Review: The Friends We Keep

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Friends We KeepThe Friends We Keep (Mischief Bay, #2) by Susan Mallery
Series: Mischief Bay #2
Published by MIRA on February 23rd 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 402

FINAL DECISION: Not a book for me.  The three story format left me feeling that each story was superficial and I couldn’t truly feel a connection with any of the characters.  This book is women’s fiction or chick lit and focused more on the personal journey of the women characters than on the romance although there are happy endings.

THE STORY: THE FRIENDS WE KEEP are the stories of three women friends experiencing different challenges with children and men.

Gabby Schaefer is a stay at home mom who can’t wait until her twins are ready for Kindergarten so that she can return to work and have time to herself.  When a problem with her stepdaughter causes a crack in her own marriage, Gabby is forced to examine her own desires and expectations.

Hayley Batchelor desperately wants to be a mom.  Multiple miscarriages and expensive futility treatments have put a strain on her marriage as Hayley’s single minded pursuit of a biological child has overtaken everything else in her life.

Nicole Lord is divorced with a young son.  What has shaken her is how little her ex-husband meant to her life. When a new guy comes into the picture, she doesn’t know if she wants to take the chance.

OPINION:  This book was well written, but not the type of book I like to read.

The book focuses on the personal issues of each of the three women and I found each of them shallow, self-absorbed and selfish as the book begins.  They don’t seem to be able to communicate with the men in their lives and selfish go around concerned with their own wants and desires.

As the book went on I saw them change somewhat but because of the shortened nature of stories, I never got attached to any of the characters.  I felt a distance and couldn’t get absorbed in their stories or care about them. The stories all end satisfactory but the entire book felt surface and obvious to me.  I could predict how each of the stories would end and they did not feel complicated at all but rather simplistic.

I liked Nicole’s story the best because it closeness to romance made it feel like a novella. It felt that the only way she could be satisfied was by finding a man without any flaws. Rich, but he really just cares about children and his disabled sister, loves her son, makes no mistakes with her.

Too much of this book was spent with me banging my head on the wall being annoyed with these women. No matter how well written, I don’t want to spend my time with people I wouldn’t like in real life.

WORTH MENTIONING: The beginning of Nicole’s story is told in book one of the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  THE FRIENDS WE KEEP is the second book in the Mischief Bay series.  This book can be read on its own as I did not read the first book.

STAR RATING: I give this book 2 stars.