Two people meet. They have nothing in common and immediately dislike each other. The antagonistic duo is forced to collaborate in some way and come to learn that they actually make a good team. This foe-to-friend framework has been explored repeatedly throughout literary history. From Gilgamesh to Pride and Prejudice to current releases, innovative twists on the trope keep it from becoming stale. It is remains thrilling for the reader to witness a rocky transition from conflict to harmony between well-established characters. The evolution of the relationship may be predictable, but most of the time, the resolution is comforting and satisfying.
For the month of June, I wanted to suggest some contemporary novels that employ this familiar story structure. The titles below may come from a variety of genres, but all of them use the “Unlikely Allies” frame in some way. Such books rely on our insatiable desire for resolution and happy endings.
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge.
|This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith
A cathartic novel about the life-changing weekend shared between two strangers: a therapist and the man she prevents from ending his life.
The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich
The Recovery Agent marks the start of an irresistible new series that will have you clamoring for more and cheering for the unstoppable Gabriela Rose on every page.
By the Book by Jasmine Guillory
Best-selling author Jasmine Guillory’s reimagining of a beloved fairy tale is a romantic triumph of love and acceptance and learning that sometimes to truly know a person you have to read between the lines.
Cackle by Rachel Harrison
A darkly funny, frightening novel about a young woman learning how to take what she wants from a witch who may be too good to be true,
|The Change by Kirsten Miller|
"Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick--a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers-putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town"
|Sleep Walk by Dan Chaon
A high speed and darkly comic road trip through a near future American with a big hearted mercenary
|In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer|
"This laugh-out-loud debut is a perceptive reminder that fate can have a sense of humor, and that love can happen...In a New York Minute.
|French Braid by Anne Tyler
"A stirring, uncannily insightful novel of tremendous warmth and humor that illuminates the kindnesses and cruelties of our daily lives, the impossibility of breaking free from those who love us, and how close--yet how unknowable--every family is to itself"
June's Featured Reviews
Hop on the Holds List
1. The Memory Librarian - Janelle Monae
2. The Book of Cold Cases - Simone St. James
3. Reckless Girls - Rachel Hawkins
4. Trust - Hernan Diaz
5. The Measure - Nikki Erlick
I have recently finished reading Ariadne by Jennifer Saint and the English translation of Rabbit Island by Elvira Navarro. I really enjoyed the author-narrated audiobook of The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson.
What is your favorite example of a foes-to-friends book or movie? Do find the plot device to be reassuring or repetitive? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for all your suggestions and feedback, I really enjoy hearing from you!
Until next time: Be safe, be well and be well-read!
So, who am I, anyway? I am a resident of West Groton, with a husband, 4 teenaged children and a Samoyed puppy-all of whom are systematically destroying our house. I am currently working part time at the Groton Public Library and in a former life I was employed as a Director or PR/Marketing at a high-tech consulting firm. My BA is in Psychology, but most of my time was spent in college earning a Concentration on the Novel. That is all to say that I make no claims at being an expert of any kind and my thoughts, opinions and mistakes are solely my own. I am just a person whose passion for books has continued to grow from the moment I was first able to grip and gnaw on them, and I have been devouring them ever since.
- September 2023 — In the Mood
- August 2023 — Time Travel Tales
- July 2023 — By Land, Air and Sea
- June 2023 — Phenomenal Fathers
- May 2023 — Mysterious Massachusetts
- April 2023 — Bridging the Gap
- March 2023 — Spring for Short Stories
- February 2023 — Book Lovers
- January 2023 — The Girl Who...
- December 2022 — Fine Arts Fiction