Over the weekend, I finished reading Blanche’s Book Club’s latest pick: “Friends and Strangers” by Courtney Sullivan.
Sullivan has written several books, including “Commencement” and “Saints for All Occasions” — “Maine” was the first book of hers I read and I loved it. I own “The Engagements” but haven’t read it yet (go figure). But, after waiting quite a while on the list at the library, I finally got “Friends and Strangers” — here’s the scoop from Sullivan’s website:
Elisabeth, an accomplished journalist and new mother, is struggling to adjust to life in a small town after nearly twenty years in New York City. Alone in the house with her infant son all day (and awake with him much of the night), she feels uneasy, adrift. She neglects her work, losing untold hours to her Brooklyn moms’ Facebook group, her “influencer” sister’s Instagram feed, and text messages with the best friend she never sees anymore.
Enter Sam, a senior at the local women’s college, whom Elisabeth hires to babysit. Sam is struggling to decide between the path she’s always planned on and a romantic entanglement that threatens her ambition. She’s worried about student loan debt and what the future holds. In short order, they grow close. But when Sam finds an unlikely kindred spirit in Elisabeth’s father-in-law, the true differences between the women’s lives become starkly revealed and a betrayal has devastating consequences.
A masterful exploration of motherhood, power dynamics, and privilege in its many forms,
Friends and Strangers reveals how a single year can shape the course of a life.
This was one of those books that made me feel like I could hang out with the characters forever. But on top of that, the plot had an interesting way of subtly twisting and turning.
The ending felt a little sad, but I do feel it was a more realistic ending. I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you’ve read Sullivan’s work before and enjoyed it.
The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Winter in Paradise” by Elin Hilderbrand.
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