Today’s theme: Saving some greats for last! An eclectic collection of fun, smart books. Be sure to read the posts on Kathy Lyons/Jade Lee & Uzma Jalaluddin too!
Susan Mallery has been a great friend to Read-A-Romance Month through the years, so I felt it would be appropriate to close out this new version of RARM with a quick review of her recent release, THE FRIENDSHIP LIST.
I’ll admit I haven’t been as on top of Susan Mallery’s books in the last year or so as I usually am. But when I read the synopsis of THE FRIENDSHIP LIST it felt like a must-read for me this summer.
Mallery always writes great books, but this re-invention story of two 30+ friends—one a single mom, one a widow—sounded like a good reminder that we can always restart, no matter how stuck we are, or how complicated our past has been.
It was spot on, but the twists and turns it took were both entertaining and poignant, especially for Unity, the widow, who at first only paid lip service to wanting to change, then realized she truly was living half a life.
Mallery writes a bang-up romance, and the two romantic arcs in this book are wholly satisfying. But what this author also excels at is the power of friendships, and the ways these relationships are the rocks on which everything else builds.
It’s interesting that the hook of the story—the titular list—is only conceived after a fight between the two best friends, and that it starts out as a kind of conciliatory gesture with a nod to the fact that they could both use some changes.
Neither of them could imagine what the next few months would bring, and some of it does not feel welcome at all, again, especially for Unity.
But sometimes the most important breakthroughs are the hardest ones to face, yet once we do, a whole wealth of dividends are waiting on the other side. Mallery perfectly reflects this in her newest trade title, an insightful, warm, compassionate story of two friends as they grow and heal with intention and a little help from unconditional love.
(And in case you’re interested and missed it, she also published a new Fools’ Gold novella this summer—A FOOL’S GOLD WEDDING—which served to catch us up with a bunch of residents and friends. Yay!)
THE FRIENDSHIP LIST
A witty, heartfelt and irresistible story about two best friends determined to help one another shake things up and live life to the fullest in a summer that will change them forever.
Susan Mallery has delivered the perfect escape about the power of female friendship and the importance of making your dreams come true.
Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to convince him she’s living hers.
So Unity Leandre, her best friend since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirtysomething widow still sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?
The Friendship List begins as a way to make others believe they’re just fine. But somewhere between “wear three-inch heels” and “have sex with a gorgeous guy,” Ellen and Unity discover that life is meant to be lived with joy and abandon, in a story filled with humor, heartache and regrettable tattoos.
(This review is part of Read-A-Romance Month. Hope you’ll come back every day to check out my book recommendations. You can find the calendar here. Also check out The Romance of Reading, a Facebook “book club” where we’ll have great authors guest hosting every week.)
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