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Good Company by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

Contemporary fiction

Good Company

by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

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Quick Take

This tender exploration of the true meaning of "for better or worse" follows one couple at a fork in their marriage.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Family_Drama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Nonlinear_Timeline

    Nonlinear timeline

  • Illustrated icon, Female_Friendship

    Female friendships

  • Illustrated icon, Marriage_Issues

    Marriage issues

Synopsis

Flora Mancini has been happily married for more than twenty years. But everything she thought she knew about herself, her marriage, and her relationship with her best friend, Margot, is upended when she stumbles upon an envelope containing her husband’s wedding ring—the one he claimed he lost one summer when their daughter, Ruby, was five.

Flora and Julian struggled for years, scraping together just enough acting work to raise Ruby in Manhattan and keep Julian’s small theater company—Good Company—afloat. A move to Los Angeles brought their first real career successes, a chance to breathe easier, and a reunion with Margot, now a bona fide television star. But has their new life been built on lies? What happened that summer all those years ago? And what happens now?

With Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s signature tenderness, humor, and insight, Good Company tells a bighearted story of the lifelong relationships that both wound and heal us.

Why I love it

As I read Good Company, I kept thinking about that split-screen scene in (500) Days of Summer: the one that juxtaposes Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character’s expectations with reality. So sure of the story he’s telling himself about his life—and the woman he idolizes—he’s blindsided when the events that unfold are different from what he imagined. Eventually he’s left to wonder if his understanding of his relationship, and the light in which he’s cast it, might not be entirely accurate.

Good Company’s Flora can relate. It’s been decades since she and her husband, Julian, said “I do.” As struggling actors, they spent years barely getting by in NYC before reluctantly trading in their gritty city life for an easier existence in LA. With steadier work and proximity to Flora’s best friend, Margot, all seems to be well in the world of Flora and Julian’s marriage. That is, until Flora finds Julian’s old wedding ring hidden inside a drawer—the ring he swore he lost a long time ago when it fell off while he was swimming. What else has he been lying about?

Moving between past and present, Good Company is a story of what happens when the narratives we’ve built our lives around begin to unravel. It’s an exploration of two marriages, imperfect in their own ways, and the roles its characters play not just on the stage, but off: as parents, lovers, friends, adversaries. Read to find out what exactly Julian’s been hiding all these years, but also read for Sweeney’s unvarnished, empathetic look at what happens when the pathways we’ve taken don’t land us exactly where we’d envisioned.

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Contemporary fiction
View all
The Last Love Note
Anita de Monte Laughs Last
The Leftover Woman
The Same Bright Stars
Interesting Facts about Space
The Villain Edit
Bye, Baby
Swan Song
How to Read a Book
The Connellys of County Down
Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life
A Summer Affair
Adelaide
The Collected Regrets of Clover
Evil Eye
Maame
Advika and the Hollywood Wives
Once There Were Wolves
We Are the Brennans
Olga Dies Dreaming
If Only I Could Tell You
How Lucky
My Dark Vanessa
Nine Perfect Strangers
Honey Girl
One Italian Summer
Eight Hundred Grapes
The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes
The Five-Star Weekend
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
The Nest
Rich and Pretty
Britt-Marie Was Here
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Startup
The Identicals
The Dinner List
Goodbye, Paris
Winter in Paradise
A Woman Is No Man
Queenie
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Beyond the Point
What Happens in Paradise
Nothing to See Here
When We Were Vikings
Anxious People
A Good Neighborhood
Big Summer
The Last Story of Mina Lee
Troubles in Paradise
White Ivy
This Close to Okay
The Removed
The Kindest Lie
Good Company
Impostor Syndrome
The Other Black Girl
Apples Never Fall
A Quiet Life
We Are the Light
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
When We Were Bright and Beautiful
The Hotel Nantucket