B.F.F.: A Memoir of Friendship Lost and Found (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
February 2023 Indie Next List
“Tate’s honesty leaves me in awe of her. In B.F.F., she writes about her struggle to form and maintain close female friendships and the work she does to fix it. In this memoir, she brings the reader in to see all the darkest parts of herself.”
— Mallory Melton, BookPeople, Austin, TX
From the author of Group, a New York Times bestseller and Reese’s Book Club Pick, comes a moving, heartwarming, and powerful memoir about Christie Tate’s lifelong struggle to sustain female friendship, and the friend who helps her find the human connection she seeks.
After more than a decade of dead-end dates and dysfunctional relationships, Christie Tate has reclaimed her voice and settled down. Her days of agonizing in group therapy over guys who won’t commit are over, the grueling emotional work required to attach to another person tucked neatly into the past.
Or so she thought. Weeks after giddily sharing stories of her new boyfriend at Saturday morning recovery meetings, Christie receives a gift from a friend. Meredith, twenty years older and always impeccably accessorized, gives Christie a box of holiday-themed scarves as well as a gentle suggestion: maybe now is the perfect time to examine why friendships give her trouble. “The work never ends, right?” she says with a wink.
Christie isn’t so sure, but she soon realizes that the feeling of “apartness” that has plagued her since childhood isn’t magically going away now that she’s in a healthy romantic relationship. With Meredith by her side, she embarks on a brutally honest exploration of her friendships past and present, sorting through the ways that debilitating shame and jealousy have kept the lasting bonds she craves out of reach—and how she can overcome a history of letting go too soon. But when Meredith becomes ill and Christie’s baggage threatens to muddy their final days, she’s forced to face her deepest fears in honor of the woman who finally showed her how to be a friend.
Poignant, laugh-out-loud funny, and emotionally satisfying, B.F.F. explores what happens when we finally break the habits that impair our ability to connect with others, and the ways that one life—however messy and imperfect—can change another.
About the Author
Christie Tate is the author of the New York Times bestseller Group, which was a Reese’s Book Club selection. She has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and elsewhere, and she lives in Chicago with her family.
“A love story, an ode to those who shape our lives, and a close examination of one woman's inner battles in a humorous, approachable way, B.F.F. is definitely the book to give your own bestie, no matter what age.” —Zibby Owens, GMA
“Tate explores . . . memories and her adult friendships with the same vulnerability that made Group such a captivating read. She’s unafraid to share the unvarnished truth about her insecurities. . . B.F.F. is an openhearted examination of the power of friendship from people who love us exactly as we are.” —BookPage
"B.F.F. is a love story about the miracle of friendship. But it’s also an admirably vulnerable, heartbreaking-meets-funny self-interrogation. Reckoning with failed or faltering friendships—the ones that feel like auditions for a part you're desperate to play, or high-stakes competitions, or even love triangles—means reckoning with the kind of friend you are. It means facing yourself. B.F.F. made me laugh, cry, and cringe with recognition, page after page. It made me want to pick up the phone and start calling my friends." —Maggie Smith, author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful
"A meaningful, memorable journey from inner pain to honest, open, and enduring friendship.” —Kirkus Reviews
“In her heartfelt memoir, Tate reflects on the implosion of her past female friendships . . . [She] takes accountability for her actions (‘I’m a work in progress’), and she captures the transformative power of friendship . . . Readers will be moved by this outstanding portrait of self-excavation." —Publishers Weekly (starred)
“In close parallel to her debut, Group, Tate's second memoir is another long look at a lifetime's work of healing relationships . . . Written in three understandable, relatable parts—"What It Was Like," "What Happened," "What It's Like Now"—Tate's book shows readers how deep the work had to go for her to change.” —Booklist
"Tate catapulted onto the literary scene in 2020 with Group, a gorgeous, brave, vulnerable memoir about group therapy and all the ways it scared, shaped and saved her. . . B.F.F. carries that torch, and uses it to illuminate the unexpected, unexplored corners of friendship and isolation, belonging and insecurity." —Heidi Stevens, Tribune News Service
“Tate’s chaotic yet heartwarming first book [Group] was all about the unconventional group therapy setting that helped her work through her issues with intimacy. . . In her second memoir, Tate focuses on the elusive intimacy of friendship, recounting the tumultuous, emotional and funny process of learning how to have and be a friend. It yet again strikes that perfect balance of an author spilling the dirt and baring her soul.” —BookPage
SELECTED PRAISE FOR GROUP
"Every page of this incredible memoir, Group by Christie Tate, had me thinking 'I wish I had read this book when I was 25. It would have helped me so much!'... We need each other through the good times and the bad. Please read this book with a group of friends you cherish." —Reese Witherspoon
"Tate’s hard-won willingness to become loving and to be loved ultimately shapes a story that has a lot of heart—one that goes straight to the messy center of what it means to interrogate our own limitations and deepest desires, wherever that journey may take us." —Dani Shapiro, The New York Times
"Often hilarious and ultimately very touching." —People
“[Tate's] commitment to detail serves Group well. So does her plain determination to present herself not as a victorious therapy graduate... but as an ordinary woman who has been lucky enough to beat some extraordinary demons. Group is consistently determined and grateful, with an appealing strand of self-deprecation and a deep affection for [Tate’s groupmates].” —NPR
“Fearless candor and vulnerability.” —Time
"A wild ride. . . It gets pretty raw." —The Boston Globe
"It takes courage to bare your soul in front of a therapist, but when you add six strangers to the mix, it becomes an act of faith. In Group, Christie Tate takes us on a journey that's heartbreaking and hilarious, surprising and redemptive—and, ultimately, a testament to the power of connection. Perhaps the greatest act of bravery is that Tate shared her story with us, and how lucky we are that she did." —Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
“Eugene Onegin made me want to move to Russia and Little Women made me want to have sisters. Group made me want to rewind a decade, sit with a number of strangers and one shamanic doctor, strip down and survive. This unrestrained memoir is a transporting experience and one of the most startlingly hopeful books I have ever read. It will make you want to get better, whatever better means for you." —Lisa Taddeo, New York Times bestselling author of Three Women