Book Review: With Friends Like These – Sally Koslow

Title: With Friends Like These: A Novel
Author: Sally Koslow
ISBN: 9780345506221
Pages: 336
Release Date: August 10, 2010
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3 out of 5

Summary:

Talia, Chloe, Quincy, and Jules have been best friends ever since they randomly ended up rooming together in a New York City apartment.  They no longer live together, each having gone their separate ways, but they remain close, at least on the surface.  However, each woman is facing something difficult that she can’t bring herself to share with her friends – for Talia, it’s her disappointment at her husband’s lack of financial prowess.  For Quincy, it’s her sheer depression at having had two miscarriages.  As each of these women faces her own crisis, they learn when they can lean on each other, as well as the meaning of disloyalty and betrayal.

Review:

I was a big fan of Sally Koslow’s previous novel The Late Lamented Molly Marx, so I was really excited when I learned she had a new book coming out.  With Friends Like These is a close inspection of friendship between women, and all the good and bad that comes from it.

I thought Koslow’s depiction of female friendships was accurate, to a point.  She certainly captures the cattiness and backhandedness that seems to inevitably come with women’s friendships, as well as the power and damage that secrets can do to these relationships.  However, I unfortunately didn’t see a lot of the good side in With Friends Like These.  Female friendships can be extremely rewarding, but only the negative seems to be displayed in this novel.  It was unexpected, and unfortunately, didn’t sit well with me.

I did really like two of the characters in With Friends Like These, Talia and Quincy.  Talia made mistakes and certainly was selfish, but I understood where she was coming from and why she was frustrated.  Part of her problem was living in New York City – living in that expensive environment would cause anyone to think about money non-stop.  For some reason, even though she wasn’t portrayed in the best light, I really felt bad for her.  With Quincy, it was easy to understand why I sympathized with her.  Her miscarriages were difficult enough, but on top of that, she had to deal with Jules’ betrayal – I’m glad she made the decision she did towards the end of the book.  It really suited her.

With Friends Like These didn’t really appeal to me like I’d hoped.  I didn’t have a lot invested in the characters, and I think my expectations were too high, especially considering The Late Lamented Molly Marx was such a unique novel.  I didn’t know what this book was about when I first picked it up, but if I had, I may not have chosen to read it.  If you are really interested in books about female friendships, this may work better for you than it did for me.  While I didn’t love With Friends Like These, I’ll definitely be seeking out Sally Koslow’s next novel.

Comments

  1. Glad to have the head’s up on this one. I know how horrible women can be to each other, and I find that so disturbing (let’s face it…it give us a BAD NAME). I also know how rewarding and almost spiritual a girlfriend can be, and choose to focus on that. This book would bring me down.

  2. Glad to have the head’s up on this one. I know how horrible women can be to each other, and I find that so disturbing (let’s face it…it give us a BAD NAME). I also know how rewarding and almost spiritual a girlfriend can be, and choose to focus on that. This book would bring me down.

  3. Not all friendships between women have to be catty, and it bothers me that so many authors choose to portray them in such a light. I don’t think I would really like this book all that much due to the stereotyping of women’s relationships, but I do thank you for your comprehensive and honest review!

  4. Not all friendships between women have to be catty, and it bothers me that so many authors choose to portray them in such a light. I don’t think I would really like this book all that much due to the stereotyping of women’s relationships, but I do thank you for your comprehensive and honest review!

  5. Well, darn – I had high hopes for that book. I think my friendships with other women are rewarding, because I chose to stay away from the catty women. There are plenty of warm, caring women out there. Not sure this is the book for me.

  6. Well, darn – I had high hopes for that book. I think my friendships with other women are rewarding, because I chose to stay away from the catty women. There are plenty of warm, caring women out there. Not sure this is the book for me.

  7. This is one of my Amazon Vine selections. Like you I really enjoyed The Late Lamented Molly Marx. I think I will still read With Friends Like These to decide for myself. I do enjoy reading about female friendships, which is why I chose this book. Thanks for the honest review.

  8. This is one of my Amazon Vine selections. Like you I really enjoyed The Late Lamented Molly Marx. I think I will still read With Friends Like These to decide for myself. I do enjoy reading about female friendships, which is why I chose this book. Thanks for the honest review.

  9. I really enjoyed The Late, Lamented Molly Marx too, but I was not a fan of Koslow’s first novel, Little Pink Slips. I wasn’t in a hurry to pick this one up, and the subject matter doesn’t do much to intrigue me. She’s definitely I writer I watch because I know what she can do, but I worry she’s moving too far into commercial-minded women’s fiction for my taste.

  10. I really enjoyed The Late, Lamented Molly Marx too, but I was not a fan of Koslow’s first novel, Little Pink Slips. I wasn’t in a hurry to pick this one up, and the subject matter doesn’t do much to intrigue me. She’s definitely I writer I watch because I know what she can do, but I worry she’s moving too far into commercial-minded women’s fiction for my taste.

  11. I enjoyed this book overall, but I kept wondering why they called each other friends.

  12. I enjoyed this book overall, but I kept wondering why they called each other friends.

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