A circle’s round, it has no end
That’s how long I want to be your friend
Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver and the other’s gold
— traditional Girl Scouts of America song


An insightful and sparkling novel that opens on a college campus and follows the friendship of four women across life-defining turning points

Assigned to the same suite during their freshman year at Quincy-Hawthorn College, Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret quickly become inseparable. The leafy green campus they move through together, the idyllic window seat they share in their suite, and the passion and ferocity that school and independence awakens in them ignites an all-encompassing love with one another. But they soon find their bonds—forged in joy, and fused by fear—must weather threats that originate from beyond the dark forests of their childhoods, and come at them from institutions, from one another, and ultimately, from within themselves. 

The Other's Gold follows the four friends as each makes a terrible mistake, moving from their wild college days to their more feral days as new parents. With one part devoted to each mistake—the Accident, the Accusation, the Kiss, and the Bite—this complex yet compulsively readable debut 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. A joyful, big-hearted book that perfectly evokes the bittersweet experience of falling in love with friendship, the experiences of Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret are at once achingly familiar and yet shine with a brilliance and depth all their own.

THE OTHER'S GOLD is forthcoming August 27, 2019 from Viking Books.


“Reading Elizabeth Ames’s The Other’s Gold is like sinking into a lucid dream, wonderful and unsettling in turns, surreally beautiful throughout. As we follow four friends through university and beyond, into the messy miasma of life, we feel as if we are growing into adulthood, into womanhood, with her characters. We feel every bruise, every elation, in part because Ames writes in language that is feverish and refined, with equal parts tenderness and ruthlessness. That her writing can do all this at once is incredible. Read her, and you will be richer for it.”  —Jesmyn Ward, bestselling author of Sing, Unburied, Sing and Salvage the Bones

“A sharply-drawn portrait of a lifelong friendship, The Other’s Gold follows four young women bearing past traumas and navigating unimagined futures. With an uncanny eye for detail, Elizabeth Ames charts the complex, ever-shifting topography of this ‘chosen family’—and illuminates the ways our closest friends sustain us over the course of our lives.” —Celeste Ng, bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere

“One of the most immersive, unsettling books I've read in a long, long time. For hours after I finished it, the book felt realer to me than my own life did. There is something almost painful about how close we get to these characters: Ames observes them with a kind of ardent incision that at times feels like watching someone perform open-heart surgery, and at other times feels like having open-heart surgery performed on you. I was devastated by it. I loved it.”  —Kristen Roupenian, bestselling author of You Know You Want This

“The debut novel of the season, The Other’s Gold reads like an origin story for the women of Big Little Lies.–Elle

“Elizabeth Ames’s addictive debut, The Other’s Gold, is in some ways a conventional book, a campus novel, centered on the friendship of four women who fall into categories that seem a bit too predictable (the pretty one, the sporty one, etc.). But, just as collegiate first impressions can mutate and evolve, the book—along with its characters—grows increasingly complex, charting the way that the bonds forged in those heady moments when people are permitted to reinvent themselves can become the defining ties of adult life. . . . This novel will resonate with anyone who guards an inner circle forged in dorm rooms and dining halls, but it is also, in the end, more than that.” —Chloe Schama for Vogue

“[The Other’s Gold is] a powerful story of the bonds we form and how, in weathering ups and downs and messiness, friends can become family. Ames’ characters are so richly developed, I felt like these women were my friends and was devastated that my time in their world eventually came to a (rewarding) end." —Kayla Webley Adler for Marie Claire

The Other’s Gold is as beautifully written and epic in scope as A Little Life, but featuring women characters.” —Elena Nicolaou for Refinery29

“[The Other’s Gold is] an ode to the turmoil and joy of female friendship, and the perfect book to read with your friends.” —Cristina Arreola for Bustle

“A character-driven drama at its finest, each woman presents an engaging voice that you can't help but get invested in. The mistake each of them makes gets its own section, and honestly, until you learn everything that happened, it's hard to put this book down.” —Sara for Get Lit

“In this wonderful book about the complexities of female friendship, we meet Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret as they begin college. By the end of the book, you'll feel like this is your own group of friends—and you'll be just as emotionally invested.” —Liz Moody for mindbodygreen

“The Other’s Gold is a beautiful, relatable, and bittersweet read that examines the strength of female friendships as they evolve.” —Elizabeth Entenman for Hello Giggles