This was such a delight to read. And yes, I did cry because I can’t eat cheese anymore, but also, it was lovely and Josh and Tam are great. You should also check out llamareadsbooks’ review, which moved me from “that looks nice” to “need now!”
Things aren’t going well for Tam. Her job overworks her and her boss breaks her promises. There’s tension with her boyfriend and she hasn’t wanted to be intimate in quite a while. When she comes home from a business trip unexpectedly early (see boss breaking promises), she finds her boyfriend in bed with his ex, but worse – her precious fancy cheese is gone.
She calls her best friend, Josh, and says their emergency code word “goldfish.” Josh credits Tam with turning his life around when he was at a low point and he wants to do the same for her. A good chunk of the rest of the book is a push-pull between Josh’s belief that Tam can find a career doing something she loves, and Tam’s fear of not having income right now. The whole idea of finding joy in work is foreign to her and she doesn’t embrace it easily. Along the way, they rebuild the friendship they let slide. Tam reconnects with her group of friends from high school. Many white boards are used and pro/con lists are made. And Tam discovers that she does like sex. I discovered recovering-honors-student-syndrome, which is very familiar.
“She’s got recovering-honors-student syndrome,” Asad said, before drinking from an Italian soda and nodding sagely. “I can’t tell you how often I got a rush by pulling off the impossible when I was in school, or working for that design firm in LA. People-pleasing runs in our blood. And it feels weird to say no or that we’re not capable of doing something that a superior asks for, because of course we can figure it out.”
Gouda Friends was a wonderful read and I’m looking forward to the series continuing later this year.