Book Review: Can We Be Friends?

REVIEW: Can We Be Friends?

Can We Be Friends? By author Rebecca Frech is a timely book for me and my family. This book arrived for me to review the very same week my teenage daughter experienced a major blow up with a friend she has had for most of her life. And, unfortunately, this mess spilled over into my relationship with her friend’s parents. It has proven to be quite challenging to navigate. So what a gift it was to open up this book while wading through these rough waters.

Rebecca begins simply enough reminding us friendships are an absolutely beautiful and necessary part of life. In a culture that seems to increasingly isolate ourselves, it is important to remember we are created for relationships. As John Donne is often quoted, “no man is an island entire of itself.” We need one another to live a full, glorious life. We must learn how to make friends and keep friends by being a good friend. Rebecca reminds us to be attentive to whom we invite into our life as a close friend versus who we decide are best kept as acquaintances. This idea of acquaintances has fallen out of favor in our current culture of social media friend gathering. She advocates bringing that idea back into favor and I have to say I agree! She also notes how technology can both help and hinder friendships to be cultivated and grown today.

Throughout the book, Rebecca shares sweet and insightful anecdotes from her grandmother. In her grandmother’s day, it seemed much easier to find your friends. But, I imagine you still had to put the same amount of time and energy into sifting through your friendships to find the few that were authentic keepers. She helps us identify the different personalities and characteristics that make-up quality friends and build a healthy tribe. As we become intentional about creating our circle of support, it is important for us to be aware of what we are willing to invest in each unique friendship as it evolves.

As I was reading this book, I found quite a few chapters that were significant for me as I was helping my daughter to weather this current friend drama that had now affected her entire friend group. We talked over the chapter that covered establishing healthy boundaries in relationships. While also noting the importance of giving others the benefit of the doubt before becoming upset with them for something they may or may not have done. I was glad to hand off this book for her to read the short chapters with sound advice that could be easily revisited when wrestling with a situation. We both found her suggestions for realizing when it is time to call it quits useful, in light of the current situation.

I would recommend Rebecca Frech’s book Can We Be Friends?  It is a quick read that includes many touching stories and reliable advice on maintaining and discovering friendships. As I am packing up our current home to relocate to the other coast, I am going to keep this book within easy reach. I think I may need the encouragement to get out there and find my people to build up a new circle of friends in our new hometown.  I might even gift a few of these books to some young ladies I know heading off to college this fall!

You can purchase Can We Be Friends? from Our Sunday Visitor.

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