We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

The Friend

On sale

13th December 2018

Price: £19.99

International Dublin Literary Award, 2020

Select a format

Selected: Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781405543453

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

A moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog.


‘A true delight: I genuinely fear I won’t read a better novel this year’ FINANCIAL TIMES

‘Loved this. A funny, moving examination of love, grief, and the uniqueness of dogs’ GRAHAM NORTON


When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building.

Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog’s care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unravelling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.

‘Very, very clever. Mature. Entertaining. Eminently readable and re-readable. Absolutely delightful’ IRISH TIMES

‘I loved it . . . It’s one of my favourite books and it moved me’ WHOOPI GOLDBERG

A New York Times Notable Book of 2018 * A Financial Times 2018 Best Book: Critics Pick * A Buzzfeed Best Book of 2018 * A Bustle Best Fiction Book of 2018 * An NPR Best Book of 2018


Vanity Fair
A pitch-perfect novel ... Wry and moving, The Friend is a love story, a mania story and a recovery story
Marie Claire
A poignant reflection on loss and companionship
Graham Norton
Loved this. A funny, moving examination of love, grief, and the uniqueness of dogs
Anne Enright, The Times
She has a wry compassion, and an eye for the kind of detail only grown-ups can catch. The books feel lived-in rather than hard-earned, the voice is smart and kind
Sunday Times
Delicious ... An intensely pleasurable read because it is so accessible, capacious and clever
New York Times Book Review
The contemplation of writing and the loss of integrity in our literary life form the heart of the novel . . . Nunez's prose itself comforts us. Her confident and direct style uplifts - the music in her sentences, her deep and varied intelligence. She addresses important ideas unpretentiously and offers wisdom for any aspiring writer who, as the narrator fears, may never know this dear, intelligent friend - or this world that is dying. But is it dying? Perhaps. But with The Friend, Nunez provides evidence that, for now, it survives
Rebecca Wallersteiner, The Lady
Astonishingly fresh and tinged with sadness . . . a highly entertaining, uplifting book exploring the magical bond between humans and canines. A must-read for dog-lovers.
Financial Times
A true delight: I genuinely fear I won't read a better novel this year
Often as funny as it is thoughtful, The Friend is an elegant meditation on grief, friendship, healing, and the bonds between humans and dogs
New York Times
Charming ... the comedy here writes itself... The snap of her sentences sometimes puts me in mind of Rachel Cusk
Irish Times
Very very clever. Mature. Entertaining. Eminently readable and re-readable. In short, absolutely delightful.
Whoopi Goldberg, The View
I loved it . . . It's one of my favourite books and it moved me
The Economist
The book is an intimate, beautiful thing, deceptively slight at around 200 pages, but humming with insight . . . [an] artfully discursive meditation on friendship, love, death, solitude, canine companionship and the life of an aging writer in New York .. peppered with wry observations
Wall Street Journal
A beautiful book . . . crammed with a world of insight into death, grief, art, and love
An elegant and darkly humorous meditation on grief and companionship, it's a great read - whether or not you're obsessed with canines
New Yorker
In crystalline prose, Nunez creates an impressively controlled portrait of the 'exhaustion of mourning'
Harper's Magazine
A sneaky gut punch of a novel . . . a consummate example of the human-animal tale