YOU KNEW ME WHEN by Emily Liebert: A Review

Published by: Penguin Group (September 3, 2013)

Reviewed by: Melissa

Set in the 90s, You Knew Me When begins when long estranged friends Katherine and Laney are requested to attend the reading of their beloved friend Luella’s will.  Torn apart by guilt and stubborn pride these women have barely spoken in twelve years, harboring grudges despite the love they share as dear friends. The narrative shifts from past to present highlighting their innocent, youthful friendship and their present day animosity.  The reader slowly learns the turn of events that break hearts and sever trust.  Can these friends work through their insecurities and hurt feelings to find their way back to each other?

I enjoyed the differences in Kitty, Laney and Luella’s characters and found glimpses of myself in each of them.  I particularly enjoyed how Kitty and Laney’s personas changed in adulthood yet many of their childhood traits remained.  The timid, insecure Kitty leaves small town life for New York City where she recreates herself as Katherine, the independent, high-powered cosmetics empire mogul and Laney, whose dreams of escaping her sleepy home town in search of the glamor of big city life are traded for motherhood.  Luella however remained a constant and steady source of wisdom and support that was comforting until the end despite her well-intentioned mistakes along the way.

You Knew Me When is an engaging story about the friendship and love that exists among women and will warm your heart as only your BFF can.  Happily, it is also a tale of mended bridges and the rekindling of lost love; but is it also a cautionary tale of how friendships can be broken through miscommunication and misunderstanding. It’s a feel good book that soothes the soul.  You Knew Me When is a light, easy read that will make you yearn for the friendships of youth when life was relatively untroubled, the possibilities were endless and you were comforted by the naive belief that people never grow apart.

I couldn’t help but think of my best friend from high school and wondered where she is today; it’s a melancholy type of feeling that I think only women can understand and appreciate and I was left with the comforting feeling that it’s never to late to go home.  You Knew Me When is an empowering, feel-good story that illustrates the strength, love and wisdom that women share and made me glad to be part of the club.  If you’re looking for a little “girl time” You Knew Me When is the book for you.


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