Title: With Friends Like These
Author: Sally Koslow
Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition
Publication Date: August 10, 2010
Hardcover: 336 pages
When Quincy, Jules, Talia, and Chloe become New York City roommates in the early nineties, they become fast friends despite their drastically different personalities. Now, nearly twenty years later, their lives have diverged as much as they possibly can within one city: Quincy is mourning a miscarriage and lusting for 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 faces pressure from her hedge fund manager husband to be more ambitious. As these women grapple with the challenges of marriage, motherhood, careers, and real estate, they can’t help but assess their positions in life in comparison to each other–leading them to envy and disillusionment. Honest and entertaining, and written in Sally Koslow’s trademark wry, vivid prose, With Friends Like These asks serious questions about what makes female friendship endure, and to whom a woman’s loyalty most belongs.
With Friends Like These by Sally Koslow chronicles the lives of four women; Quincy, Jules, Talia, and Chloe from their first meeting then jumping ahead to their adult lives as wives. The four women once lived together in a Manhattan apartment and for ten years were best friends until life and circumstances changed them. Can these four women regain what has been lost with life changes and time and do they want to? The chapters alternate so that the four women narrate the entire story, which is a style I enjoy in a book about many main characters, unfortunately I found these four women to be annoying at best and would not care to know any of them. Koslow references Quincy as a Minnesota girl and frequently uses statements such as “… Minnesota girl… “, so apparently growing up as a Minnesota girl I missed the handbook of how to behave. I do not live in Manhattan; I am neither wealthy not have I ever employed a nanny so it is quite possible the issues I found ridiculous truly are serious issues for some women, yet these four never seem to have gotten over cattiness of the young. Three of the four friends are quite wealthy, the forth is not wealthy, her husband is “only” a teacher and she does not have a nanny. It is quite fair to say I was not a fan of With Friends Like These, but on the flip side, Koslow’s writing style is fresh, upbeat, keeps the four story lines flowing and ultimately creates characters that the reader will either relate with or not depending on circumstances. I continued reading with the hope there would be some epiphany, some brilliant ending making me ponder life or friendships, yet I found none. With Friends Like These is filled with beautiful descriptions and full character development, for better or worse I just wish I had cared for the characters, unfortunately I just wanted With Friends Like These to end, however, I am not a huge fan of this genre of writing. I would encourage my readers to look at other reviews before ultimately deciding whether or not With Friends Like These is the book for you.
Sally Koslow is the author of The Late, Lamented Molly Marx and Little Pink Slips. Her essays have been published in More, The New York Observer, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among other publications. She was the editor in chief of both McCall’s and Lifetime, was an editor at Mademoiselle and Woman’s Day, and has taught creative writing at the Writing Institute of Sarah Lawrence College. The mother of two sons, she lives in New York City with her husband.
Learn more about author Sally Koslow by visiting her website.
Sally Koslow’s WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR AUG ‘10 officially began on August 2nd and ends on August 27th. You can visit Sally’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com during the month of August to find out more about this great book and talented author!
I received a complimentary copy of With Friends Like These by Sally Koslow from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour. Receiving a copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.