‘The spirit of Elena Ferrante haunts this tale of a friendship forged in Karachi’ – Sunday Times
‘A profound novel about friendship. I loved it to pieces’ – Madeline Miller
‘A shining tour de force’ – Ali Smith, Guardian Summer Reading
CHOSEN AS A BOOK OF 2022 BY THE GUARDIAN, OBSERVER, DAILY MAIL AND FINANCIAL TIMES
A dazzling new novel of friendship, identity and the unknowability of other people – from the international bestselling author of Home Fire, winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction
Sometimes it was as though the forty years of friendship between them was just a lesson in the unknowability of other people…
Maryam and Zahra.
In 1988 Karachi, two fourteen-year-old girls are a decade into their friendship, sharing in-jokes, secrets and a love for George Michael. As Pakistan’s dictatorship falls and a woman comes to power, the world suddenly seems full of possibilities. Elated by the change in the air, they make a snap decision at a party. That night, everything goes wrong, and the two girls are powerless to change the outcome.
Zahra and Maryam.
In present-day London, two influential women remain bound together by loyalties, disloyalties, and the memory of that night, which echoes through the present in unexpected ways. Now both have power; and both have very different ideas of how to wield it… Their friendship has always felt unbreakable; can it be undone by one decision?
‘A new Kamila Shamsie novel is always worth celebrating, but Best of Friends is something else: an epic story that explores the ties of childhood friendship, the possibility of escape, the way the political world intrudes into the personal, all through the lens of two sharply drawn protagonists’ – Observer, Books of the Year 2022