The Autobiography of Us by Aria Beth Sloss
Rebecca and Alex. The 196os. Pasadena, California. The Autobiography of Us is a tale of growing up, becoming best friends, betrayal, moving away, and never being able to sever a friendship.
Rebecca is the daughter of parents who, with great effort, appear to be wealthier and happier than they actually are. Rebecca does everything expected of her. She doesn’t have a best friend until Alex appears at her high school and despite her immediate popularity, becomes Rebecca’s best friend. Their friendship is complex; Rebecca and Alex are opposites in so many ways, yet they complete each other and they save each other. Rebecca is a good stereotype for the 1950s, while Alex reflects the 1960s.
They follow different paths as they go to college, and there is a life changing betrayal, but then most betrayals are. Even that is not enough to break the bond between these two women. After college, they marry and move on, they have their successes and disappointments, often thinking of the other. Years later, they are reunited.
As I read, I became increasingly intrigued, often flipping back thinking I had missed a detail. Sloss tells the story onion style, peeling back layer after layer until, at the end, I finally understood. While this isn’t really a happily ever after tale, it is an interesting statement on love and friendship, and the bonds that time and distance can’t erase. Worth the read…