Asking a book lover to pick their favourite read is always tricky, but our team really love these books and wanted to share them with you.
Hope you find some inspiration for your next great read!
"You MUST read Last Night - it’s the perfect blend of hilarious, heart-breaking and relatable. I loved the tone, the clever observations, warm characters and laugh-out-loud moments. A contemporary romcom that tackles the tricky topic of grief in such a tender way, plus lead character Eve is a woman you just want to be friends with.
Don’t miss author Mhairi Mcfarlane telling us more about her book in this exclusive video." Jen, Content Editor
How would you describe Last Night?
It’s about four friends in their mid-30s, who’ve known each other
since sixth form. One night blows the friendship group apart. Our
heroine, Eve, who is in unconsummated, if not unrequited, love
with her long-term friend Ed, has a LOT of unexpected learning to
do about those closest to her.
It’s about our love for our friends, it’s about the secrets we all keep, it’s about grief and loss. Hopefully there’s some romance and comedy too!
Do you remember the moment you were inspired to write Last Night?
I never recall ‘moments’ as such, which I know is a slightly disappointing answer – we all like to think of it as a bolt from blue (and as an author I have to say, how lovely and easy if the whole idea dumped itself into your lap in one go!)
I think I’ve only ever had that with my first novel, You Had Me At Hello. Ever since it’s been a case of carefully sticking pieces together and seeing if it all fits, like building with Lego. I knew I wanted to write about the shock of grief, but after that it’s all a bit of a blur as to the process, to be honest! I know that I never considered the death being anyone other than the person who dies. It felt very right, gutted though I was that the character leaves the narrative. (Other than in Eve’s head.)
I loved the balance you created between funny and heart-breaking in the story, how did you approach that?
Thank you so much! One word, nervously. I tried very much to reflect British behaviour around death, and we do laugh at the darkest times. It helped that the person they’re grieving was not averse to being rude, witty and shocking, as characters point out. But I was very determined that the bereavement did not get pushed aside once it had served a plot purpose.
What did you enjoy most about writing Last Night?
Either the prologue or those closing pages. I’m my own fiercest critic and dislike a lot of what I produce (this is absolutely standard for all writers I think!) but I knew those scenes were times when I was doing the best work I could, and I felt emotional writing them.
Which character do you relate most to?
Hah! Eve! I too love cats and polka dots and morbid songs.
What message would you like readers to take away from your book?
I always just hope any book of mine entertains and saddling them with a message seems almost arrogant! But, if I had to have one? That recovery from unimaginably awful things is possible.
Are you working on another book at the moment?
Yes! My eighth for HarperCollins. Never gets easier. Unfortunately. But it’s also the best job in the world so I am definitely not complaining.
What was the last totally brilliant book you read?
Can I mention a film instead? I watched Promising Young Woman this week and was totally blown away by it. I’m just about to start reading Second First Impressions by the obnoxiously talented and lovely Sally Thorne.
What authors do you always look forward to reading?
David Nicholls and Kate Atkinson have never let me down.
What fictional character would you like to go for a drink with?
Hmmmm, I imagine Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair would be a cracking laugh over Martinis in The Savoy.
Thank you so much for talking to us, Mhairi! Get your copy of Last Night here.
We'll be discussing the book over in our Facebook group, so make sure you join us there!
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