The Other's Gold follows four friends as each makes a terrible mistake, moving from their wild college days to their more feral days as new parents. In her debut novel, Elizabeth Ames interrogates the way that growing up forces our friendships to evolve as the women discover what they and their loved ones are capable of, and capable of forgiving.
Ames takes the familiar story of female friendship into a realm of candor and respect that enters new narrative ground. Her eye for detail is as sharp as Mary McCarthy's in The Group, but without McCarthy's satirical cruelty. Exploring the sensual, visceral and horror-filled experiences of being female while never abandoning the love Ames has for her characters, The Other's Gold is smart and provocative, satisfying and unforgettable.
Written in a deft omniscient narration, the novel’s first half can sometimes blur the characters together within its slippery point of view, and the crushes and drunken exploits seem like overly familiar snapshots from collegiate life. But the novel sharpens when the women come into independent adulthood, and though the structure emphasizes the sameness of their transgressions...the characters finally bloom into vibrant individuality, and the book fulfills its promise to investigate the question Margaret asks herself near the book’s finale: 'Did loving so much mean you knew more about hatred?' A messy, but ultimately memorable, look at the moral gray areas that govern our choices.
...[an] unfocused debut ... Ames rarely provides sufficient retribution for characters’ bad decisions, and the tangents about their lives become distracting. Though there are moments of powerful emotion, and the details and emotional crises are well drawn, most readers will feel frustrated by the meandering plot and the characters’ choices.