College is a time to stretch your wings, meet new people and chose a direction in life. The friendships made during this time often last a lifetime. Yet there are times that we also lose touch. In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch we follow a group of six friends from Penn State. Twenty years previous when they were all together they were sure their friendships would last. Held together by Bea, the one they all connected to, life seemed as magical as it could be.
Yet when she dies, the group splinters, they are now leaderless and the ties no longer seem to be enough to hold them. Each find themselves estranged, holding old grudges and feelings they have buried that helps to separate them from the easy camaraderie they once shared.
After twenty years they have agreed to meet again, the five remaining friends on the eve of what would have been Bea’s 40h birthday. They have all made their way in life and it is with great reluctance they meet. However, such was her influence upon them their promise to Bea twenty years prior binds them to this reunion.
Not knowing what will happen at this meeting, especially without their leader, they soon find they must confront their past, and come to terms with each other in order to heal and move forward. Even with her death, and the pain that came with it, Bea holds them as if she were still there. Can they find the glue that binds them and make the peace that seems to be what their old friend and ally Bea has expected from them even in death?
Scotch has given us a group of friends whose lives have grown and evolved over the years. Allowing hurts and grudges against each other they have unraveled their bond, which makes them very human. She takes us into their lives as well as that of Bea as they travel on the road that destroyed their trust. The telling evokes tears and joy as well as sadness and death. You will find yourself immersed in this group as they come to terms with their own feelings. Scotch pulls us into her story and the outcome seems to be one we need for ourselves.
If you enjoy literary excellence and friendships that last a lifetime, you will want this book for your library. If you enjoy drama and love this will fit the bill.
This would be a great book for both a Reading group or Book club with a great deal of information to decipher and debate.