Two Scoops, Too Much by Terri Boas
Friendship under difficult circumstances is a great subject for a novel, and this sequel to Two Scoops, not Three certainly examines the friendship between three young women from every perspective. Two of the three women involved, Briony and Lauren, after enjoying a warm friendship in the previous book, have decided to take things further and have a deep, physical relationship. The third woman, Natalie, is rethinking everything after a messy affair with Jason, her spin instructor. As the women negotiate everything including their work, marriage and future, extreme events overtake them. With humorous dialogue, passionate moments and musical references, this is an entertaining book in a very contemporary style. The characters have depth and the settings are well described. Ranging from an office kitchen, through to a much loved local pub, a luxury hotel and homes, this is a book which covers a great deal of ground in many ways. It deals with highs and lows and the excitement of new love, as well as deep confusion as a relationship hits trouble. The three women are well developed characters who react to things in interesting ways; the author has really thought through how people react in different circumstances. I found this an interesting book that I was keen to read and review.
The novel begins at the exact point that the previous one ended, with Briony and Lauren declaring their feelings for each other in their local pub. Amid much alcohol no one is left in any doubt as to the strength of their feelings, and everyone seems happy for them, especially the landlady Flo and Natalie. Not that they find it easy to find time to spend exclusively with each other. Lauren has been singing on cruise ships and is between engagements, but Briony’s work situation is far more unstable. After a torrid relationship with her American boss’ son Mani, at the end of which he made an inappropriate suggestion to both of them, they both view him with suspicion. Briony is unsure how this leaves her in the office, and the two women decide to set up an elaborate but fitting revenge. Meanwhile the after effects of Natalie’s affair is to make her husband Martin eager to reawaken their relationship, with mixed results. He has always been generous in terms of expensive cars and ensuring that she has never had to earn money since their two young children were born. Natalie is now convinced that she now wants more, not necessarily in terms of passion, but her own job, even career. She is keen on staying involved in the fitness industry, but is aware that that is where temptation lies for her, even though she knows that seeing Jason once more may well cause problems. A brief stay at a luxury hotel for all three women allows all sorts of emotions to emerge, and nothing seems to go to plan. When an event rocks the lives of all three women, it seems plain that plans are never easy to stick to in their lives.
This is a very contemporary book which reflects relationships and encounters of various kinds, which the author spends time describing. While on one level it is an entertainment, it also makes some very strong points about serious topics, such as women in the workplace and relationship breakdown. A colourful book in many ways, there is a lot going on in this novel which may challenge expectations.