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Fiction Review     

 

We Can Still Be Friends: A Novel
by Kelly Cherry
Soho Press, 2003
Hardcover, $24.00 (288 pages)
ISBN: 1-56947-323-4
 
 
 

“We can still be friends,” the classic dumping line opens this novel as Ava learns that her longtime partner has taken a new lover.  Ava had expected to marry Tony, and she had already suffered a miscarriage with his child.  Hearing her biological clock ticking, Ava realizes that she has been robbed perhaps her only opportunity at motherhood.  For that, someone owes her a child.   

In a unique and smartly written approach, Ava goes to see the husband of the woman who replaced her and tells him she wants to have his baby.  Instead of throwing her out of his office, movie producer Boyd Buchanan considers the plan.  His wife Claire is unable to have children, so this may be his only opportunity at fatherhood.  Boyd agrees to impregnate Ava – the old fashion way. 

Learning of the plan, Claire feels threatened in her open marriage.  She enjoys Tony and is attracted to his ethnic good looks.  Tony, who wants to marry Claire, still wants to control Ava and annoyed by her plan as she goes to her pre-natal appointments at the hospital where he is a doctor.  When the baby is delivered, Ava is surrounded by Boyd, Claire and Tony.  It is a modern family. 

We Can Still Be FRIENDS tells the story through alternating points of view from chapter to chapter as often the same scene is given a fresh image through the eyes and desires of the speaker.  Claire and Ava are both members of academia and connected through friends as well as their men.  The novel is a story of strong women, who take charge of their destinies, and is told with Kelly Cherry’s lyrical voice and sharp wit.

 

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews

 

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