Book review: When We Were Friends by Tina Seskis

17 Apr

when we were friendsIt had always been the six of us.

Since we met at university twenty-five years ago, we’d faced everything together. Break-ups and marriages, motherhood and death. We were closer than sisters; the edges of our lives bled into each other.

But that was before the night of the reunion. The night of exposed secrets and jagged accusations. The night when everything changed.

And then we were five.

When We Were Friends is the second novel from Tina Seskis and follows on from the huge success of her debut One Step Beyond. A group of six university friends meet for a reunion picnic by the Serpentine celebrating 25 years of friendship. But by the end of the night secrets have been spilled, arguments and resentments brought into the open and a web of complex relationships, events and history revealed. Of the six women at the picnic, only five return to their homes.

The book is structured in short snappy chapters that really keep the pace and the constant movement between characters, places, past and present had me turning the pages as quickly as I could to find out the next twist, turn or answer.

Although it took me a little while to get each character and their partners straight in my head, once I did I enjoyed getting to know this group of women thrown together by the fate of ending up living in the same accommodation at university. Juliette, Camilla, Siobhan, Sissy, Renee and Natasha are all now successful women, however, as we meet them, each is facing a particular set of demons from unhappy marriages, unruly children to affairs and uncertainty about the future – each has secrets to hide and issues from the past to deal with.

When We Were Friends is as much a novel about relationships on all levels as it is a gripping page turner of a read. I found myself completely caught up in the dramas of the individuals lives and I enjoyed the different perspectives that Tina threw into the mix. As I started reading I couldn’t help but be caught up in the ups and downs of the groups lives and I was impressed that the story kept throwing surprises at me right to the very end.

This is a clever and well though out novel; at times dark, I found myself changing my opinions of key characters as I read and I enjoyed the way that the full picture slowly built. The friends have a complicated history and at times I wondered why they had stayed friends at all! I found a number of the characters wholly unlikable for large parts of the novel but I had to know what had really happened to them and led them to their behaviour at the picnic.

As the novel came to an end my perspectives changed again and since I read the final page I’ve found myself thinking back on the group and their individual stories. Unsettling, fast paced and clever, When We Were Friends is set to be another big hit for Tina and if you’re looking for a great page-turner this summer, I’d highly recommend it.


When We Were Friends is released in paperback and ebook formats on 23rd April.

Find out more about Tina and her writing at:

Stop by later today for an exclusive post on one of the key characters from When We Were Friends and for the chance to win a copy of the book!

One Response to “Book review: When We Were Friends by Tina Seskis”

  1. Gavin Dimmock 17th April 2015 at 5:49 pm #

    I too enjoyed this immensely. And I also enjoyed your super review.

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