Bookends (2002) tells the story of two best friends: Catherine Warner and Simon Nelson. Both unlucky in love, they are each searching for a man to call their own. While Simon beds a host of men in search of Mr. Right, Cath plays it safe by staying out of the dating game altogether. Living close by are their life-long best friends, Josh and Lucy, and their impossible child. Their marriage ebbs and flows, as is common, but when Cath and Si begin to think that Josh is having an affair with the nanny, a growing tension plagues the group of friends. Out of the blue, their other college chum, Portia, now a successful television writer, returns to their neighborhood and the group dynamic falls off-kilter. No one is certain whether Portia simply misses her friends and hopes to reconnect with them or whether she is about to hatch one of her notorious schemes.
Cath decides to give up her lucrative and stable advertising job so that she can pursue her life-long dream of opening a bookstore. She does so with Lucy, and the store does remarkably well. This process required the assistance of a good Realtor whom Cath found in James; however, when he continues to stop by even after she takes occupancy of the store, she begins to wonder if maybe, just maybe, he is actually interested in her. Meanwhile, Josh has trouble dealing with Lucy's new job at the store which becomes rather consuming for her. And when Simon finally finds someone he really likes, the rest of the group sees no redeeming qualities in him.
The group of friends works together to navigate adulthood and the responsibilities, joys, and disappointments that come with it. Readers will find themselves hoping for the best for each of the characters. Jane Green has a knack for capturing the essence of the thirty-something woman who is looking to have it all: love, happiness, friends, and a career. Bookends was author Jane Green's third of eleven novels. Her other works include Mr. Maybe, Straight Talking, Jemima J, and The Other Woman. Green lives in Connecticut with her family.