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Good Company by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Contemporary fiction

Good Company

by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

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, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_NonLinear

    Nonlinear timeline

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FemaleFriendship

    Female friendships

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MarriageIssues

    Marriage issues

Why I love it

Brianna Goodman
BOTM Editorial Team

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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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.

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Preview

Get an early look from the first pages of Good Company.

Member thoughts

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