The Washington Post printed an apology to John Irving in Sunday's editor's note. His latest novel had been reviewed by Marianne Wiggins, who panned it, calling its writing style "lazy". She had a social relationship with Irving, which she did not disclose to the paper.
BookADay, who does not have connections to John Irving, plans to review Until I Find You.
This situation begs the question: how close it too close? Irving was a friend of Wiggins' ex-husband. Could it be that she didn't like the book, no matter to her relationship with him? Probably. Was she wrong in not telling The Washington Post. Definitely. Writers bump into reviewers all the time. Some reviewers, present company included, also write. I believe you always need to be honest about who you know and if it's really questionable, don't review it. That said, I also believe that you can read your best friend's book and if it's a bomb, you need to call it a bomb. Your thoughts?