How I Killed My Best Friend-Amanda Michalpoulou
novel in translation
Maria and Anna are both outsiders in their school and become best friends. This is the story of how that ended up so dysfunctional. Note: no actual murder.
This is a bit of an intense book. Set at a time when many Greek families were returning to Greece to reaffirm a monoculture, these two girls, one from Africa and the other from France, are drawn to each other while young. Then with the sinister pull of puberty, their friendship morphs and twists into a dysfunctional and abusive relationship. Many girls have found themselves in such friendships at one point (at a different intensity-my experiences were certainly mild) and Michalpoulou really captures the interdependence of destruction. They are set against the environment of ideology and political clashes-a hard to express environment for me though I trip over it on a daily basis-which is specifically Greek which lends a lot of authenticity and depth to already well-developed characters. Well written with good pacing.