The Next Chapter

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn's suspense novel The Girls Are All So Nice Here is a tale of toxic friendship

The Ontario author spoke with Shelagh Rogers about writing a novel about betrayal, insecurity and revenge.
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn is a former model who lives in London, Ont. with her husband and three children. She is the author of three young adult novels. (Simon & Schuster, Sandra Dufton)

Newfound freedom, insecurity, sexual competition — these are the elements Canadian author Laurie Elizabeth Flynn mixes together in her psychological thriller, The Girls Are All So Nice Here

The book is about two former best friends, Ambrosia and Sloane, who return to their college reunion to learn that they have been targeted by someone who wants revenge for what they did 10 years before.

Flynn is a novelist based in London, Ont. She spoke with Shelagh Rogers about why she wrote The Girls Are All So Nice Here.

The need to reinvent oneself

"The start of college — and that possibility of reinvention — puts pressure on a lot of young people, especially young women, to reinvent themselves from the person they were in high school. It's this very enticing concept of the 'fresh start,' and the rebranding that goes with that. 

The start of college — and that possibility of reinvention — puts pressure on a lot of young people, especially young women, to reinvent themselves from the person they were in high school.

"And in this story, the main character definitely wants to undergo that metamorphosis from the person she'd been in high school. And she really wants to get in with the right crowd and no spoilers, but it definitely doesn't end up being the right crowd." 

Peer pressure

"There's so much pressure on these young women to fit in and to act a certain way. For Ambrosia especially, she's come off a high school experience where she was completely blindsided by an ex-boyfriend who cheated on her. She enters college feeling kind of expendable and completely average. And what she really wants is to stand out and be noticed. 

There's so much pressure on these young women to fit in and to act a certain way.

"That's where that desperation comes from. She meets her friend, Sloane Sullivan, who is bored. She's looking for somebody to play with, essentially, and Ambrosia is looking for validation and attention and they intersect at the worst possible time."

Still a stigma

"There's still some of that stigma where, as a woman, you're supposed to act humble, not talk too much about yourself and not seem like you're bragging. It's because you're afraid of what other people are going to think, that you're conceited, or that you're boasting about your accomplishments.

There's still some of that stigma where, as a woman, you're supposed to act humble, not talk too much about yourself and not seem like you're bragging.

"And that's what the main character is going through."

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

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