For people who have stronger platonic relationships than romantic ones, it can be challenging to explain why you and your best friend are so close, and that, no, you aren't
together together. For those of you in this particular situation in life, I've got 15 books to read if your BFF is your soulmate, because sometimes it can feel like no one understands the magic you two share.
I am absolutely
ride-or-die for my best friends. If you need me, I'm there, and if I can't physically come to your aid, I can at least be with you in spirit. Devotion to your friends can come back to bite you, as I learned when I lost a "friend" last year, but the vast majority of the time, the payoff from that kind of strong relationship is absolutely worth the work you put into it.
Now obviously, no one is saying that your BFF
has to be your soulmate in order to be your ~best friend 5eva~. If your partner is your soulmate, that's fantastic! You should be nothing short of ecstatic to have found your mate for life, and you should know that the intensity of your relationship with them does not diminish the value of your platonic friendships. But for those of you who find yourselves in the unique spot of having a platonic soulmate, I've got 15 books on female friendship that you absolutely must read.
Check out my recommendations below, and share your favorite literary besties with me on
Twitter! 'A River of Stars' by Vanessa Hua
Sent to L.A. to give birth after becoming pregnant by her married boss, Scarlett runs away when she learns that her baby's father wants to buy the child from her. She's accompanied by Daisy, an unwed teenager whose parents have sent her away to separate her from the American who got her pregnant.
Click here to buy. 'Anne of Green Gables' by L.M. Montgomery
In this classic Canadian novel, a dreamy, free-thinking orphan comes to live with a pair of elderly siblings who intended to adopt a young farmhand instead. At the Cuthberts' home, Green Gables, Anne meets Diana Barry — her kindred spirit and bosom friend.
Click here to buy. 'The Air You Breathe' by Frances de Pontes Peebles
Set in 1930s Brazil,
The Air You Breathe examines the friendship and lives of Dores and Graça, two young girls brought together by fate on a sugar plantation. One is a domestic servant, the other the spoiled daughter of a wealthy family. Together, they bond over a shared love of music, a passion that will lead one of them to a life much different than the one she was born to. Click here to buy. 'Lost Roses' by Martha Hall Kelly
Out April 9, this prequel to
Lilac Girls centers on two BFFs, who are separated in 1914 when the Great War begins. Eliza must travel home to the U.S., where she works to help her friend, Romanov-family cousin Sofya, who is stranded in St. Petersburg. Click here to pre-order. 'Girls Burn Brighter' by Shobha Rao
Feeling unmoored after the loss of her mother, Poornima becomes fast friends with Savitha, a girl hired to work in her family's garment shop. When Savitha is forced to leave the household, Poornima follows after her, making her way across the world to reconnect with her friend.
Click here to buy. 'You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships' by Deborah Tannen
Have you ever wondered why you and your bestie just seem to understand one another on an emotional and spiritual level? In
You're the Only One I Can Tell, Deborah Tannen examines how women communicate with each other, in person and online. Click here to buy. 'The Way You Make Me Feel' by Maurene Goo
The Way You Make Me Feel centers on Clara, a teen who must make amends for a prank gone awry by working on her father's food truck with Rose, an uptight classmate who soon becomes a BFF. Click here to buy. 'The Mars Room' by Rachel Kushner
This Man Booker Prize finalist tells the story of Romy Hall, sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for killing her stalker, a reality that has effectively permanently removed her from her young son's life. Inside Stanville Women's Correctional Facility, Romy meets women from a wide variety of histories and backgrounds, all of whom have wound up in Stanville for one crime or another.
Click here to buy. 'Their Eyes Were Watching God' by Zora Neale Hurston
One day, years after she left her hometown, Janie Crawford shows back up, takes a seat on her front porch, and begins to relay a story to her longtime best friend — the tale of how she killed her husband.
Click here to buy. 'The Girls at 17 Swann Street' by Yara Zgheib
Professional dancer Anna takes center stage in this novel, which focuses on her time in the titular house: a treatment facility for women who live with dangerous eating disorders. There, she meets Emm, Valerie, Julia, and more women who have turned to 17 Swann Street for help.
Click here to buy. 'Woman World' by Aminder Dhaliwal
What would the world look like if men just stopped being born? That question drives Aminder Dhaliwal's graphic novel,
Woman World, which takes place in a near-future world populated only by cis and trans women, who must figure out how to organize their new, man-free society. Click here to buy. 'The Group' by Mary McCarthy
The lives of eight Vassar alums play out in this classic novel from 1963. Known in college as "the group," the young women part ways after celebrating the marriage of one of their number, Kay Strong, shortly after their graduation. In the years that follow, they deal with lost loves, unfaithful husbands, psychiatric treatments, and everything else life throws at them.
Click here to buy. 'The Joy-Luck Club' by Amy Tan
Set in San Francisco,
The Joy Luck Club focuses on a small, tight-knit group of Chinese-American immigrants and their American-born daughters. The titular group of friends wrestle with the loss of their founder, who leaves her adult daughter mourning in the wake of her death. Click here to buy. 'The Farm' by Joanne Ramos
Out on May 7,
The Farm centers on Jane, a Filipino-American immigrant who has taken a position as a Host at the luxurious facility of Golden Oaks, where women come to work as surrogates for families who will pay top-dollar for perfect children. Having left behind a 6-month-old daughter for the nine months she'll live at Golden Oaks, Jane befriends her roommate, Reagan — a white Duke alumna who wants to be financially independent. Click here to buy. 'Snow Flower and the Secret Fan' by Lisa See
Set in 19th-century China, Lisa See's
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan examines the lives of two lifelong best friends through their messages to one another, which are written in nu shu — a language only women can read and write. Click here to buy.