FICTION

Good Company

HarperAudio. Apr. 2021. 320p. 8:59 hrs. ISBN 9780063087125. $39.99. F
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Sweeney’s (The Nest) sophomore novel features two somewhat unlikable middle-aged married couples, who connected in their youth via the New York theater scene and now find their marriages and friendships suddenly at risk over a freshly uncovered secret. The summer their daughter Ruby was five, Julian and Flora were in upstate New York, where Julian’s theater group, Good Company, was presenting its annual outdoor show. Their best friends, Margot and David, were there as well; the novel begins with a now-middle-aged Flora looking for a favorite photo of the five of them from that summer so she can frame it for Ruby’s high school graduation gift. During the search, Flora is shocked to uncover Julian’s “lost” wedding ring safely tucked away in a file cabinet—the ring he claimed fell off while he was swimming in a pond that long-ago summer. This character-driven story unfolds through flashbacks and changing points of view, all nimbly presented by narrator Marin Ireland. Ireland’s flawless performance engages listeners in the characters’ professional and personal struggles, generating sympathy and warmth toward them even when their behavior is exasperating.
VERDICT Sweeney’s smooth prose and Ireland’s suburb narration enliven this exploration of the precarity of love and friendship.
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