Emily Gould has built a career as a blogger for her own Emily Magazine and Gawker, as well as the part owner of Emily Books. She is also author of the memoir, And the Heart Says Whatever. With her first novel, Friendship, Gould turns her eye toward the spectacle of female adulthood friendships.
For years, Bev Tunney and Amy Schein have faced New York City together. They met while working in low-level publishing jobs. But they became best friends when Amy moved into her tiny Brooklyn apartment below the BQE, and Bev stopped by to keep her from feeling lonely.
In the years since, the differences between the women’s childhoods and current goals have become more noticeable. Amy, an East-Coast girl, became temporarily prominent while blogging for a celebrity gossip site. Although she has since been fired and moved on to other work—work she considers beneath her—Amy still expects a career that will return her to the spotlight.
Midwesterner Bev, on the other hand, has found herself in a string of unsatisfying temp jobs. Her primary goal each day is to find enough down time to talk to Amy on Google Chat. That also happens to be Amy’s biggest dream for Bev.
As the women make their way into their 30s, still living in tiny New York apartments and seeking something more out of work and life, their expectations become divisive. Amy can’t understand how Bev’s Midwestern upbringing influences the decisions she makes now. Bev can’t convince Amy that sometimes she just needs to accept a job with a living wage, rather than worrying about whether it will bring her the media attention Amy believes she deserves.
In Friendship, Emily Gould examines how adulthood and maturity—or a lack thereof—influence female friendships. The dialogue is snappy and true to two still-early career women. Ultimately, Gould’s work is an exploration of how people change with age, and how that affects the relationships and people around them.