Would you be suspicious of someone who described you as, “My sweet friend”? This novella tells the story of the relationship between Alexa and Rosie. When smart, charismatic Alexa joins the Parisian PR firm where Rosie is a trusted employee, she quickly makes her mark. Her glowing reference and impressive CV are matched by her immaculate clothes and well organised manner and she quickly strikes up a friendship with Rosie.
Told in turn by Alexa and Rosie we learn what has happened, both by their admissions to the reader and by the dialogue between the two young women. Rosie is saddled with the problem of providing care for her mother who had Alzheimer’s, while Alexa has no contact with family. Also affected by the changing dynamics in the office is Jack, who is close to Rosie but develops a love/hate relationship with Alexa.
The most revealing passages are in Alexa’s voice. We sympathise with her concern over the high expectations at work. She is not coping but is determined to maintain her calm exterior and charm. The detailed description of her immense pleasure in sitting in the sunshine drinking delicious coffee while her blonde hair lifted softly in the sea breeze, emphasise her need to put herself first. There is evidence that she is deceiving others, but she is also deceiving herself.
We have all met needy people who take and never give. Where do you draw the line? Are we sometimes too gullible? The questions posed by this story are, why is Alexa like this and what will happen next in her life. An intriguing, thought-provoking tale.
You can purchase My Sweet Friend on Amazon UK
Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.
You can read my review of Helene’s short stories Manipulated Lives here