Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan


Elisabeth is a best-selling author and journalist who has recently had her first baby. She and her husband Andrew have recently moved away from New York City after 20 years and have settled in the same small home town that Andrew grew up in. She is suffering from sleep deprivation as baby Gil is awake much of the night. She is under contract to write her next book and needs time away from her domestic duties in order to get this done. She finds Sam, a senior student at the local women’s college who agrees to babysit for her three days a week. Much of this time Elisabeth is not writing, but rather spending some quality time sleeping or visiting places she loves.

Sam has some decisions to make as she finishes her senior year. She is torn between moving to London to live with an older man who loves her and building her career in the U.S. where she will likely have the most opportunities. She is unsure of her feelings for this man. As the relationship she builds with Elisabeth becomes more friendly then about employment, she discusses her feelings about him. After all, Elisabeth has the wisdom that comes with age. Sam’s relationship with Elisabeth’s family becomes so friendly that she also befriends Elisabeth’s father in law who provides Sam with some insight she wasn’t expecting to gain.

I thoroughly enjoyed this well developed book. It addresses several complex issues surrounding infertility, family relationships, motherhood, racism and politics to name just a few. It is a highly engaging read and I appreciated the excellent character development of our two female protagonists. The book did have a slow build, but my belief is that this led to the reader having a greater appreciation of the characters’ complexities.

I listened to the audiobook version of the book which was narrated by Kate Rudd. She provides a believable, entertaining performance which I felt contributed to my opinion of this book. The quality of her voice and articulation was very good. I appreciated having this audiobook available to me from my local library.

My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5.

 

24 comments:

  1. This sounds like a really interesting book! I definitely agree with you that sometimes a slow build book can give you more of an appreciation for the characters :)

    https://www.femaleoriginal.com

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  2. Looks good! I'll have to put in on my list as I'm such a slow reader, I cant keep up!

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  3. This sounds like a really interesting read. I really like the sound of both of these characters and the dynamic between them x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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  4. Sounds like an interesting read, especially surrounding the theme of sleep deprivation

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  5. This sounds like a really interesting read. I enjoy books that tackle some of the bigger and more controversial topics. I'm going to have to check this out.

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    1. I hope you enjoy is as much as I did! Thanks Britt.

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  6. Ooh this sounds really interesting. Not something I'd normally read but intriguing all the same. Thanks for sharing your review! :)

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  7. This book sounds like such an interesting read. Not particularly my cup of tea but it sounds very informative and thought provocking for those into this sort of read.

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  8. It's amazing when strangers becomes friends, but it's sad when friends become strangers.
    Interesting read. I better go and check it out!

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  9. Sounds like a good read! If I ever have free time again, I might check this one out.

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  10. Just reading this review alone makes me want to read this book and find out what happens.

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  11. Looks like a great read! I like the books that can hit the hard topics and also give a good story. With a slow build, you appreciate much more of it.

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  12. Sounds like an intriguing read. Some interesting issues to tackle.

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