Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery

4 Star

After five years as a stay-at-home mom, Gabby Schaefer can't wait to return to work. Oh, to use the bathroom in peace! No twins clamoring at the door, no husband barging in, no stepdaughter throwing a tantrum. But when her plans are derailed by some shocking news and her husband's crushing expectations, Gabby must fight for the right to have a life of her own. 
Getting pregnant is easy for Hayley Batchelor. Staying pregnant is the hard part. Her husband is worried about the expensive fertility treatments and frantic about the threat to her health. But to Hayley, a woman who was born to be a mom should risk everything to fulfill her destiny—no matter how high the cost. 
Nicole Lord is still shell-shocked by a divorce that wasn't as painful as it should've been. Other than the son they share, her ex-husband left barely a ripple in her life. A great new guy tempts her to believe maybe the second time's the charm…but how can she trust herself to recognize true love? 
As their bonds of friendship deepen against the beautiful backdrop of Mischief Bay, Gabby, Hayley and Nicole will rely on good food, good wine and especially each other to navigate life's toughest changes.

Kathryn - 4 Star

The Friends We Keep was a slow starter for me because there were lot of characters with a lot of things happening at once. It took me a bit of time to link them together and warm to them individually.  But warm to them I did - and once I was hooked I had a hard time putting the book down.

The three women were going through completely different problems and I found myself relating to each one though I have not had experiences exactly like any of them. Hayley was in such a heart-breaking position with infertility and she and her husband had been through so much that they were not seeing each other’s needs anymore. Her fixation and his exhaustion made for some both tender and crushing moments.

Gabby’s desperation to become herself again was very clear and though she was aware she’d been lucky in her life she still wanted something more now that her daughters were at school.  Her step-daughter’s wrench in the plans was unpredicted for me and I was stuck not knowing what I’d do- I could understand Gabby’s chaos.  Her husband’s reaction also was a surprise and I liked that mountain they were given to climb- I wasn’t sure how it would end.

I liked Nicole a lot because of her strength and determination. She was also emotionally invested in her son for all the right reasons and she wanted to give him everything and yet I felt she was aware of everything he also gave her. I was surprised also a few times about the route her story took.

The Friends We Keep kept me on my toes and each woman’s perspective gave me things to think about- I enjoyed the novel immensely.
Thank you to Mira/Harper Collins for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Susan Mallery:
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