We have long known that good friends can be our main source of moral support, the generous suppliers of love, humour and understanding. As Virginia Woolf put it, "Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I go to my friends." But did you know that having good friendships makes you cleverer, richer, and healthier? Increasingly, research shows that the single most important factor in a well-lived life is not our jobs, our families, our health, education or wealth - it's the breadth and depth of our friendships. In this revelatory, entertaining and touching book, Carlin Flora argues that friends are the new 'nurture'. Tracing the hidden ways in which friendships mould and structure our characters and life chances from infancy to old age, she draws on the latest behavioral science and provides fascinating anecdotes and accounts of famous friendships (from those of Picasso and Matisse to the band U2) to show us how to make friends, how to stay friends and, crucially, how to be good friends. In doing so, she says, we will not only grow as human beings, but will live longer, happier lives.