The Geography of Friendship reviewed by Vivian

Samantha, Lisa and Nicole have set out on a five day trek through the mountains and wilderness, but this is no ordinary hike. The girls originally hiked the trek over 20 years earlier. But something happened back then that not only terrorised them but also fractured their friendship to the point where they didn’t speak or contact each other for over 20 years. Now they have come back to face their own demons and the part they played in the terrible event which destroyed their friendship.

The girls first met at school. Each one was a misfit and it was their differences that drew them together to become a close knit group of three. Samantha was the heavy-set, easy-going one of the group. Lisa was the firey one, easily angered with strong opinions. If Lisa saw an unjust situation she would always stand up for herself and others. Nicole was perfectly proportioned, muscular and athletic with a slightly detached manner. At times their friendship could be fragile but if faced with external threats it was indestructible.

After not seeing each other for over 20 years, Lisa organises to catch up for a drink and convinces the others to go back and retrace their mountain trek – a trek which holds regretful memories – in which they hope to find answers and forgiveness. Although the walk is the same, the experience is completely different. Now they are more in tune with the environment and notice a lot more than they did the first time around. This is where Piper’s description of the environment and wilderness comes alive helping to vividly picture them on the trek. Also the difficulty of the trek is well depicted giving a deeper understanding of the endurance required to complete the journey.

Piper cleverly keeps us on tenderhooks as she alludes to the frightening event slowly building up to the climactic incident. Along the way the girls reflect on their friendship and how they lost each other. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and how the dynamics of their friendship worked, while eagerly turning the pages to reach the finale.

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