Last Night – Mhairi McFarlane

Published by: HarperFiction
Pages: 416
Date released: 01/04/2021
Date read: 21/05/2021

Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the four are as close as ever, Thursday night bar trivia is sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed. Maybe she should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed still thinks about it, too.

But then, in an instant, their lives are changed forever.

In the aftermath, Eve’s world is upended. As stunning secrets are revealed, she begins to wonder if she really knew her friends as well as she thought. And when someone from the past comes back into her life, Eve’s future veers in a surprising new direction.

They say every love story starts with a single moment. What if it was just last night?

It’s taken me a while to get through this as I kept getting distracted by the excitement of new book deliveries (I know I should read the books I have before buying any more, but that’s not about to happen), but I’ve finally finished reading Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane.

It explores love, grief, friendship, family, dementia, abuse, and life. It is a very sweet, enjoyable book, if a little predictable at times. Having said that, I imagine it is quite difficult to write what I call a “happily-ever-after” type book – you know the ones, girl meets boy, they overcome obstacles, girl and boy run off into the sunset – and make it completely different to the rest out there. But that isn’t necessarily a bad point. There’s a reason these types of books are so successful.

We follow 30-somethings Eve, Justin, Ed and Susie, best friends since they were 18. Eve and Ed are in love with each other, but Ed is in a relationship with someone else. They think they’ve got their whole lives ahead of them. But a tragic accident one night leaves their future in the balance, and they realise their friendships might not have been as close as they thought.

I really liked the characters of Eve and Susie, and the comic relief of Justin. I did begin the book liking Ed, but as I went on with the book, I decided he was a weak, whinging user who wants to keep his cake and eat it. Especially when brooding Finlay re-enters Eve’s life.

I’ve read a lot of books in my time where the main character loses a parent or a child or a sibling. But I’ve not read a book like this that follows the grief that comes with losing a best friend. It is unapologetic in the raw pain that comes with losing someone who feels related but is just on the periphery of family. It’s made me value and love my friends even more and I can’t wait till I can embrace them all in a great big cuddle.

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