06 June 2014

Four Friends by Robyn Carr


by Robyn Carr
Published March 2014 by Harlequin MIRA
Fiction - Kindle edition, 400p.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for providing me with a digital copy for review.


Gerri can't decide what's more devastating: learning her rock-solid marriage has big cracks, or the anger she feels as she tries to repair the damage. Always the anchor for friends and her three angst-ridden teenagers, it's time to look carefully at herself. The journey for Gerri and her family is more than revealing—it's transforming.

Andy doesn't have a great track record with men, and she's come to believe that for her a lasting love is out of reach. When she finds herself attracted to her down-to-earth, ordinary contractor—a man without any of the qualities that usually appeal to her—she questions everything she thought she wanted in life.

Sonja's lifelong pursuit of balance is shattered when her husband declares he's through with her New Age nonsense and walks out. There's no herbal tonic or cleansing ritual that can restore her serenity—or her sanity.

Miraculously, it's BJ, the reserved newcomer to Mill Valley, who steps into their circle and changes everything. The woman with dark secrets opens up to her neighbors, and together they get each other back on track, stronger as individuals and unfaltering as friends.


FOUR FRIENDS is not my usual sort of book. In fact, when I'm making a point about why I like YA so much, I'll often say that one reason is I never have to read about a character going through a divorce or a married protagonist cheating on their spouse. (It's totally different to read about it through a teens perspective if one of their parents are doing it.) So, it took me quite a while to get past the point where I kept wanting to stop reading this book... There was just so much bad marriage mojo and it made me feel bad.

The four friends are four women living on the same street. Three have been close friends for a while and one is a hesitant newcomer. The three friends all experience some major upheaval in their married lives, which I wasn't crazy about reading as a happily married woman... It was just so depressing and sometimes infuriating and didn't leave much room for happiness in their lives.

However! Once the bonds of friendship are really defined and visible, once Bob and his sweet dog show up, and once a few of the kids start mattering more to the story, things improved. The women are great friends to each other, no matter what, even when each of their own lives are falling apart. I loved not ever having to wonder which one of the women would backstab the other, because their devotion to friendship is just so clear throughout. Beyond the women themselves, Bob is great, and the two older teen sons of Gerri and Andy have a few lovely moments.

So while FOUR FRIENDS is not an easy read and certainly took time for me to want to keep reading, at a certain point I did find myself wrapped up in knowing the outcome for each of the four women, rooting for them in different ways, and having to keep flipping the pages to find out as soon as possible. There's a good amount of adultery (or at least mentions of it) in here, so if that's a particular sore spot, tread carefully. (It's not the four friends scheming about cheating on their husbands though, so don't worry that you'll be forced into rooting for anything super shady.) Robyn Carr is obviously a solid writer and I'll certainly be checking out some of her other books... maybe I'll go with one with a bit more romance next time!

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