The Friends We Keep

Narrated by: Jane Green
Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
4 out of 5 stars (244 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

As seen on The Today Show!

The Friends We Keep is the heartwarming and unforgettable New York Times best-selling novel from Jane Green, author of The Sunshine Sisters and The Beach House.

Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known one another since college. Their friendship was something they swore would last forever. Now years have passed, the friends have drifted apart, and they never found the lives they wanted - the lives they dreamed of when they were young and everything seemed possible. 

Evvie starved herself to become a supermodel but derailed her career by sleeping with a married man. 

Maggie married Ben, the boy she fell in love with in college, never imagining the heartbreak his drinking would cause. 

Topher became a successful actor, but the shame of a childhood secret shut him off from real intimacy. 

By their 30th reunion, these old friends have lost touch with one another and with the people they dreamed of becoming. Together again, they have a second chance at happiness...until a dark secret is revealed that changes everything. 

The Friends We Keep is about how despite disappointments we’ve had or mistakes we’ve made, it’s never too late to find a place to call home. 

©2019 Jane Green (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Love, grief, and forgiveness illuminate this compelling summer read.” (Kirkus Reviews)

"Green writes with a clear, unfettered voice, filling this page-turner with plot twists and hinting at the power of forgiveness." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Friends We Keep

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Story was ok, narration was awful

The story was ok, I didn't really see the intense bond of friendship the 3 friends had, They were 3 people that lived together that knew each other for a long time, but that is all. I felt like the story took a long time trying to establish itself, and it never really achieved that. I could have predicted the big secret about "Evil Ben" from the very beginning, and it was somewhat unbelievable **spoiler** that the two times Ben and Evie were together, she got pregnant both times. I know it can happen, but it seemed like a big stretch trying to establish an exciting plot...that really wasn't that exciting. The worst part about this book was the narration. I couldn't tell if the narrator wasn't British, but was trying to be British, or she was British, and was trying to sound androgynous. Her British male voices were very fake, her British female voices were very gruff sounding w/out any femininity. The attempt at a stereotypical gay male voice was exactly that, stereotypical, and the attempts at the American accents were the absolute WORST. No resemblance to an American dialect at all. I kept confusing who the actual American characters were, because the accent was so horrible.
I stuck with this book mainly because I wanted to see how it ended, but overall, I wouldn't recommend it. One last thing, another reviewer mentioned the cover of the book, and I agree, nothing on the cover resembles any of the characters in the book and none of it takes place on a beach, not sure who did the marketing on that idea, but it was a definite miss.

8 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Very disappointed

The story was contrived. The narration was atrocious. She couldn’t do dialogue at all. I never realized someone could voice so many characters horribly.

But worst of all, the depiction of Evvie, the biracial woman in the three-friend group of the title was completely dependent on negative racial stereotypes. I cannot believe that this book was published in 2019.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narration a significant issue...

The story was nice even if predictable. I have over 250 audible books in my library and have never left a review. I just feel that Ms. Green did this book a disservice by not hiring a professional narrator. It was very distracting to listen to different roles, and try to understand who was speaking. She would slow the speech speed now so much that I sometimes had to advance the audio just to relieve myself of the voice. I really like this author! My sincere suggestion is to write as beautifully as you do, and leave performance to the pros.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A good book about true friendship and it's power t

A good book about how true friendships can endure separation and the passage of time and still remain intact.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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I enjoyed the story

This story reminds us what is important in life. We all weave our own path and when that path crosses true friendship, it can last a lifetime- through anything.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed it

I enjoyed this story and the author reading it. I feel in love with her voice.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Horrible narration

I really wanted to like this book but not only was the story boring, I absolutely could not tolerate Jane Green's narration any longer. Just awful - the accents, the tone, the articulation. I'm so sorry, I don't want to sound mean. But it was very distracting to me every time I tried to listen. Further, I didn't care for the characters at all so I ended up just quitting the book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narration-Ugh! And SLLOOWWW

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Jane Green must stop narrating her own books. Her attempt at a posh British accent is dreadful and I kept worrying she was going to bite her tongue and gag on her saliva as she tried to twist said tongue gurgle her way into what she believed to be an upper class accent. And why does she think upper class Brits always speak several octaves louder than everyone else??? Her American accent and Evie’s ever changing cockney accent were no better. The slow slow narration made a slow story even slower! Please please outsource your narration to a professional. Spare your readers!
Stories that span this many years need to have interesting sub-stories that keep the reader going. Nothing interesting happens. I’ve read all of Jane Green’s books and I fear they have been losing their spark over time and, with this, I fear that spark may have sadly gone out. Only my loyalty to the author and wanting to know what happened to the characters kept me going, giving up several times, along the way.
I hate to leave a bad review but I would not recommend this book. It’s boring and tedious and the narration drove me nuts!!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Slow going

This book picked up about halfway through when Evie and Ben slept together. I feel that it could’ve been condensed in about 20 fewer chapters. The narration was good and the storyline itself was good, but I felt myself wanting to rush through it towards the end.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Hard to get into.

I’ve always loved Jane Green. I’ve read every single book. I struggled with this one though. It felt more of a chore to listen so that I could move on to another book. I think I prefer her older style of writing.