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The Girls from Corona Del Mar (2014)

Mia and Lorrie Ann are completely different from one another but are still the best of friends. Mia is known as a tough and slightly distant girl who comes from a dysfunctional family: her mother is an alcoholic and her father left them years ago to build up another life without them. In contrast to Mia, Lorrie Ann is beautiful, pure and appears to be part of a perfect happy family consisting of herself, her brother and her happily married parents. But then disaster strikes, and slowly everything in Lorrie Ann's life seems to go from bad to worse. There's no longer need for Mia to be jealous of her best friend's life, but she's finding it difficult to deal with Lorrie Ann's struggles, especially as they drift further and further away from one another. This is a novel about an intriguing female friendship between Mia and Lorrie Ann. The two girls come from completely different families and help each other through everything, but no one can predict what is going to happen in life and that is exactly where the close friendship is challenged to the core. The book deals with various serious topics such as abortion, motherhood, quality of life, and, of course, friendship. Because the novel touches on these interesting topics, it would be a great read for book clubs since there is definitely lots to discuss. The reader is invited to look at Mia and Lorrie Ann's lives from when they were teenagers until they are in their thirties. I was really intrigued by both girls, their lives and their decisions, and since the book is not too long (about 250 pages), I finished it rather quickly. It was a fast read, but quite an intense one at the same time. Personally, I was a bit let down by the ending and it somehow didn't really work for me. However, this doesn't make the story any less compelling. The Girls from Corona del Mar is a very raw, dramatic, and captivating story about two women, posing an interesting question of whether friendship really can conquer everything. (JoH)

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