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Book Review: Big Friendship

Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other CloseBig Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“What’s incredible about friendship is that it allows you to be non-exclusively immersed in another person’s reality, to be intimately known by someone in a way that’s separated from the whims of sexual desire and the constraints of family.” (Just one of the many wisdom nuggets from this book. Reference my highlights for more.)

This is the book that gives friendship the spotlight it deserves. For as present as our friends are in our lives, oftentimes the nature of the relationships aren’t given the thought or care that we give to our romantic or familial relationships. But when we think about the profound impact that some friendships have had on our lives, the influence, the support…doesn’t this deserve more reflection?

Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, two real-life BFFs, are the authors of this part-memoir, part-manifesto on friendship. They tell their own story, dig into the highs and lows, while also sharing some crucial research on the nature of friendship.

I don’t know what I expected from this book- maybe some touching stories about friends through the years? The vague “importance of friendship”? But I learned a good deal more than I expected to, thanks to the extensive research and thought put into this book; like how willing most of us are to let friendships end because of a misunderstanding or years of miscommunication. It made me think of the times I was willing to cut someone from my life simply because it was too uncomfortable to address the issue between us. Sow & Friedman go into the societal WHY of how that can happen and it opened my eyes. (That’s just one example of many.)

**I should note that this is a privileged Millenial book and that’s not to say that it’s not for everyone, but the references and the lifestyles are worth being aware of before reading. You can still learn a great deal from the book but do expect some jet setting and impressive resumés.

This book has caused me to reflect on how I’ve approached my friendships in the past and how I’ll approach them moving forward. But more than anything, it reminded me how grateful for and indebted to my friends I am.

It gave me insights on how I can be a better and more deliberate friend, and that’s big.

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