Book Review: When We Were Young by Dawn Goodwin

Friends Stacey, Paula, Bev and Valentina used to be inseparable until one weekend before graduation when nothing was ever the same again.

Thirty years later, reunited at Valentina’s funeral, Stacey receives a letter written by her late friend asking for one last wish… that the three friends go back to where things fell apart and finally bury the hatchet.

As they revisit their old haunts of their uni days and follow a series of clues left by Valentina, their friend’s death begins to look suspicious and it is up to them to find out what happened – but they all have secrets to hide.

They say good friends are hard to come by, but when there is so much at stake and someone is lurking in the shadows, how do you know who is a friend and who is a foe?


When We Were Young was told on dual timelines and I really enjoyed that. I guess what I actually enjoyed was that one timeline was as interesting as the other. That can sometimes be unusual in this kind of book. The timelines also gave a strong sense of the characters and who they were. The story was mostly focused on Stacey and Valentina. Valentina had to be one of the main characters but I found that Paula and Bev were as interesting as Stacey and could have gotten some more air time.

The mystery within When We Were Young is a good one. It certainly kept me intrigued and I finished the book pretty quickly as a result. However, I don’t think the book is so much of a “psychological thriller with a shocking twist” that the blurb advertises. I feel this was at least equal parts a thriller and a drama about old friends. Also, the twist was good but I certainly had my suspicions, which made it less shocking when it was revealed.

Overall, I did find this a very good book. I especially enjoyed the relationship between the friends. It seemed strong and genuine and I could truly believe them being friends if this were a real-life situation.

Sounds interesting? You can buy When We We Young here.

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