Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: Four Friends by Robyn Carr

In Four Friends by Robyn Carr, we meet Gerri, Andy, Sonja and BJ who all live on the same block in Mill Valley. As the book opens, there are really three friends and the outsider, BJ. Gerri, Andy and Sonja meet every morning for a walk and marvel as BJ speeds by on her daily run. One by one, each of the walkers experience turbulence in their marriages and lean on each other for support far greater than accompaniment on a morning walk. Even BJ breaks down her walls and is drawn into the circle of women and offers support.

The first marriage to crumble is Andy's; it is her second marriage and she grieves more about being twice divorced than the loss of her second husband. Her contractor, Bob, offers companionship as he finishes up the kitchen renovation in the wake of her depositing her husband's belongings on the front lawn. Bob is different from the young, pretty boys Andy has generally dated and she is surprised at her feelings for him. While Andy is moving on with Bob, Sonja's husband George abruptly informs her he is tired of the clean living, zen lifestyle she has imposed upon him. Sonja, a practitioner of yoga and meditation, becomes undone at the break-up of her marriage and plunges into a deep depression. Surprisingly, it is BJ who sees the seriousness of Sonja's condition and presses Gerri and Andy to intervene. Her leap to help Sonja breaks down the wall she has put up and the women begin to learn of her difficult history.

The main story, however, centers around Gerri and her marital issues. Married to Phil with three adolescent children, Gerri believes her marriage to be solid and considers Phil her best friend. They are so focused on keeping everything moving with their two demanding jobs and children with the usual assortment of crises that Gerri has lost sight of the fact that there is little romance in their marriage. It is brought to her attention when she learns that Phil had an affair a number of years ago. Gerri is shaken to the core by this news and promptly moves Phil out of the house while they attend counseling and try to salvage their marriage.

My Thoughts
This book was an easy, enjoyable read and it was fun to sit in on this group of friends as they managed through their trials. The character that resonated the most with me was Gerri - her feelings for Phil and the future of their marriage were multidimensional and believable. Her story was also the best developed and was really the centerpiece of the novel.  The other women and the friendship between the four was a supporting cast to Gerri and Phil's story. Most readers will be able to see themselves or their friends in one or more of the women.

5 comments:

  1. I love books about female friendships but find it sad that all of their marriages are in trouble.

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  2. I love books where you can see yourself and others you know. Great review.

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  3. I enjoyed this book too. Loved the friends!

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  4. I felt the same way about this book.

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  5. This book sounds like one I would enjoy.

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