May 4, 2021
William Morrow Paperbacks
Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the four are as close as ever, Thursday night bar trivia is sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed. Maybe she should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed still thinks about it, too.
But then, in an instant, their lives are changed forever.
In the aftermath, Eve’s world is upended. As stunning secrets are revealed, she begins to wonder if she really knew her friends as well as she thought. And when someone from the past comes back into her life, Eve’s future veers in a surprising new direction…
They say every love story starts with a single moment. What if it was just last night?
What’s the best women’s fiction book you’ve read so far this year? Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane.
In the past I read McFarlane for her irreverent rom-coms, but this year she transcended that to a mash-up of rom-com/women’s fiction/chick-lit/literary. Just Last Night began with an obvious loss. The reader doesn’t know who our wonderful gothy heroine, Eve, has lost, but we know that the loss reverberates.
The narration takes us from the time that the four friends, Eve, Susie, Justin and Ed, met in their early schooling, through their university years till now when they’re on a trivia team along with Ed’s girlfriend, Hester. And then disaster strikes and Eve finds herself realizing that she doesn’t know her friends as well as she thought.
McFarlanes writing is so concise but relatable. I can’t tell you the many times that I teared up through this novel and then laughed. She just tweaked my emotions, end to end. She made me fall in love with these characters and then even Susie’s brother, the seemingly despicable Finlay, who was probably Eve’s lovely first kiss. (sigh)
Eve may be one of my most favorite characters of the entire year. I loved that she wore her rugged boots with her pretty dresses and her way of saying whatever came into her mind. And that Finlay said that he would have been probably been jailed if he’d ever said half the things she said. And that she cared about everyone and everything. I loved Eve!
When we get to the restaurant, my feet are sore but my heart lifts.
This could not be any more my thing if it was named Evelyn’s Actual Thing,” I say, under my breath.
Via Justin there is a lot of dark humor, which I very much enjoyed, some of which I can’t share because of spoiler. Justin is probably my second favorite character. He gives, he takes, he makes the most indelicate, most guffaw-worthy jokes. He is loyal to Eve, through and through.
And then there’s this wonderful description of Ed’s girlfriend, Hester:
She looks like a colorized picture has walked into black and white, kitchen sink realism film: skin the color of peaches and shimmering champagne-blond hair. She’s like a human Bellini.
I laughed a lot. I cried a lot. I enjoyed this book so, so very much. In some ways, you just wish reads like this would never end because the author has made you feel part of something bigger. Thank you, Mhairi, for this wonderful book.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies