Title: The Friendship List by Susan Mallery
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance
Length: 327 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
[ ] Dance till dawn
[ ] Go skydiving
[ ] Wear a bikini in public
[ ] Start living
Two best friends jump-start their lives in a summer that will change them forever…
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.
The Friendship List by Susan Mallery is a warm and inviting novel of friendship, new beginnings and love.
Thirty-four year old Ellen Fox and Unity Leandre are lifelong best friends who support each other in good times and bad. But sometimes that support can contribute to clinging to unhealthy habits and decisions. Ellen gets a wake-up call from an overhead discussion between her seventeen year old son Cooper and one of his friends. So, the women put their heads together and devise a series of challenges that will force them out of their regular routines. But will Ellen and Unity overcome the habits that are keeping them from living life to its fullest?
Ellen is a single mom and teaches at the local high school. She and Cooper have a fantastic relationship but she is stunned and worried that her son believes she cannot live without him nearby. Ellen surprisingly jumps into checking the challenges off her list. But little does she realize how much one of those items on the list is going to change her life.
Three years ago, Unity moved back to her home town following her husband Stuart’s death. She moved into her husband’s childhood home and she is surrounded by memories of him. Unity also begins working her way through the items on her list. However, she quickly discovers how reluctant she is to deal with some of the issues that are preventing her from moving forward. With a lot on the line for her, Unity must decide whether or not she will take the necessary steps that will allow her to make peace with her past.
With wry humor and realistic issues, The Friendship List is an uplifting and entertaining novel. Ellen and Unity are vibrantly drawn characters who are charming yet occasionally frustrating. They find themselves in relationships with wonderful men but both women tend to self-sabotage their respective romances. Susan Mallery brings this charming novel to a heartfelt, happy conclusion. I highly recommend this beautifully written story to readers of contemporary fiction.