Friendships Always Seem Like They Should Come Easily: Sophie Green, Author of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle, Talks About The Beauty of Friendship

Friendships Always Seem Like They Should Come Easily: Sophie Green, Author of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle, Talks About The Beauty of Friendship

About the author:

Sophie Green is an author and publisher who lives in Sydney. She has written several fiction and non-fiction books, some under other names. In her spare time she writes about country music on her blog, Jolene. She fell in love with the Northern Territory the first time she visited and subsequent visits inspired the story in The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club.

Buy a copy of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle here. // Read our review of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle here. 

Words from Sophie Green

Friendships always seem like they should come easily. You meet someone, you have the same interests, you hang out a bit and you keep hanging out. Weeks turn into months then years and, lo, you have a longstanding friendship.

Of course, anyone who has had a long friendship knows that this isn’t the case – friendships need to be tended as much as any relationship, and it is always worth remembering that the people you most think you should be able to take for granted are the ones you absolutely must not. Just because you’ve had a friend for years doesn’t mean you’ll always have them, and it doesn’t mean they’ll always have you. And that’s just for the friendships you’ve had since young years. Making new friends once you’re settled in adult life can sometimes seem impossible.

I didn’t learn how to be a friend because I’ve had those long friendships since childhood. I was a bookish child, and academically inclined, and that sort of thing really wasn’t encouraged – by other children, or by the school system (although that’s a discussion for another time). My mother did me a great kindness in my teenage years when she told me that I wasn’t going to make friends until I was at university. And she was right – although the friend I made at that time of life wasn’t actually at university. I met her at work – at the bookshop where I spent two and a half days a week during semester and five days a week during holidays.

We had books in common, of course, and we both loved music. We’d go to see bands together at various pubs in Sydney, and we’d talk about those bands in between; music and books were our way of telling each other about ourselves, and finding a common language.

It is a testament to both of us, I think, and to the careful maintenance we’ve put into the friendship that a few weeks ago we went to see live music in a small venue in Sydney. This time it wasn’t Aussie indie rock; it was two country music artists, because Australian country music brings me particular joy and, to my delight, on that night it brought her joy too.

We’ve known each other for over twenty-five years – in that time there has been tragedy and sorrow, as well as wonder, in both of our lives – and the interests we first had in common are not the reason we’re still friends but they’re the fabric of our friendship. And the fabric of my life would be so utterly different without her that I can’t even begin to imagine what colour or texture it would be. Nor do I want to.

I have made other friends since, but I learnt how to be a friend from Isabelle. She has two sisters and I have sometimes wondered if that hasn’t given her skills that I fundamentally lacked from my childhood. I had a brother, and I knew how to be friends with him. Other girls were a mystery and, quite often, they were a torture. But she has never tortured me – or anyone else, for that matter. The open heart I encountered all those years ago is still open, for all the risks that brings in this big, bruising world.

While there are many influences on the stories I write, and no character is based on any one person, I don’t think it would be possible for me to write about friendships formed between women if I had not been fortunate to make such a friendship myself at the time I did and in the way I did.

It’s nice to have a brace of friends but we don’t really need that many people. Or maybe we don’t need many people if we only know people like my friend. I don’t know if there’s a mathematical equation that says one Isabelle is worth ten acquaintances, but I do know that one friendship set the foundation for those that came after, and for the stories that have flowed since, about women reading books on a dusty cattle station, and swimming in the ocean off Shelly Bay.

Related Articles

Why The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle Author, Sophie Green is Channeling the Queen

News | Author Related

15 April 2020

Why The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle Author, Sophie Green is Channeling the Queen

    The Unlikeliest Location of Literary Bliss: Author Jenn J. McLeod Tells Us Where she Finds Books on the Road

    News

    9 September 2019

    The Unlikeliest Location of Literary Bliss: Author Jenn J. McLeod Tells Us Where she Finds Books on the Road

      Where the Light Enters Author, Sara Donati Shares 5 inspiring books with trailblazing female characters

      News

      3 September 2019

      Where the Light Enters Author, Sara Donati Shares 5 inspiring books with trailblazing female characters

        One Book Can Lead to Another: How Greg Growden Was Compelled to Write Major Thomas

        News

        6 August 2019

        One Book Can Lead to Another: How Greg Growden Was Compelled to Write Major Thomas

          I am Living on the Most Magical Place on Earth: An Article from Dave Glasheen, Author of The Millionaire Castaway

          News

          1 August 2019

          I am Living on the Most Magical Place on Earth: An Article from Dave Glasheen, Author of The Millionaire Castaway

            It's Full of Secrets, Surprises, Heartache and Fun: Read an Extract of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle by Sophie Green

            News

            31 July 2019

            It's Full of Secrets, Surprises, Heartache and Fun: Read an Extract of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle by Sophie Green

              Na tschuss denn, or Good-bye, Then: An Article by Confession with Blue Horses Author, Sophie Hardach

              News

              29 July 2019

              Na tschuss denn, or Good-bye, Then: An Article by Confession with Blue Horses Author, Sophie Hardach

                Kaneana May, Author of The One, Tells Us About the Road to Publication

                News

                25 July 2019

                Kaneana May, Author of The One, Tells Us About the Road to Publication

                  Wonderful. A Real Treat: Review of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle by Sophie Green

                  News

                  23 July 2019

                  Wonderful. A Real Treat: Review of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle by Sophie Green

                    While You Were Reading Authors, Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus, Talk About Books on the Rail

                    News

                    10 July 2019

                    While You Were Reading Authors, Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus, Talk About Books on the Rail

                      Publisher details

                      The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle
                      Publisher
                      Hachette
                      Genre
                      Australian Fiction
                      Released
                      23 July, 2019

                      Synopsis

                      The author of treasured Australian bestseller THE INAUGURAL MEETING OF THE FAIRVALE LADIES BOOK CLUB returns with a new novel perfect for your book clubIt's 1982 in Australia. THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER is a box office hit and Paul Hogan is on the TV.In a seaside suburb, housewife Theresa takes up swimming. She wants to get fit; she also wants a few precious minutes to herself. So at sunrise each day she strikes out past the waves.From the same beach, the widowed Marie swims. With her husband gone, bathing is the one constant in her new life.After finding herself in a desperate situation, 25-year-old Leanne only has herself to rely on. She became a nurse to help others, even as she resists help herself.Elaine has recently moved from England. Far from home and without her adult sons, her closest friend is a gin bottle.In the waters of Shelly Bay, these four women find each other. They will survive bluebottle stings and heartbreak; they will laugh so hard they swallow water, and they will plunge their tears into the ocean's salt. They will find solace and companionship, and learn that love takes many forms.Most of all, they will cherish their friendship, each and every day.'Reading this book was like snuggling beneath a warm beach towel after a bracing dip in the ocean.' - JOANNA NELLPraise for Sophie Green's THE INAUGURAL MEETING OF THE FAIRVALE LADIES BOOK CLUB'Tender, intimate, heartwarming, fulfilling and Australian as a lamb roast and full-bodied shirazThe Australian Women's Weekly'An absolute gem of a novel, with the most evocative sense of place . . . A treat for any book club' BETTER READING
                      Sophie Green
                      About the author

                      Sophie Green

                      Sophie Green is an author and publisher who lives in Sydney. She has written several fiction and non-fiction books, some under other names. In her spare time she writes about country music on her blog, Jolene. She fell in love with the Northern Territory the first time she visited and subsequent visits inspired the story in The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club.

                      Books by Sophie Green

                      COMMENTS

                      Leave a Reply

                      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *