Reading Roundup: “The Friendship List” by Susan Mallery

I have read nearly every Susan Mallery book ever written.  She is one of my “Top 5” favorite authors.  I love how she arranges a story, and how the sentence lengths are varied.  It makes for a fluid read. She writes with the typical formula of a “chic lit” book.  Full of love and romance. 

“The Friendship List” is about two friends, Ellen and Unity.  Ellen is a single mom who got pregnant in high school.  After living with her parents, and their relentless rules, until she was able to secure a degree and teaching job, Ellen moved on onto her own with her son Cooper.  Raising him for 17 years has left her romantically alone.  Between Cooper, her friend Keith, and her best friend/semi-sister Unity, Ellen thought that she had enough. 

Unity owns a small handyman business.  She was left a widow after her husband, Stewart, died while serving in the military.  Unity is stuck living in her past with Stewart.  She is afraid to let go and stuck with the rules imposed on her when she was orphaned and forced to live with Ellen’s strict parents.  After a series of setbacks, she is forced to see that there are no set of rules to live by, if you truly want to live.

The two friends create a friendship list to complete for the summer.  Tattoo’s, skydiving, and other out-of-character activities has the two women growing in a multitude of ways.

The setting of the story is in Washington, and various locations along the western coastal states.  This is an area I desperately want to visit, so “seeing” locations such as Seattle, and Santa Monica, through the author’s words was very interesting.

The characters are well developed.  Each character has their own set of “baggage” that they must let go of, whether it be Cooper’s feelings toward his absent father, or Unity letting go of the past.  Even the minor characters, such as Luca, have an important role in the overall story.

My favorite character is Unity, but I think it is because I feel she had the most growth in the story.  She struggled, failed, struggled, and finally triumphs, making for an amazing read.  I didn’t have a least favorite character, which is surprising, because there seems to always be that one character that you just don’t click with.

This book was an amazing read, however, a word of caution.  If you like more of a chaste romance, or light in the action department, then you probably want to read this book with blinders on.  There is also an element of teenage pregnancy, mild alcohol, death, and feelings caused from absent parents.

“The Friendship List” receives a 4-star review, and will be released on August 4, 2020.  It can be purchased on Amazon on Kindle for $12.99, paperback for $17.99, or hardcover for $18.99.

I was given an electronic advanced copy of this book, from NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.  My review was not impacted by this. 

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