‘Judith Wants To Be Your Friend’ by Annie Weir was a strangely compelling and original read. Judith Dillon, the main character, is both a sad and a sinister sort of character and I couldn’t quite decide where my sympathies lay; was she just someone who was misunderstood, and without the appropriate social skills to make friends, or was she someone whose outward behaviour reflected an inner malicious intent. My opinion swayed between the two constantly, and even at the very end I was undecided. There is no doubt that she was spiteful and manipulative in her most recent employment at the cash office in Carlisle, and yet she was able to form a consummated relationship with a man who obviously found her attractive and wanted to spend time with her. Her relationship with her family was…difficult, to say the least; her sister Fiona thought her uncaring and blunt, and yet despite her antipathy towards her family, Judith still made an effort to go and see her mother, as well as remain in contact with Fiona and her niece Rosie.
Underpinning everything is the flashbacks to her life before she relocated to Carlisle. What was it that made her lose interest in a lucrative business in Hexham that paid for a flash car and luxury flat, even before the complications of her ‘friendship’ with Chloe? Is it that her early childhood memories of her mother’s steady criticism, (something that isn’t dwelt on, but nevertheless crops up regularly) meant she was destined to be a failure; and that everything she touched was sure to end in disaster? Is she someone suffering from depression or other mental health conditions/syndromes? Or is she simply what Chloe’s best friend Louise, among others, describes as ‘a bit strange.’
‘Judith Wants To Be Your Friend’ is the story of a very complex character who intrigued me greatly. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.