Two Scoops, too Much by Terri Boas – a lively book of contemporary relationships and life

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. 

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.