Two Scoops not Three by Terri Boas – Ice cream, alcohol and friendship

Two Scoops not Three by Terri Boas

Ice cream, alcohol and great friends; it’s a heady mix of ingredients for many good nights out, and for Briony, Natalie and Lauren it has always been their favourite way of getting together. This is a contemporary tale of friendship and love which presents portraits of three women who live very different lives, but are linked by the sort of friendship that can survive so much. This novel sees them all tested as individuals, but can their relationship overcome secrets and other emotions which could divide them? This book is full of touching moments as the women share moments with each other which are well beyond the usual expectations even of long term friendship. As individuals their work and family commitments shape their lives, but could also lead to others being excluded. This is a well written novel which drew me into the three intertwined, sometimes surprising stories of women finding out about themselves and those that they love. I was pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this engaging novel. 

The novel begins with Briony taking her precious car Gina for a wash. Daydreaming of her “most recent ex” Andre, she reflects that her attraction to men in uniform has led her to “dating boys in men’s clothing”. At the very least they need training to be satisfactory house mates, at worst they have secrets that make her feel betrayed.  A small disaster and guilt about not visiting her favourite local pub for a while disappear in her joy when she realises that Lauren, friend and flatmate, has returned. Lauren is a singer on board cruise ships, and is away much of the time. She enjoys a busy social life while away, and does not seem in any hurry to find “Mrs Right”. In the meantime she genuinely enjoys her friendship with both Briony and Natalie. Not that the latter has been very visible for a while. The only one of the three women to be married, Natalie has two children, seven-year-old daughter Bethany and three-year-old son Milo, and Martin, a seemingly devoted husband. He is devoted in that he buys Natalie presents, including a brand new Audi, and took the family on a Disneyland trip, but he has also been working phenomenally hard as a partner in the family law firm. Natalie has been left to look after the children effectively on her own for a while, and having no need to earn money, has found time hanging heavily. Joining a gym in order to make friends, she has instead become obsessed with Jason, a personal trainer and spin class instructor. They have been indulging in a passionate and illicit affair during snatched sessions, while Martin is unaware and unattentive. Jason is undeniably physically attractive, and when Lauren rings to say that she is at home and keen to have a celebration at the pub, Natalie seizes the chance to use the opportunity to slip away and spend the night with her lover. At least that is the plan, but she makes a discovery that will rock many boats, and be the catalyst for several decisions. Meanwhile, Briony meets a new and very different man through chance, and begins to wonder if her life is now on a different course. 

This book does not hold back on the subject of contemporary relationships, and the pressures on women in their thirties. It is entertaining, enjoyable, and a real testament to female friendship which can survive so much with ice cream and alcohol.