Andi Osho is a comedian, actor and now with her debut novel Asking For A Friend, Andi can add novelist to her list of credits (you can also add to that winning the 2010 Funny Women Awards). It’s easy to imagine that in order to make three professions work you might need to compartmentalise your life and in Asking For A Friend Andi has exploited this well using not one, not two, but three main characters, Jemima, Meagan and Simi, to tell the story. It’s easy to wonder if these characters, a writer, a comedy agent and an actor, are inspired by Andi’s alter-egos.
We have author-with-a-deadline Jemima, comedy agent with a plan Meagan and haphazard romantic and actor Simi. A masterstroke from Andi is the age range of these women, they are 42, 29 and 35 respectively and it’s a great demonstration of how when it comes to friendship; age ain’t nothing but a number.
The three met on a comedy course and have been inseparable since, supporting each other in heartbreak, careers changes and now a strange experiment to snap them out of their comfort zones, or ‘the game’ as the women call it, in which they pick out men for the others to date, hence the title Asking for a Friend.
Of course chaos ensues, though not how you might think. This might even be the first book about hetero dating that passes the Bechdel Test. So often such stories end up with cis-het women fighting over a man. Not so here. In fact, it is not a man but Jemima’s fictional character Beverly Blake who could come between the pals.
A delay in the delivery of some home truths among the three result in a collective (and metaphorical I hasten to add) boil needing to be lanced. Naturally, this proves to be explosive. (Sorry).
Along the way, the characters navigate disastrous auditions, cereal for dinner and introduce us to the most forward coffee shop owners I for one have ever encountered, fictional or otherwise.
Asking For A Friend is a confident and promising debut from Andi Osho.
Andi Osho: Asking For A Friend is published by HQ and available to buy now!