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I had never heard of Joanna Trollope until I found this book, I bought it almost a year ago now from my book club as I thought it sounded quite good, but it just sat there on my book shelf for months, for some reason it was never a book I saw on there and thought oooh I'll read that one next, there was always another one which looked better or was more eagerly anticipated by me! But after reading the Twilight saga, I wanted to get back into my normal Chick Lit books, and this was one which I picked from random.
The story is about a group of 6 women who meet on Friday Nights, it all started with Eleanor, an elderly lady who has never been married, her life revolving mainly around her work, until she retired. When she saw two young women walking along the street, everyday alone but their young children. She decided to invite them over on Friday night and surprisingly the two women, Paula and Lindsay turned up with their young children, Toby and Noah. Over the years the group of 3 gradually turned to 6 with people inviting others who they had met become aquantances with or worked with; Blaise, Karen, Linday her sister Jules, Paula and Eleanor had been firm friends for years, meeting every Friday at each others houses.
But when the dynamics begin to change, when a man is entered into the mix, everything seems to change...but will it be a good or a bad thing for the Friday Nighters?
The book I felt was well written, but I would say more for the older reader. I was over halfway through when the story started to excite me and I wanted to read on. It was definitely not the type of book I "couldn't put down" which I like in a book. I love a book which has a gripping storyline and which I can't put down at night making me stay awake until the early hours, but this book wasn't like that at all.
I don't know if it was other factors which made this happen: I am coming into my 2nd trimester of pregnancy so I am more tired than I ever have been before meaning I am usually asleep by 11pm rather than 2am as it used to be! There has been much more on TV at night which means I'm not picking my book up until much later...hmm I'm not sure, but I suspect it is the book!!!!
I am not saying this story isn't good, but it isn't really for me, I would say it is much more for an older audience, not much really "happens" in the story, we just see a change in how the characters act together.
I'd say give this a go if you like the sound of it, but it really wasn't for me.
My mum bought me this book as part of my 21st presents, I have just finished it and very much enjoyed it.
The characters in this book are brought together because they live on the same street, a lonely old lady invites them to come to her house on a friday night. It ends up becoming a regular social event.
The characters are all very different, one is looked after by a man she has loved for years but already has a family he doesnt want to leave so he just pays for a flat.
Another has been widowed and so is scared of being in love again, her sister is a homeless dj wanabe, and another is a career driven woman like the old woman onces was. The last is struggling to balance her marrige and work life.
There is one problem that comes between them, a man called Jackson. He seems perfect and is very pleasant to all of them, theres just something a bit too perfect. I wont spoil the story though!
This book is well written, with not too much annoying descriptive wallowing, but just tells the story. I like the fact that its quite believable as well, and about normal people. The story was just long enough to keep my attention, i read it in 2 days!
I really enjoy books by this author, and this one I can definately reccommend. It costs £7.99 rrp but you can probably find it cheaper on the internet.
I have been enjoying Joanna Trolloppe novels for a long time now and each time she writes a new one I have to add it to my collection. Her latest novel is Friday Nights which is an excellent read and is probably one of her best to date. It's not a book where a lot happens. There isn't really that much action. It is, however, a book about people and human nature and if you find that fascinating you will probably love this book.
Friday nights are very important to six very different women. They vary greatly in age and circumstances but all rely on the companionship and support from each other particularly during their Friday night get-togethers. The six form a wonderfully eclectic mix from Eleanor a sprightly spinster in her seventies to young Jules who is struggling to find her way in life. Lindsay and Paula are both single mothers with young sons. Lindsay was tragically widowed before her son Noah was born and Paula's young son Toby was the result of her long term affair with a married man. The final two in the group are business partners Blaise and Karen. Blaise is very single minded and driven in her work whereas Karen is more harassed trying to juggle the demands of a career and a family life without much help from her husband Lucas.
As you can see they are a very diverse set of woman but they all gain a sense of camaraderie from the group that they seem unable to find elsewhere. That is until the dynamics change when Paula introduces her new boyfriend, Jackson, to everyone. For some reason he has a profoundly unsettling influence on them all and it's not long before cracks start to appear in the group and tension rises. Things are never likely to be the same but maybe that possibly is a good thing as it forces all the women to reflect on where they are in their lives!
This is such a well-written book that had me feeling completely involved from the very first page. All the women are very believeable and likeable characters in their different ways, which really did make me care about what was going to happen. Each of the six characters are given equal weighting and different chapters focus on different characters creating a well balanced read. The way Jackson is introduced is perfect. At first he comes across as most affable and amenable but it's not long until the reader starts having doubts about his motives.
I loved reading this book from the very first to the very last page. The pace was gentle and steady and it was effortless keeping up with it all. I liked the characters and cared about them but it's also a very good portrayal of how women's relationships work and why they matter so much.
This fabulous book is published by Black Swan and has a RRP of £7.99 but you can probably pick it up for a lot less. I bought mine in Tesco as part of a two for £7 offer!