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On the heels of her national bestsellers Jemima J and Mr. Maybe, British sensation Jane Green delivers a sparkling tale of old friends reunited and old jealousies rekindled. Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and–since she had her heart broken a few years back–emotion On the heels of her national bestsellers Jemima J and Mr. Maybe, British sensation Jane Green delivers a sparkling tale of old friends reunited and old jealousies rekindled. Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and–since she had her heart broken a few years back–emotionally closed off. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy, and desperate for a man of his own. They live in London’s West Hampstead along with their lifelong friends, Josh and Lucy, who are happily married with a devil-spawn child and a terrifying Swedish nanny, Ingrid. All’s well (sort of) until the sudden arrival of a college friend–the stunningly beautiful Portia, who’s known for breaking hearts. Though they’ve grown up and grown apart from Portia, the four friends welcome her back into the fold. But does Portia have a hidden agenda or is she merely looking to reconnect with old friends? Her reappearance soon unleashes a rollicking series of events that tests the foursome’s friendships to the limit and leaves them wondering if a happy ending is in store. Fortunately, Cath has plenty to take her mind off Portia’s schemes–like her gutsy decision to leave her job in advertising to fulfill her dream of opening a bookstore. And then there’s James, the sexy real-estate agent who keeps dropping by even after the bookstore deal is done. With his irresistible smile and boyish charm could he be the one to melt Cath’s heart? Told with Jane Green’s captivating wit and flare, Bookends is above all a story about friendship–its twists, turns and complications–and how it weathers the challenges of love, ambition, marriage, and, most of all, growing up. Warmhearted, sophisticated, and full of delicious surprises, Bookends is Green’s most dazzling novel yet.


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On the heels of her national bestsellers Jemima J and Mr. Maybe, British sensation Jane Green delivers a sparkling tale of old friends reunited and old jealousies rekindled. Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and–since she had her heart broken a few years back–emotion On the heels of her national bestsellers Jemima J and Mr. Maybe, British sensation Jane Green delivers a sparkling tale of old friends reunited and old jealousies rekindled. Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson are best friends: total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love. Cath is scatterbrained, messy, and–since she had her heart broken a few years back–emotionally closed off. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy, and desperate for a man of his own. They live in London’s West Hampstead along with their lifelong friends, Josh and Lucy, who are happily married with a devil-spawn child and a terrifying Swedish nanny, Ingrid. All’s well (sort of) until the sudden arrival of a college friend–the stunningly beautiful Portia, who’s known for breaking hearts. Though they’ve grown up and grown apart from Portia, the four friends welcome her back into the fold. But does Portia have a hidden agenda or is she merely looking to reconnect with old friends? Her reappearance soon unleashes a rollicking series of events that tests the foursome’s friendships to the limit and leaves them wondering if a happy ending is in store. Fortunately, Cath has plenty to take her mind off Portia’s schemes–like her gutsy decision to leave her job in advertising to fulfill her dream of opening a bookstore. And then there’s James, the sexy real-estate agent who keeps dropping by even after the bookstore deal is done. With his irresistible smile and boyish charm could he be the one to melt Cath’s heart? Told with Jane Green’s captivating wit and flare, Bookends is above all a story about friendship–its twists, turns and complications–and how it weathers the challenges of love, ambition, marriage, and, most of all, growing up. Warmhearted, sophisticated, and full of delicious surprises, Bookends is Green’s most dazzling novel yet.

30 review for Bookends

  1. 4 out of 5

    Asim Rizvi

    I jacked this book from my younger sister while vacationing in Seattle. The pink binding on this bad boy bought me some awkward stares, but that didn't stop me from reading Jane Green's tale of a slightly overweight and unattractive woman in her mid thirties who finally finds the perfect romance, and fullfills her lifelong dream of opening a bookshop. Essentially, this is a story about a British Caucasian woman who gets her 'groove' back. Something about Green's conversational writing style and I jacked this book from my younger sister while vacationing in Seattle. The pink binding on this bad boy bought me some awkward stares, but that didn't stop me from reading Jane Green's tale of a slightly overweight and unattractive woman in her mid thirties who finally finds the perfect romance, and fullfills her lifelong dream of opening a bookshop. Essentially, this is a story about a British Caucasian woman who gets her 'groove' back. Something about Green's conversational writing style and her incorporation of curse words make the experience of reading this "Chick-Book" more like watching a "Chick-Flick." Despite the real tear-jerking paragraphs about her break ups and her homosexual friend's diagnosis with HIV, this novel is to say the very least, enjoyable. Interestingly, I first learned about CD4 counts in AIDS patients from reading 'Bookends' before learning about these prognostic indicators in Pathology or Medicine.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nichola

    I like this author, but this was a forgettable book. In fact I was halfway through reading it when I realized I had actually read it before and forgotten. The characters are sterotypes (resolutely single girl with gay best friend and happily married couple), the set up lengthy (lots of back story, some not ever relevant), the description of university days common (we dated, we drank, we went places). The novel is dated too. This is set back when HIV was a new big thing- and people wouldn't touch t I like this author, but this was a forgettable book. In fact I was halfway through reading it when I realized I had actually read it before and forgotten. The characters are sterotypes (resolutely single girl with gay best friend and happily married couple), the set up lengthy (lots of back story, some not ever relevant), the description of university days common (we dated, we drank, we went places). The novel is dated too. This is set back when HIV was a new big thing- and people wouldn't touch those diagnosed. But it isn't a good enough book to give a historical glimpse. I wrote the review, because then I won't pick it up again accidently. I'll read Jane Green's others, but pass on this.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Obsidian

    I finished my re-read of this a few days ago, just didn't have the energy to post a review. I think the main issue I had was that the re-read was a bit of a bust. Probably because this wasn't as chick-lit as I was hoping. There are some serious issues here (discussion of HIV and AIDS) but also there is some mean-girling crap that goes on that just didn't fit the characters who were supposed to be adults in their 30s. The main character of Cath just reads as a doormat throughout this book and I j I finished my re-read of this a few days ago, just didn't have the energy to post a review. I think the main issue I had was that the re-read was a bit of a bust. Probably because this wasn't as chick-lit as I was hoping. There are some serious issues here (discussion of HIV and AIDS) but also there is some mean-girling crap that goes on that just didn't fit the characters who were supposed to be adults in their 30s. The main character of Cath just reads as a doormat throughout this book and I just wanted her to be stronger and push back on people more. The ending was okayish, just not great. "Bookends" has Cath and her best friend Si dealing with being unlucky in love. Living in London they seem to be going through the motions of things. Cath refuses to try her hand at love again after having her heart broken and Si is desperate to meet Mr. Right even though the men he is usually with are terrible. Cath and Si have boring, but familiar get togethers with their college friends Josh and Lucy and things seem to be carrying along fine until a woman (Portia) from their college days pops up again. Most of the book is Cath thinking about Portia and how Portia supposedly held them all together until she broke up their friend group. What gets me though is that when we readers finally get a glimpse of Portia, she's not all that Cath (or Green) makes her out to be. There is no there there, and I wanted there to be better development of her. Cath stumbles upon a love interest that wasn't that interesting and Si ends up with a shocking new way of life after a betrayal. The book just ends up taking too many things on and not doing them well. If the above isn't enough, we also have Cath trying to open a bookstore. The writing is typical older Green (when she wrote her chick lit books taking place in London). This just doesn't read or feel like chick lit. The flow is okay, though going back to past and present was a bit much. I guess I was just put out by the whole lesson to be learned about real friends that people who should be old enough should already know at this point.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Danica Stone

    I don't know where this book gets off saying "A Novel" on the cover. Bookends is chick lit, pure and simple. What's the difference? Well, chick lit books are of course novels, in the sense that they're fiction, but novels aren't necessarily chick lit. Chick lit is very specific: it has a female protagonist; the purpose of the story is to hook her up with the guy who the author has, early on, chosen as the obvious perfect guy for her; it's narrated by the protagonist; and the protagonist has almo I don't know where this book gets off saying "A Novel" on the cover. Bookends is chick lit, pure and simple. What's the difference? Well, chick lit books are of course novels, in the sense that they're fiction, but novels aren't necessarily chick lit. Chick lit is very specific: it has a female protagonist; the purpose of the story is to hook her up with the guy who the author has, early on, chosen as the obvious perfect guy for her; it's narrated by the protagonist; and the protagonist has almost no personality, only a collection of fun facts you know about her. I'll have to write elsewhere about Chick Lit Protagonist Syndrome, but suffice it to say that they're almost universally wildly codependent, with very little self-knowledge, compulsive emotional eating, no idea whether the guy really likes them even if he comes in with "I Really Like You, Protagonist" tattooed on his forehead, and deep shame about themselves and especially their bodies (which are always telegraphed as very very beautiful despite what the protagonist thinks). Oh, and every man in the book is either gay, married to a friend of the protagonist's, or a future love interest. There are no other options. This one also can't tell a story. Jeeezus. The pacing of this book is rocky; it starts out with several chapters about the characters in their early twenties, then rockets forward to the 31-year-old present with no explanation for the early chapters, then much later on brings back the one character who left the group in those early chapters. It's obvious that she must be coming back, but only because it would be a terrible book if such a pivotal character were introduced and then totally dropped. The story gets back on track with her return, only to drift off again toward the end as every plot thread has to get wrapped up, often off-camera. I can't tell you how many of the characters' experiences are just summarized for us by the narrator. There are times, in the last few chapters, where days and even weeks of intense character development are retold at a breathless pace. Like, she has the narrator tell us that her friend Si is telling us his friend Eva's life story, and we hear the whole ENTIRE thing third-hand, and then we get this: "And she really is [fine:]," Si told me, in wonder, in awe, and then he said goodbye and put down the phone, because he had the rest of the night to think about what she'd said. Come on: how would the narrator even know what he was going to think and do after he hung up? It ends up ringing false because (like any good codependent) the narrator has no boundaries. That is, Green is trying to write the story from the perspective of an omniscient narrator, but puts her in the body of a specific character who couldn't know all this stuff and isn't the right vehicle for it. The problem here is that Jane Green has too many great characters with fascinating stories for one book - the way that she chose to tell it. Si's story would have made a much better book. Or she could have told different chapters of Bookends from different perspectives, letting the overall story unfold as each character played their own part. That would have made an incredible book. Instead, the story is hamstrung by being forced through one rather passive woman's perspective. There are also too many stories happening - the opening of this new bookstore, Bookends, which is co-owned by the protagonist and another main character, and even lends the book its name, takes up a lot of time but barely serves to advance the plot at all. It's a major undertaking, and a major success, and yet there's no emotional impact to it: we're told that it makes the other main character's life very busy, which puts stress on her marriage, but it causes so few problems for the protagonist that it seems pointless other than as occasional comic relief. So: chick lit. Because of the boundary problems, the Chick Lit Protagonist Syndrome, and the slapdash writing. I'm not saying that chick lit can't be well-written, but this particular kind of slapdash fast-paced gallop through a storyline, with little pause for real emotional depth, is characteristic of the genre. I enjoyed Bookends anyway, but I don't think I would read it again.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kashmira Majumdar

    The only positive about this book was that it was well-written— in the most technical sense of the word. The pacing was okay (imo), the events kept coming one after the other to keep the plot flowing, and the writing style was engaging enough to keep me going to the end. Where it fails is characterisation. To begin with, all the characters currently having a job have childhood dream jobs (mysterious high finance, television writing, something to do with films, formerly in advertising and now a bo The only positive about this book was that it was well-written— in the most technical sense of the word. The pacing was okay (imo), the events kept coming one after the other to keep the plot flowing, and the writing style was engaging enough to keep me going to the end. Where it fails is characterisation. To begin with, all the characters currently having a job have childhood dream jobs (mysterious high finance, television writing, something to do with films, formerly in advertising and now a bookshop, real estate agent). Where are the accountants, dentists' assistants, engineers, and blue-collar jobs? I'm not criticising them for pursuing social mobility, but when every character has a "glamorous" job, I'm calling amateur hour. That impression is only reinforced by the only two gay men in the book: one is textbook camp and the straight white lead's best friend, and the other is an abusive asshole. Neither of these stereotypes is offset by more nuanced (or even varied!) gay characters, so when the book ends with a conversation about HIV, I was close to crying with frustration. Most dislikeable of all was the main character. Cath's a size 14! With a lovely bit of sleight of hand, we're told she was a size 12 post-college, and she's put on weight and grey hairs with age. A real honest-to-god woman, the kind you might see in real life. I was fully prepared to follow the Real Exploits of a Three-Dimensional character before I realised this wasn't going to be that kind of book. The first thing that smacked me in the face was her slut-shaming Ingrid, her friends' young, slim, haughty au pair who dresses up for a party and is seen leaving with James, the Designated Love Interest. Cath assumes that James was drooling over Ingrid and that the pair had sex because (I forget the exact phrasing but it was definitely similar to) Ingrid was asking for it. Cath's opinion is not criticised, but validated and shared by her friends. this is treated as okay. This was the point at which I should have closed the ebook, deleted it and scrubbed it clean off my computer. Cath gets better, of course: she's a complete doormat. Her insecure best friend, Si of the Textbook Campiness, is in a destructive relationship with Will the Wanker, a villain so obvious that he ignores his boyfriend at parties and actively insults said boyfriend's friends. Cath finds out very early on that Will is universally disliked, and that he used to seriously harass and intimidate one of his juniors at work. CATH NEVER REVEALS THIS TO SI, OR TO ANYONE ELSE. She continues to let her (supposed) best friend, who is textbook prey for a textbook moustache-twirler, become emotionally dependent on this creep. Cath has bigger problems: getting furious at her other friend, the lovely homey Lucy, for not chivvying her love life along. The sense of entitlement this woman has makes me furious: the Designated Love Interest has made his interest in Cath clear. When the ball is in her court, she ignores him, gets petty when he literally only just walks a girl out the door, expects him to meet her halfway when she has shown no reciprocal interest, and is angry because she got dressed up expecting to see him at a dinner but Lucy forgot to invite him. When the stupidly besotted James reaches out to her despite being rebuffed, Cath debates whether or not to respond. Her objections to dating anyone is that she's burned by her last relationship (which was a mostly sexual affair with a married older colleague) and that dating is exhausting. She admits that her friends all approve of James and he clearly likes her a lot— undercutting two of her own biggest objections. She STILL dithers about dating this sod because this isn't chick lit if the main couple gets together far too easily. Let's create artificial obstacles that make no fucking sense! And James. Oh dear god. The formula of chick lit is quirky girl + compelling hunky heroic male lead + girl's cast of best friends. Dear Jamie had literally nothing to recommend himself; a more milquetoast man has never lived and pretended to be alluring and irresistible. And! He agents realty while painting on the side, and OF COURSE his art is as good as Monet's! WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK: • Absolutely everything else, if you can believe it. The side cast of best friends were excellent. Lucy, as the sensible, maternal, plump, confident Housewife With a Bookshop stereotype, was absolutely not stereotypical at all. Her ability to handle people from the supercilious, not particularly respectful Ingrid to the worldly, successful "sexpot" Portia was so subtle. She stays on good terms with everyone, while sticking up for herself and refusing to be intimidated, and it's written so smoothly that I wished Lucy, not Catty Cowardly Cathy, was the protagonist. Le sigh. She gets oddly upset by Cath's noxious state of singled, but one can't have everything. • INGRID. OH MAN, INGRID. Although she should have been fired on the spot for being weirdly bossy with her employers, it's made clear that she's adored by her charge, the bratty Max, whom she patronises. Everything she does, everything she says, every subtle instance that she's good at her job, made me cheer. Pure gold, this one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I can't believe I read the whole thing. Usually, a book this bad, I've abandoned before I reach the half-way point. But somehow I stuck with this until the bitter end. The first third is awkward and clunky. I'm a big believer in writing that shows the emotions and dynamics of relationships rather than telling the reader, "He felt sad." etc. In this book Jane Green is all about the telling. The author wants desperately to convey the past history of a group of friends from when they met during the I can't believe I read the whole thing. Usually, a book this bad, I've abandoned before I reach the half-way point. But somehow I stuck with this until the bitter end. The first third is awkward and clunky. I'm a big believer in writing that shows the emotions and dynamics of relationships rather than telling the reader, "He felt sad." etc. In this book Jane Green is all about the telling. The author wants desperately to convey the past history of a group of friends from when they met during their university days. But rather than using an effective prologue or flash-back, she tells the reader about the personalities and relationships of the characters. She gets a bit better with showing characterization as the book progresses, but she doesn't seem to trust her ability to convey fully characters feelings, so she tells us too, so the narrative quickly becomes repetitious and boring. Admittedly, my final problem with the book is not the fault of the author, but with the fact that I read the book 13 years after it was published. The big dramatic moment in the middle book is much less dramatic given changing technologies and attitudes regarding certain diseases. But even trying to overlook the dated feel could just not get me to like the book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    Um, rating 2 stars. I know, they've all been getting 2's lately but, I think, for entirely different reasons. I was pretty excited with this one. Thought I found a new author to read, being the author of many best sellers. To me the story and writing were just a bit off, for lack of a better word. The writing bounced around too much. One minute the story is in the present, then the past, then the main character (Cath, short for Catherine) is talking to the reader. Very inconsistent. Too sitcom-y Um, rating 2 stars. I know, they've all been getting 2's lately but, I think, for entirely different reasons. I was pretty excited with this one. Thought I found a new author to read, being the author of many best sellers. To me the story and writing were just a bit off, for lack of a better word. The writing bounced around too much. One minute the story is in the present, then the past, then the main character (Cath, short for Catherine) is talking to the reader. Very inconsistent. Too sitcom-y (which the author actually admits to as part of the plot has the characters lives potrayed in a sitcom). Too unbelievable. I read in 2 days, but I had to actually force myself to read. I wanted it done and I wanted to have read a book on vacation. I actually found myself watching "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" for the 10th time, instead of reading. Probably won't read another Jane Green unless it falls into my lap for free.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jamee Crosby

    Okay. I stayed up to finish this book because towards the middle I reaaaaaallly fell in love with it. I loved it! I became so emotionally attached to Si and Cath, and it is truly a well written story. It starts off slow and it's one of those books that can be easily forgotten, but when given a chance you realize there is a great story being told. I would recommend this book to anyone. It is a tear jerker, I definitely shed a few tears in the end. The ending is absolutely perfect. Not at all pred Okay. I stayed up to finish this book because towards the middle I reaaaaaallly fell in love with it. I loved it! I became so emotionally attached to Si and Cath, and it is truly a well written story. It starts off slow and it's one of those books that can be easily forgotten, but when given a chance you realize there is a great story being told. I would recommend this book to anyone. It is a tear jerker, I definitely shed a few tears in the end. The ending is absolutely perfect. Not at all predictable. I don't read books twice, but I kind of have this urge to start from the beginning and read it all over. For those who think my review is too kind. Let me be clear, you have to appreciate the storytelling of Jane Green, I love her writing style. Although the book starts off slow and isn't immediately interesting, the characters are and you fall in love with the ongoings of their lives til the very end.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Frosty61

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It's supposed to be a 'rollicking' tale of old university friends, old loves, old jealousies. It doesn't deliver. My take on it: too many storylines, too repetitive; too predictable; much too long. It's mostly fluff but the author tries to make it more 'meaty' by introducing heavier topics: having a character get an HIV diagnosis; having another involved in an extra marital affair (supposedly); and having another who just can't commit to a loving relationship because she might get hurt (eye roll It's supposed to be a 'rollicking' tale of old university friends, old loves, old jealousies. It doesn't deliver. My take on it: too many storylines, too repetitive; too predictable; much too long. It's mostly fluff but the author tries to make it more 'meaty' by introducing heavier topics: having a character get an HIV diagnosis; having another involved in an extra marital affair (supposedly); and having another who just can't commit to a loving relationship because she might get hurt (eye roll here). It just doesn't work for me. I guessed the HIV diagnosis way before it came up in the story; I guessed the bi-sexual bent of another character early on, and I got bored with the juvenile angst of Cath. Nevertheless, I doggedly read to the predictable, anti-climatic end - a waste of valuable time.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ɑƨħŵɑɡ ♥Team Magnus Damora FOREVER♥

    By the time I recognized Jane Green's books, I have been wanting to get my hands on this book SO bad, it's almost frustrating. Now that I found it and loved it I feel happy. Basically, this book got it all. Even though it's told from Catherine's POV but the sub-plots of the others were as engaging as the main story. I felt emotionally attached to this book til the very end. The relationships in Bookends are so amazingly written. I felt jealous of them (yeah! my life's that pathetic). I also liked By the time I recognized Jane Green's books, I have been wanting to get my hands on this book SO bad, it's almost frustrating. Now that I found it and loved it I feel happy. Basically, this book got it all. Even though it's told from Catherine's POV but the sub-plots of the others were as engaging as the main story. I felt emotionally attached to this book til the very end. The relationships in Bookends are so amazingly written. I felt jealous of them (yeah! my life's that pathetic). I also liked the writing. It isn't overly focused on a single situation or character. Many things are happening which made it even harder to put down. What I liked more particularly is Catherine. I felt a certain degree of fondness for her. She was caring and emotionally stable without overdoing it. I found myself really enjoying her story more than I thought I would.

  11. 5 out of 5

    William Miles

    Good, overall. The NYPL recommended this as a book about books. Two of the main characters open a book store, circa 2001 (wouldn’t all of us readers have wanted to do that?!). But one of the very few books mentioned was Angela’s Ashes, which, indeed, everyone was reading back then, and it seemed a little trite to bring up just that one book. But the story line flowed smoothly, and the reader was always pulling for the (mostly likable) main characters. Then, rather abruptly, the story took a rathe Good, overall. The NYPL recommended this as a book about books. Two of the main characters open a book store, circa 2001 (wouldn’t all of us readers have wanted to do that?!). But one of the very few books mentioned was Angela’s Ashes, which, indeed, everyone was reading back then, and it seemed a little trite to bring up just that one book. But the story line flowed smoothly, and the reader was always pulling for the (mostly likable) main characters. Then, rather abruptly, the story took a rather unexpected and dark turn, which I won’t divulge here. The overarching theme was that friends always matter, a Good Thing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cath Hughes

    Bookends is like watching a series of Friends!  From the very beginning, you feel like you are part of their group.  I listened to the story on Audio Book which meant that the narrator had different voices for each character which also brought each one of them to life.   This story is about friendship, dating, opening a book shop, as well as covering some bigger, more serious, issues.   It was an entertaining book, with a big shock ending.  

  13. 4 out of 5

    Angela Mcowan

    Easy to read, with a little more depth to the characters than is often the case with this sort of novel. But overall nothing special, and quite forgettable.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Colleen (Colleensreadingadventures) Scidmore

    This is what a good Chick Lit book should be like. Humorous, Dramatic and with some Romance thrown in as well. The book starts out with Cath in college making a new group of friends. At the center of the group is Portia. A beautiful girl with flawless style, a wicked sense of humor that subtlety commands the attention of everyone around her. Portia is Cath's best friend among the group, the rest are boys, she actually is more like a sister, a soul mate if you will. Cath is not the most beautiful This is what a good Chick Lit book should be like. Humorous, Dramatic and with some Romance thrown in as well. The book starts out with Cath in college making a new group of friends. At the center of the group is Portia. A beautiful girl with flawless style, a wicked sense of humor that subtlety commands the attention of everyone around her. Portia is Cath's best friend among the group, the rest are boys, she actually is more like a sister, a soul mate if you will. Cath is not the most beautiful of women so she was pretty flattered that Portia choose her as a BFF. But everything changes when Portia upsets the dynamic of their circle by hurting another in the group because of her insecurities. As college ends Cath remains friends with Josh and Si as they all turn their back on Portia. It is now 10 years later and Cath is still friends with Josh and Si. Her life revolves around work and her college pals. She is a bit more jaded after being burned in love so she has decided alone works for her. She is not unhappy, in fact she loves her guy pals and Josh's wife Lucy. She enjoys their lazy Sunday's and dinners together. She doesn't want to change a thing. But life does change and pretty drastically after Cath and Si meet one of Lucy's fellow classmates. To start with Lucy talks Cath into opening her dream shop of a Book Shop/Cafe which they name Bookends. This is a huge leap for Cath, she leaves a lucrative job in advertising to take a huge leap of faith into this dream job not really sure they can make it a stable long standing business. And then because of Lucy's classmate the group is able to get in touch with Portia again. It is a nice reunion until there are signs that Portia has more on her agenda then just a college reunion and things really go off the rails. This book is just what I needed to pull me out of a book slump. It was very entertaining, I had loads of laughs especially where Si was involved and there is a bit of heartache as well where I just started blubbering like a baby. I look forward to reading more amusing stories by Jane Green.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shradha

    2.5⭐ About: the story revolves around Cath and Si who are best friend. Their group also includes Josh and Lucy who are married. And of course Portia.... It takes place from their uni years to their early thirties. It talks about various issues like friendship, marriage, relationships, job and life. Overall okay read. Wasn't invested in characters. Could have been more interesting. 2.5⭐ About: the story revolves around Cath and Si who are best friend. Their group also includes Josh and Lucy who are married. And of course Portia.... It takes place from their uni years to their early thirties. It talks about various issues like friendship, marriage, relationships, job and life. Overall okay read. Wasn't invested in characters. Could have been more interesting.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fatima

    HATS OFF TO JANE GREEN FOR WRITING BOOKENDS, LOVED IT! Its richly detailed and very very very well written. I enjoy Jane Green’s brand of British Chick Lit. Bookends is a story of friendship. Catherine Warner has great friends; Simon and the happily married Josh and Lucy. While Simon and Cath are both on the lookout for the perfect man, Josh and Lucy seem to have the perfect marriage until a long lost college friend, the beautiful Portia arrives back in their lives. Soon Cath suspects Josh may b HATS OFF TO JANE GREEN FOR WRITING BOOKENDS, LOVED IT! Its richly detailed and very very very well written. I enjoy Jane Green’s brand of British Chick Lit. Bookends is a story of friendship. Catherine Warner has great friends; Simon and the happily married Josh and Lucy. While Simon and Cath are both on the lookout for the perfect man, Josh and Lucy seem to have the perfect marriage until a long lost college friend, the beautiful Portia arrives back in their lives. Soon Cath suspects Josh may be having an affair with Portia and then later suspects josh having an affair with their au pair. Cath has a new love interest in her life at the same time, James the estate agent slash artist. I enjoyed this book and the complicated web of friendship and love.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    I have always loved books about books and bookstores. Bookends however was a disappointment for me. The flashback alone took up the first 5-10 chapters and story was a smorgasbord of everything, life, love, friends, family, business... It felt like a whole season of Friends in a novel. On hindsight, hence the 1 star, growing old with college friends can be amazing. A family by choice, friends who knew you when you were a nobody can keep you grounded. :)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alex Ankarr

    Thought about two stars - 1.75, maybe. But considering that two stars on GR is three stars on Amazon - well, no. The ending was weird. I mean just weird. And unsatisfying. Maybe you shouldn't see an ending coming, but also you ought to feel that it makes an intuitive sense. This didn't. Thought about two stars - 1.75, maybe. But considering that two stars on GR is three stars on Amazon - well, no. The ending was weird. I mean just weird. And unsatisfying. Maybe you shouldn't see an ending coming, but also you ought to feel that it makes an intuitive sense. This didn't.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}

    people who like fluffy chick lit that isn't too badly written with decent characters, not amazing, but decent, would like this book. people who like fluffy chick lit that isn't too badly written with decent characters, not amazing, but decent, would like this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Fun to read with a tear at the end! But nothing special :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kim 'BookAddict'

    Aww, this book was really sad at times. I liked this book. It was enjoyable. But maybe there was a Little bit too much drama, in my opinion.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This...story...was...so...slow! Several times I found myself questioning, where are we going with this.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Jane Coulthard

    Synopsis:- Cath and Si are best friends. Total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love.Cath is scatty,messy and emotionally closed. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy and desperate for a man of his own. When Portia steps back into their lives,her reappearance sets of a chain of events that tests them to the limit. Does Portia have a hidden agenda, or is she just looking for happy endings all round ? Whatever the answers, none of them could ever predict the outcome …. Review:- I went back Synopsis:- Cath and Si are best friends. Total opposites, always together, and both unlucky in love.Cath is scatty,messy and emotionally closed. Si is impossibly tidy, bitchy and desperate for a man of his own. When Portia steps back into their lives,her reappearance sets of a chain of events that tests them to the limit. Does Portia have a hidden agenda, or is she just looking for happy endings all round ? Whatever the answers, none of them could ever predict the outcome …. Review:- I went back to reading this one as it’s one of my favourites and I felt like I was in a slump, as always I loved it, It has given me the feeling of wanting to curl up with a good book again. We begin with a group of university friends Si,Cath, Josh, Portia and Eddie and we get a chunk of how it was between them back where it all began until Portia does something that ruins the group dynamic and that’s it, the end of the groups friendship. Fast forward a few years and we are in the group with Cath,Si, Josh and his wife Lucy. Cath is a single career girl, Si the gay best friend and Josh and Lucy, wife,husband and parents. Cath and Lucy decide to open up a bookshop/cafe named Bookends. After opening, the groups friendship is tested to the max when Portia arrives back into their lives. Can their lives remain the same with Portia back in the fold ? Has things changed so much that they can’t go back ? Jane Green is one of my favourite authors, I enjoy curling up with one of her books and I cannot wait to see if there will be anything new from her soon.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    3 stars...initially I put 2.5, due to the bookstore setting, which was the primary draw for me. However, it ended better than it began, so I'm feeling more generous. It is never a good thing to forgive (at best), or glorify (at worst), the despicable parts of human nature. Hyperbolizing is one thing, but there is a limit, even in this most formulaic chick lit genre, and this one is just too much. Max is a Damien spawn, a wretched, beastly, and decidedly UN-cute child. Will is a narcissistic, cond 3 stars...initially I put 2.5, due to the bookstore setting, which was the primary draw for me. However, it ended better than it began, so I'm feeling more generous. It is never a good thing to forgive (at best), or glorify (at worst), the despicable parts of human nature. Hyperbolizing is one thing, but there is a limit, even in this most formulaic chick lit genre, and this one is just too much. Max is a Damien spawn, a wretched, beastly, and decidedly UN-cute child. Will is a narcissistic, condescending, duplicitous asshat. And worse, he takes great joy in being cruel. Ingrid is lazy, she dislikes Max (even while being employed as his au pair), and she takes ridiculous advantage of her employers, who seem so clueless here that it nearly defies logic that they are competent in every other aspect of life. Yes, I know this is formula chick lit. I know that stereotypes are part and parcel of that. I know what to expect, and I do enjoy them for what they are. This one is just too much of everything. In addition to that, the author clearly needed either a grammar lesson, or an editor who was grammatically competent. No one expects every book to be grammatically perfect, and the occasional error can always be chalked up to being overlooked, unless it is obviously colloquial writing. However, when the same grammar error crops up over, and over, and over, it is distracting, even in the best of books. Suffice to say that, while the story had promise, lots of chick lit appeal, and a bookish setting that is nearly irresistible to a book nerd like me, I'm underwhelmed. It finished stronger than it began, but it could have been so much better.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Merrie

    Bookends is about a group of friends who bond during university and, except for one of them (Portia), continue to stay close ten years later. When the rich and now famous Portia re-enters their lives, they doubt her motives, especially when their lives start to unravel at the same time. This was simply a lovely book! The kind you don't want to end because the characters have become your best friends! This is the first book I've read by Jane Green, and from the professional reviews, I gather her p Bookends is about a group of friends who bond during university and, except for one of them (Portia), continue to stay close ten years later. When the rich and now famous Portia re-enters their lives, they doubt her motives, especially when their lives start to unravel at the same time. This was simply a lovely book! The kind you don't want to end because the characters have become your best friends! This is the first book I've read by Jane Green, and from the professional reviews, I gather her previous books received greater acclaim. If that's so, they must be fabulous! I loved reading about these characters and seeing their interactions with each other. Green provided an interesting plot and a little bit of mystery. It made me think about my own friendships and how they've sustained me throughout my life. A lovely book!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trelawn

    This was a bit more than chick lit but light enough to be an easy read. This was an populated by great characters and featured a bookstore/cafe so I was happy from the get go. Will have to check out more titles by this author

  27. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    A bit of a slow start, and I guessed some major things along the way, but still an enjoyable read that pulled me in the more I read!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Such a great book will be reading more of books by her for sure

  29. 5 out of 5

    Helena Wildsmith

    As always with Jane Green - very enjoyable and hard to put down! A little predictable but a lovely relaxing read and a perfect way to wind down at the end of the day.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This started out very slow for me; in fact the entire first half dragged for me. But the second half is where the action is, and I was definitely hooked once I got there. Definitely a fun little read, don’t give up on it!

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