Book Review: MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche

MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel BertscheThis book is popular with some of my blog friends, and it seemed like a fun book to read myself. Who couldn’t do with more friends? I hoped to be inspired in finding a new friend or two.

In this memoir, Rachel Bertsche is looking for new friends. She has moved from New York to Chicago and wants to find one or two best friends that she can do all the fun things with that she did with her friends from New York – friends that she has known since college.

But at 29, in a job where she doesn’t meet many people, it’s hard to know where to start. She decides to “date” one woman every week for a year, and hopes that meeting 52 new people will lead to a few new friends.

First she relies on friends and colleagues recommending new people to her, but later she writes an essay in the newspaper about her search for a friend that gets a lot of responses, potential new friends. Much later still, she tries  online friend-dating services. She meets up with many different people and some of them “stick”, others drop off because there wasn’t a click or because they have no time for yet another friendship.

Bertsche quotes research that suggests people should have around 150 friends and acquaintances (people you’d stop to talk to in the streets). She has 130, so there is room for another 20. I have not done the calculation myself, but I can’t imagine I have that many.  At college people used to be surprised at how many people I knew, so maybe I know more people than I think. Do I count people I knew in England and online people who I’d love to meet? 🙂

I found the book inspiring in the sense that it made me reflect on my circle of friends and acquaintances. When I met a new woman the other day, and we didn’t stop chatting, I wondered if and how we could be friends. I also arranged to meet another friend, when I usually wait for her to contact me – I’m pretty poor at maintaining friend relationships. So, the book worked for me in that way.

On the other hand, the stories of 52 “friend dates” – and some more of Bertsche’s life happenings around it – started to get a little stale after a while. Admittedly, some of the dates she summarizes very briefly, but overall, it was just a bit too much of the same. A chapter at the end of the book with tips to make new friends would have been nice, if only a summary of what was mentioned throughout the book.

In all, I liked the book a lot for its inspirational power – it made me start to think and act upon friendship and that is useful.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Number of pages: 356

First published: 2011

I got this: bought it from a US online book retailer

Genre: non-fiction, memoir

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

18 Responses to Book Review: MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche

  1. Your review has really grabbed my interest. This doesn’t sound like the kind of book I would typically read, but you have made it intriguing!

  2. Marie says:

    I’m still not sure whether I’d enjoy this book – the concept is interesting but I imagine it would be a series of “…and then I went for a coffee with this woman…and then I went for a beer with this other woman…” and get boring fast. I’m sure I don’t have 150 people who I’d stop to chat to if I saw them in the street, though – that seems like loads!

    • Leeswammes says:

      It’s a bit as you say, Marie. But I enjoyed it anyway. 150 people seems a lot, but I guess you can include colleagues or fellow students, if you have any.

  3. therelentlessreader says:

    I’ve been really curious about this book and I was patiently waiting for your review 🙂 I like the idea of this, the premise is cool. It’s good that you were inspired by it even if it didn’t knock your socks off!

  4. Leslie says:

    Nicely assessed. I was one of the bloggers with the glowing review on this one… more for the inspiration than the stories she relates. While I’m not shy, I thought it would be weird to go out looking for friends. Ultimately, after reading the book I joined Girlfriend Circles (which the author recommended) and Through both have met some nice people, attended some fun events … and so far no weirdos.

  5. Trisha says:

    I could definitely do with some friends. I am horrible at maintaining friendships, and it is difficult to meet new people where I live. Bad combination. 🙂

  6. Rikki says:

    No way do I know 150 people I would stop and talk to in the street! And I am not even sure I would want that.
    It is true that making friends gets more difficult the older we get. Maybe this is just the book to make us realize how important it is to cultivate the friendships we do have instead of trying to find new ones no matter what. I am also terrible at staying in contact, it seems to be something we all could work on a little.

    • Leeswammes says:

      These 150 people ar not people you’d meet daily, Rikki, just counting anyone thwt you’d stop to chat to. People from your family, people from work, children’s friends’ parents etc. In a way, you’d count me too, because often when you see my blogposts, you stop to leave a message. 🙂

  7. People you know online totally count! 🙂 thanks for this review, I have a friend who would love this book!

  8. Charlie says:

    I like the personal details you’ve added here, it makes the book sound interactive and inspiring. I hadn’t thought of her including all 52 accounts, I can see how that would be too much, though overall it sounds quite an interesting and somewhat useful book.

  9. momssmallvictories says:

    This sounds like a book I would enjoy. Being surrounded by boys during my free time, I am desperate for girl time. A friend and I started a book club but its fairly small so i have met 2 new ladies at least. I am trying to read more non-fiction too and this looks like it wouldn’t be too dramatic or intense. Thanks for the recommendation.

  10. Uniflame says:

    Hmmmm…. I am glad with my volunteer job. It gives me a good head start on friends and through it I keep meeting new ones, even if I don’t go out that much. Somehow new people manage to creep into my inner circles a few at a time after each convention 🙂

  11. This sounds so interesting, I’m going to seek it out. Thanks for reviewing!

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