MWF Seeking BFF: My Year Long Search For A New Best Friend
By Rachel Bertsche
After finishing school, Rachel Bertsche moves to Chicago with her new husband to start a life together. She has friends, many through her husband, but she can’t call any of them her best friend.That is, there isn’t one woman that she would ask to go out at a moment’s notice. None of them are confidants, with whom she can vent about her husband, talk about her family, etc. Only her childhood BFFs fit those roles, and they live a plane ride away.
In this situation, Bertsche decides to embark on a year-long quest to find a best friend in Chicago. She goes on 52 girl-dates with women she meets – some acquaintances, some blind girl-dates set up by friends, and some complete strangers met through social networking sites, classes, and an essay she publishes. MWF Seeking BFF chronicles her journey to finding close friendships in Chicago, and during this quest, her realization that the meaning of a “best friend” is no longer the same as when she was a child.
Review & Recommendation: When this book was chosen for my book club, I was looking forward to reading it. It sounded like something light but interesting. However, I was disappointed in the book. Interspersed with Bertsche’s story of her 52 dates are antidotes from her research on friendship. Not only did it make it difficult to become engaged in her story, but it made her sound a bit desperate and pitiful. I think many of us, myself included, who moved to a new place after graduating college can relate to Bertsche’s situation – it’s hard to meet new people and develop those friendships into relationships that would qualify as BFFs. I can relate. I can. Following college, I moved to a new state where I knew nobody. It took me well over a year to get to know the people that are now some of my best friends. But for me, Bertsche’s research – which was brought up multiple times throughout the book – seemed to be used to justify her search and to remind the reader that she was in fact doing something that would make her happier and healthier. Every time this research was mentioned, I felt like Bertsche’s insecurities were shining through and that she was justifying and rejustifying her quest to the reader. For me, it significantly detracked from her story.
That being said, it was interesting of how her Bertsche’s ideas of a best friend evolved over the course of her year long quest. She came to realize that a new BFF wouldn’t be the same ones she’s had since grade school. This new friend could be a little older or younger than her, or at a different point in their life (single or married, with kids or not). It’s definitely a change from what one might feel if they were still in school.
I don’t think MWF Seeking BFF is for everyone, but I think that woman in Bertsche’s situation, or who have ever been in her situation, would enjoy the book and relate well to Bertsche’s search. However, I do think it could have been better written and better organized so as not to detrack from the story and to display Bertsche in a better light.