The Friends We Keep
by Susan Mallery
In this insightful and compelling story from book club favorite Susan Mallery, three close friends test the boundaries of how much a woman can give before she has nothing left
After five years as a stay-at-home mom, Gabby Schaefer can’t wait to return to work. Oh, to use the bathroom in peace! No twins clamoring at the door, no husband barging in, no stepdaughter throwing a tantrum. But when her plans are derailed by some shocking news and her husband’s crushing expectations, Gabby must fight for the right to have a life of her own.
Getting pregnant is easy for Hayley Batchelor. Staying pregnant is the hard part. Her husband is worried about the expensive fertility treatments and frantic about the threat to her health. But to Hayley, a woman who was born to be a mom should risk everything to fulfill her destiny—no matter how high the cost.
Nicole Lord is still shell-shocked by a divorce that wasn’t as painful as it should’ve been. Other than the son they share, her ex-husband left barely a ripple in her life. A great new guy tempts her to believe maybe the second time’s the charm…but how can she trust herself to recognize true love?
As their bonds of friendship deepen against the beautiful backdrop of Mischief Bay, Gabby, Hayley and Nicole will rely on good food, good wine and especially each other to navigate life’s toughest changes.
“While she envied her sister-in-law her careers, she wouldn’t have given up the twins for anything. She’d always wanted both. But that decision left her wonder if having it all meant doing a lot of it badly.”
“How do you know that? Guys aren’t supposed to be insightful. Stop it right now.”
“She wanted to throw something at him. Like a shoe. Or a building. What on earth had he been thinking?”
“Nicole felt the carefully constructed wall around her heart crumble to dust. How was she supposed to resist a guy who was so good to her son? Who was inherently patient and kind with children?”
“I suspect Lisa hates most people. You don’t get to use her opinion of you to feel special. I’m sorry to say.”
“At one time she’d wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. If she thought he was a dick now, what did that say about her taste?”
“Everyone slack-jawed in amazement. She supposed that made this one of those life-changing moments people were always talking about. She should try to remember every detail.”
This was my first Susan Mallery read; now I see what all the fuss was about… it was exceptional! I adored this trio of women and had the utmost respect for them. There were three separate story lines going at once, yet they occasionally intersect and combined in a well-crafted and perfected paced manner. I felt an instant connection to this trio although I have absolutely nothing in common with either of them. The writing was involving, emotive, and engrossing. The problems facing each of the friends were realistic and at times appeared untenable, yet the plot held my attention beginning to end and resolved in the best possible fashion. More please.
About the Author
With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years.
RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.
Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at