Abigail Osbourne shares her inspiration and faces some hard and uncomfortable factors and philosophies in this discussion and in her book.
The idea for the book came from my own experiences of friendship. I have always been fascinated by friendship. Moving around a lot when I was younger meant I’ve never had a friend that I’ve known most of my life. I have always wanted that bond. That one person you can absolutely rely on and know will always be there for you. The one you can share in-jokes with and a long history with. That person you can communicate with by just looking at them. Someone who knows what you’re feeling before you do.
It wasn’t until I got to University that I got a glimpse of this type of friendship. I made friends with a girl in my halls and the connection was instantaneous. I’d never experienced anything like it. For months we had a deep and profound friendship and I honestly thought I’d found the best friend I was always meant to have. We did everything together and my world revolved around our friendship and I was blissfully happy. But then we fell out and the sun fell out of my sky. I realised that I had no other friends. No one at all. I’d put all my eggs in one basket and was completely alone. The friendship, whilst amazing, was not healthy because I did not have room for anyone else. I didn’t want anyone else. It was this that has always stayed with me and was the initially idea that prompted the book.
But then it grew into so much more. I began to explore the difference between a marriage and a best friend. All those things I described as wanting in a best friend, I now have with my husband. This got me thinking, what defines friendship? What should friendship be? What are the boundaries in a friendship? I am lucky enough to be happily married and I started to ask myself, who would I choose? If I was still friends with that girl from University, could I honestly say I would choose my husband over her if push came to shove? I don’t think that the intensity of our friendship would have allowed it. This what I explore in the book and I loved taking this journey with Sophie and Flora. From the reviews I’ve had so far, the friendship between the girls is something other people have enjoyed.
Another theme in this book is the issue of wealth. Sophie and Flora have married into a vastly wealthy family and throughout the book, I tried to examine the difference that money makes to people and the choices that they have. I have even attempted to convey different points of view on wealth through the opposing views that Sophie and Flora hold. Sophie is steadfastly ambitious. Having come from poverty, her mother spending all their money on drink, she is resolute that she will better herself and be as wealthy as she possibly can. She wants only the finest things in life and feels that she works hard, so she should enjoy reaping what she has sowed. Flora works hard to try and be financially independent and tries to devote her time to helping people. Flora doesn’t spend money on herself and tries to avoid using the ‘family’ money. She is embarrassed at the wealth that she has married into and reluctantly accepts the improvement in her quality of life. Flora ignores her moral compass and her real feelings about the sort of wealth she has married into because it would make her marriage untenable. But nearly every day she is reminded that people are struggling whilst her in-laws are rolling around in a pit of money and doing nothing good with it. This is something she has to live with, and I think it is something that I think about a lot. I constantly feel like I should be doing more to help those less fortunate.
I personally find the unequal distribution of wealth in our country something hard to think about. Flora’s debate about having access to money and feeling guilty about it is something that I have felt myself. For instance, my mother and a close friend both work in the NHS as nurses. Throughout the pandemic, they have put their lives at risk and saved lives. But I am aware that I earn more money than them in my day job (without having to do 12-hour shifts) and this is a difficult pill for me to swallow. I know that they love their jobs and are not in it for the money but to help people. But still, I can’t help but feel guilty as they are making a difference in the world, but their contribution is not recognised in what they are paid. My job is important and worthwhile, but I don’t have the same tangible impact the way that they do. This was in my mind as I was writing the book and creating a family of incredible wealth.
Abigail is originally from the Lake District but moved to the West Midlands for University where she completed an English Literature & History degree. She lives in Worcestershire with her husband and is a board game fanatic, owning over 70 games. She has a huge collection of books, plays the violin, and used to play the piano until her husband sold it because it was too heavy to keep moving.
Find Abigail on:
Facebook: https: //www.facebook.com/abigailosborneauthor
Click here for book details. Save Her.
I have to say, I totally understand the points you’ve made and am right there with you. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, I really appreciate it.