A Goodreads user
A Goodreads user asked Tana French:

This is the second book that is centered around a group of friends who have turned each other into their family; who will do anything for each other. Does this inspiration for these close groups come from personal experience or is your draw to them more like how it is for Stephen (in the way that he envies it)?

Tana French I'm very lucky: I've always had really good friends. I think when you're younger, in particular, when you're between around thirteen and say twenty-five - when you're striking out from your birth family, but you haven't yet started moving towards creating your new family - those groups of friends are crucially important and incredibly powerful. And I think it's strange that those relationships don't get written about as often as the other crucial ones in life (parent/child relationships, romantic love). They're powerful stuff, and, like any other powerful relationship, they can turn dangerous.

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