Sally Flint

Book Review On FRIENDAHOLIC Confessions Of A Friendship Addict By Elizabeth Day


In FRIENDAHOLIC Confessions of a Friendship Addict, Elizabeth Day delves into the intricate dynamics of friendships, blending her personal experiences with universal truths. I didn’t realise this when I started to read it, as I bought it thinking it was fiction! This assumption seems all the sillier when you consider my avid listening to her podcasts, ‘How to Fail’ and ‘Best Friend Therapy’, which she co-hosts with Emma Reed-Turrell. However, in my defense, Magpie, also written by Elizabeth Day was fiction! My first comment is that this is a book of substance, so if, like me, you were expecting a light-hearted page-turner, it’s something far more worth investing in. Though the book is sprinkled with Day’s characteristic humour, she delves deep, approaching the topic with a gravitas that truly does it justice.

FRIENDAHOLIC Confessions of a Friendship Addict is meticulously structured, dividing itself into clear sections, each spotlighting various facets of friendship as they relate to Day’s own experiences. Yet, it’s not solely about Day’s viewpoint. Tucked between the principal chapters are ‘The Friendship Tapes’, where others share their unique perspectives and tales about what friendship signifies to them. There’s a resonance to these tales, moments of reflection, and introspection for readers to lose themselves in.

There’s one section that particularly struck a chord, perhaps because I am so familiar with her podcast. Day’s candid musings on fertility and friendship were insightful and moving. While I didn’t always find myself nodding in agreement with everything she said, I admired the raw courage she demonstrated in laying out her truths. In this section, along with other chapters, some of her critiques on certain friends might make you raise an eyebrow; I found myself pondering if she had taken the bold step of using their real names. If I were to adore this book for just one element, it would be this audacious authenticity.

My absolute favourite section was Day’s heartfelt tribute to her podcast co-presenter, Emma, where she outlines what it is to be a best friend. As an ardent follower of their podcast, this part felt like a little behind-the-scenes peek, and it felt special.

In conclusion, FRIENDAHOLIC Confessions of a Friendship Addict is an astutely crafted exploration of a topic women often discuss but is seldom detailed in literature – friendship. The notion of a ‘friendship contract’ was especially thought-provoking, and the revelation that friendships, like everything else, can be transient was truly enlightening. Elizabeth Day promised to fill a gap with this book, and she’s done so magnificently.

Book Club Discussion Questions on FRIENDAHOLIC Confessions of a Friendship Addict by Elizabeth Day:

• Elizabeth Day dives into various facets of friendship throughout FRIENDAHOLIC. Discuss the aspect of her exploration that resonated most with you. Why did it strike a chord?

• What qualities do you value most in a friend? Were any of these qualities highlighted or challenged in the book?

• ‘The Friendship Tapes’ interludes provide multiple perspectives on friendship. Was there a particular account or story that stood out to you? How did it compare to your own experiences or beliefs about friendship?

• How have your friendships evolved over time? Do you see parallels between your experiences and Day’s descriptions in the book?

• Day discusses the concept of a ‘friendship contract’. How did you interpret this? Discuss moments in your life where you might have felt an unspoken contract or set of expectations in your own friendships.

• The book touches on the transient nature of some friendships. Can you think of a friendship in your own life that served its purpose for a specific time or phase?

• How did you feel about Day’s decision to critique certain friends in her book? Did it feel authentic or too revealing?

• Which section or chapter of FRIENDAHOLIC did you find the most compelling and why?

• Day’s reflections on fertility and its intersection with friendship are candid and deep. Discuss how this section impacted your understanding of the complexities of female friendships.

• Day mentions her podcast co-host, Emma, in a section dedicated to the essence of being a best friend. Discuss your own definition of a ‘best friend’. Do you agree with Day’s portrayal?
• Elizabeth Day sprinkles humour throughout the book, even while discussing serious topics. How do you feel this balanced tone influenced your reading experience?

• Discuss any moments in the book where you disagreed with Day’s perspective. How did it affect your overall perception of her narrative?

• Day’s exploration of friendship is both personal and universal. Were there moments where you felt her experiences were highly relatable to your own?

• Book clubs are a form of friendship, too. Have you ever mistaken a book’s genre in our book club, much like misreading FRIENDAHOLIC as fiction? Share any amusing book-related missteps or surprises!

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