With Friends Like These: A Novel

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9781423385486: With Friends Like These: A Novel
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Quincy, Talia, Chloe, and Jules met in the early nineties after answering a roommate ad for a Manhattan apartment. Despite having little in common, the women became fast friends. A decade later, their lives have diverged, though their ties remain strong. Quincy, a Midwestern introvert, is trying to overcome a set of tragedies by hunting for the perfect home; Talia, a high-energy Brooklyn wife and mom with an outspoken conscience, is growing resentful of her friends’ greater financial stability and her husband’s lack of ambition; timid Chloe, also a mother, is trying to deflect pressure from her husband, a hedge fund manager, to play the role of trophy wife; while Jules, a fiercely independent actress/entrepreneur with a wicked set of life rules, is confronting her forties alone. When Jules gives her new boyfriend the inside scoop on the real estate gem Quincy is lusting after, and Talia chases a lucrative job earmarked for Chloe, the women are forced to wrestle with the challenges of love and motherhood. Will their friendships and marriages survive? And at what price? Punchy yet tender, a high-five to sisterhood, this book will hit an emotional bull’s-eye for anyone who has had ― or been ― less than a perfect friend.

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Review:

Sally Koslow on With Friends Like These

If we're lucky, we find caring friends who'll value us as much as we value them. They'll make us balloon animals if life throws a suckerpunch and don't secretly rejoice when we gain a chin and a second mortgage. Nor do they send us internet chain letters with apocalyptic threats should we fail to forward the news flash to 17 pals in the next hour. It's when such sterling friends disappoint us that north starts looking like south.

This is the theme--disappointment among friends--that I explore in my new novel, With Friends Like These.

We know not every friend is destined to be a perennial, the James Taylor or Carole King of our emotional road show. What brings a friendship to the Do Not Resuscitate point? The result depends on how bad we feel we've been had, whether and to what degree the evil one serves up remorse and plain old manners.

Here’s what got me going on writing With Friends Like These. A buddy tried to snatch an apartment I found and bid on. Afterward we didn't speak for many months. This wasn't exactly Draconian punishment, but I missed her enough so that once she sang her sorries, we moved on. I had a harder time trying to get past a very close (or so I thought) chum who "by mistake" copied me on an email whining about how she didn't want to go to my last book party. I was hurt at this and other passive-aggressive gestures I began to realize I could not overlook.

The slow erode of this friendship--which I thought would be a lifer--is more painful than the bruise caused by the savage apartment-hunter, because with my party-dissing friend I'd believed there was an unbreakable mutual regard. Realizing that you're not appreciated at a molecular level moves a relationship into the land of phony baloney, a place reached by sailing on the ship of fools--and truly, who's got the time? Do. Not. Resuscitate.

An early reviewer of With Friends Like These called its story line--about four once-close women--"achingly real." The characters don't set out to hurt one another, but reality gets in the way, and sooner than you can say steak tartare, four friendships turn raw.

The gaping hole in our lives left by the missing friendship can hurt like a phantom limb. Which is why With Friends Like These is also a story of forgiveness. Because is any aspect of friendship more important and profound than forgiveness? I don’t think so. If you can’t be a person who learns to forgive, you can’t be a good friend.

About the Author:

Sally Koslow, the author of Little Pink Slips, spent three decades working at women's magazines, most recently as the editor-in-chief of McCall's. Married and the mother of two sons, she lives in New York City. Visit her website at www.sallykoslow.com.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780345506238: With Friends Like These: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0345506235 ISBN 13:  9780345506238
Publisher: Ballantine Books, 2011
Softcover

9780345506221: With Friends Like These: A Novel

Ballan..., 2010
Hardcover

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