The Geography of Friendship by Sally Piper

The Geography of FriendshipA dark shadow has been cast over the friendships of Lisa, Nicole and Samantha as they attempt to recreate a life changing Outback trek that has left a nightmarish imprint on their psyches.

The inanimate austerity of rock and sand is occasionally lifted by the reflected light of the sea whose changing tides begin to mirror the waxing and waning of the emotions. The remote landscape removes distractions and enables this mobile self-help group to reluctantly focus on the underlying reasons for the seemingly irreparable schism in their friendship.

Sally Piper challenges the notion of the gender divide and forces the three
protagonists to confront the superficial aura of male dominance and their
brittle mental foundations that make this assumption so flawed.
This walk of self-discovery attempts to dismantle the notion of Alpha male
superiority while at the same time questioning the meaning of  relationships.

Samantha is the maternal stereotype drifting in a failing marriage, Lisa is
belatedly realising that her daughter does not deserve to be cast in her own
image and Nicole feels that life has failed her and the prospect of love is a
shattered illusion.

This maelstrom of female woes mixed with an undercurrent of self-loathing, triggered by the powerlessness of their ordeal 20 years ago, makes for a perfect storm of emotions which no mental barriers can hold back.
The schizophrenic writing style which jumps between the events and repressed feelings of the two treks could leave the reader struggling with time-scales and context but the blurring of time-lines somehow simulates the confused and indignant mentality of the lead characters as they are continually looking back hoping for answers to enable them to move forward.

This cathartic journey is ultimately given depth and a sense of balance as just at the point when the stultifying effects of emotional denial appear to have quashed all hopes of articulating the truth, the shadows lift and redemption appears possible.

The Geography of Friendship by Sally Piper (Published by Legend Press. Price £8.99). Buy the book at Amazon.

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