this was a good juxtaposition to the freight relationship they have as adults.

I think Liebert’s writing stops this novel becoming just another story about friendship, her writing is quite refreshing. In my opinion, Liebert’s writing style is perfect for this type of story because she captures different emotions perfectly. Her writing really pulls you in and also makes you think about how you would feel if you were in that position. I also liked the vivid descriptions of the two main characters, Leibert developed the characters really well and it almost feels like you know the women personally. When I seen this book, I thought I wouldn’t like it, I thought it would be tear-jerker and overly sentimental but it is not like that at all. It’s quite witty and sharp and I think this adds a sense of realness to the story. I really recommend this book, I think the story is interesting and the writing is fantastic.

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