Laurel-Rain's Reviews > With Friends Like These

With Friends Like These by Sally Koslow
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Sep 19, 2010

it was amazing
Read from September 09 to 19, 2010

Four friends living in Manhattan begin their friendship after college, when they're roommates in a big house they discover.

For ten years, they're the best of friends. And then....

"With Friends Like These: A Novel" traverses the journey of these four women after their lives have formed their unique patterns and after circumstances (and their foolish actions) begin to change the character of their connections.

Quincy is mourning two miscarriages and in search of the perfect Manhattan apartment; Jules, a woman with an outsize personality, is facing forty alone; Talia, married and the mother of a four-year-old, is her family's reluctant breadwinner; and Chloe, also a mother, faces pressure from her hedge-fund manager husband to be more ambitious.

These situations set the tone for what happens next. We begin to see how the obsessions and quests of each of the friends start to damage the connections between them. One betrays another over a desirable apartment; with another, it's about a job; and the search for the perfect private preschool claims the attentions of the parents in the group.

Each character tells her own story in alternating chapters, a technique I enjoy because it allows the reader to "see inside" that character's head and understand her motivations. After some of their actions and choices have torn away at their bonds, they try to connect again in a final reunion. I like this quote: "That morning the women recognized that being together was like rediscovering a pair of lost slippers. Their friendship still provided comfort that improved with time. They knew one another like a new friend never could, with a shorthand that understood when to react and when to overlook, when to boost and when to protect...."

A book I'd highly recommend to anyone who enjoys stories about women's friendships and how the test of time can fray the connections, but how the bonds they've developed can repair the damage—with a little effort and care.

Five stars.
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Laurel-Rain Thanks, Sheryl.

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