At twenty-seven and in the happiest time of her life, Liv Jenkins, makes a list:
THINGS TO DO BEFORE I AM THIRTY which includes everything from ‘French kiss in Central Park’ to ‘learn to make a Roman Blind’ and ‘Make my own porn film’.
It’s a list made at a time in her life when everything feels possible. You know that time – when you still think, with a bit of luck, you might still make it as an astronaut / pop singer / footballer? However, only months after writing this list, nothing is possible anymore because Liv dies. On holiday in Ibiza with boyfriend Fraser, and friends Mia, Norm and Melody, she falls off a balcony and is killed.
Trying to make some sense and have something good come from their friend’s untimely death, the four remaining friends (including Liv’s boyfriend Fraser) decide that since Liv isn’t living here on earth to do it herself, they will complete the items on the list for her, all in time for what would have been her thirtieth birthday.
And so, there follows, one roller-coaster year, where the friends do a lot more than carry out Liv’s desires. In going to Venice, attempting to make porn films / learning Portuguese and getting a six-pack, they uncover truths and secrets about themselves and the past, that teach them more about HOW TO LIVE than Liv would have ever dreamt when she made her list. Perhaps the most important of these, is that if Liv had survived, she would have been far too busy with the business of living to be ticking off a list at all…..
HOW WE MET is a novel about learning how to be happy and realising what the important things are in life. It’s about the transitional period in our lives where we move from everything seeming possible, to learning that we have to live with the choices we made. It’s about the nature of youth and our tendency to look back with rose-tinted spectacles. Ultimately though, HOW WE MET is a life-affirming love story: exploring love between lovers, friends and life.