After spending years in different cities, Rachel Bertsche is thrilled to be living with her boyfriend. But soon after leaving her friends and work behind in New York and getting married and settling in Chicago she realizes that there is still something missing in her life - a best friend. Yes, she has lots of BFFs, but they live in other cities. And of course she has friends in Chicago, but no one she would feel comfortable enough with to call for a last minute brunch or reality TV marathon.
So Rachel devises a plan to find herself a Chicago BFF - over the course of a year she will go one fifty-two friend dates, one for each week of the year. What follows is a hilarious, often awkward and touching journey to finding out what a best friend really is and the important role friends play in our lives.
MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend is a recounting of Bertsche's yearlong search for a best friend. She originally chronicled the search in a blog and the book definitely has that sort of feel.
In the beginning, Rachel finds it easy to make friend dates. All she has to do is ask friends and colleagues if they have any friends they think she should meet. But after a while these connections run out and she still has many more dates to find. That's when she turns to book clubs, improv classes, and customer service personnel she has hit it off with in the past. Then she turns to online friend-matching websites. She even resorts to renting a friend. In the name of finding a BFF, Rachel covers all of the bases.
Interspersed with the friend dates are anecdotes and facts from various sources regarding relationships and current social trends. This was my least favourite part of the book. It reminded me of when I was writing papers in university and I would throw in random quotes or facts because my professors required a specific number of secondary sources. A lot of Bertche's secondary sources felt forced and unnecessary and for me they interrupted the flow of the book.
As a thirty-year-old stay at home mother of young children I find it difficult to find someone I can talk with about things other than Barbies and Justin Bieber. I understand what it's like to be in a different place than your friends you grew up with and I completely understand how hard it can be to make new friends as an adult. Everyone will see themselves in this book, whether you're new to town or just not sure how to strike up a friendship with someone you have recently met. No matter what your situation you will find yourself inspired to look for the opportunities to make a new friend in your own life.
As far as "I'm going to do an experiment and keep a blog of it for a year"-type books go, this one works. I'll admit, after reading a few not so great ones, I've found myself kind of tiring of the genre. But Bertsche writes with humour and honesty about a situation most adult women find themselves in at some point in their lives. We may never go to the extremes that she does, but she helps us see that friend-making doesn't end in school and is something that we all need in our lives.
I would like to thank Random House for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. I received no compensation for the opinions expressed above.