The Friendship List By Susan Mallory

 

 

 

The Friendship List cover_FINAL

 

When Unity and Ellen decide they need to shake things up, they create a friendship list to challenge each other to do the things they have been putting off.

 

Ellen needs a decent shopping trip, a date and a life.  Unity needs to stop living in the past and step into the present.  Easier said than done for both these ladies, but they slowly move forward with heart-warming and sometimes hilarious results.

 

Both our ladies are graduates of the school of hard knocks.  Ellen was a teen mother and is a single mom.  As her son plans for college and the future, she must face the empty spot he will leave behind.  Unity has faced loss since an early age.  Her parents died in an accident, and then her husband died while serving his country.  Can Unity see the good and trust that good things will happen, or will she let her past hold her back?

 

I loved the fact that these ladies have had their share of hard knocks and heartbreak, yet here they are trying to change things even though it is challenging for both of them.

 

The list ranges from the expected, such as a wardrobe update for Ellen, to the outlandish such as getting tattoos and staying out all night.

 

Ellen heads out on a two-week bus trip with her son and the high school football coach, her friend Keith, that will test her will.  She must separate two over friendly teens on the trip.  One of them is Keith’s daughter.  She will also test herself on the trip, trying to mark things off her list.  She spends the first night of the trip all fancied up sitting in the hotel bar.   Her trip continues to surprise her each day, but she will shocked at what Unity has accomplished herself.

 

Unity is the victim of a well-meaning match maker, but she goes out with Thaddeus so she can cross an item off her list.  Instead, she sees her life with a fresh perspective and makes changes.  She will go skydiving, hire her first full-time employee and make even bigger changes.

 

What starts as a simple challenge between friends becomes so much more.  I am so glad I was along for the journey.  A warm and witty look at life, where we want to go, and getting to where we are meant to be.

 

Start reading now.  You won’t want to stop.

Chapter 1 Excerpt

A Light in the Hallway

A Light in the Hallway by Amanda Prowse is the story of a family.   The story opens as Kerry is battling cancer and her husband Nick is trying to manage the day to day task and be there for their teenage son Oliver.  Nick struggles to manage everything and he finds it harder as time goes on.  I know this makes it seem like a  tear-jerker, and I admit I cried, but I also admired Nick for his strength in the face of the situation and his drive to keep going.  The story spans a few years.  The narrative moves through time showing us Nick’s scenes from Nick’s life and even letting us know what Kerry thinks.  Nick plucked my heartstrings as he navigated the changes in his life and tried to do the best thing for his son.    This story leaves you feeling hopeful and optimistic as you take Nick’s journey with him.  He is supported by his friends and family and they add their own special touches to his journey.   This book became available on November 11th and it might be just perfect for you or someone on your gift list.

The Goodbye Year by Kaira Rouda

For a group of parents who are stumbling through senior year with their children the looming question of what next is getting closer and closer.  For Midwestern transplant Melanie she must decide if she wants to stay in California and what in the world she will do there when Dane is safely at college.  Sarah has spent years providing everything her daughter Ashley needs to be successful in the world, but now that that job is almost done the question of how to reconnect with her husband is on her mind often.  Middle school principal and schedule queen Carol is busy just getting though the day, but her husband Will is feeling the need for a bit of freedom and for Lauren who is married to an older man their are also questions of what the future may and could be.  A look at growing up and starting over from the viewpoints of parents and kids.  A touching portrait of parents and children and how the world is not always as it seems.

What the Waves Know: A Novel by Tamara Valentine

I loved Isabella’s story. I felt bad for her, but I loved her grandmother and her mother and Remy their confident outspoken neighbor who is good influence on all of them. Each of the women try to help Isabella with her issues surrounding the night her father disappeared, but being back on the island is forcing her to remember things she would rather forget, and teaching her new lessons along the way. Isabella must face the past to give herself a future she deserves, but it seems easier for her to simply lock it all inside, until the day she can’t. I loved the strong women in this novel and the quaint inland in this novel the senses of people and place are strong and Isabella is a wonderful girl facing something that is hard for people much older than she is.