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Friends and Strangers: The New York Times bestselling novel of female friendship and privilege

J. Courtney Sullivan

7 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

An insightful, hilarious, and compulsively readable novel about a complicated friendship between two women who are at two very different stages in life, from the best-selling author of Maine and The Engagements.

THE PERFECT BOOK GROUP SUMMER READ FROM BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF THE ENGAGEMENTS AND MAINE

'I LOVED IT' Meg Wolitzer, author of The Female Persuasion
'HER BEST YET' Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Daisy Jones & The Six
'A SMART AND DEEPLY COMPELLING EXPLORATION OF FEMALE FRIENDSHIP' Tom Perrotta, author of The Leftovers
'CAPTIVATING, WISE AND LAUGH-OUT-LOUD FUNNY' Ann Napolitano, author of Dear Edward

Elisabeth, an accomplished journalist and new mother, is struggling to adjust to life in a small town after nearly twenty years in New York City. Alone in the house with her infant son all day (and awake with him much of the night), she feels uneasy, adrift. She neglects her work, losing untold hours to her Brooklyn moms' Facebook group, her "influencer" sister's Instagram feed, and text messages with the best friend she never sees anymore.

Enter Sam, a senior at the local women's college, whom Elisabeth hires to babysit. Sam is struggling to decide between the path she's always planned on and a romantic entanglement that threatens her ambition. She's worried about student loan debt and what the future holds. In short, they grow close. But when Sam finds an unlikely kindred spirit in Elisabeth's father-in-law, the true differences between the women's lives become starkly revealed and a betrayal has devastating consequences.

A masterful exploration of motherhood, power dynamics, and privilege in its many forms, Friends and Strangers reveals how a single year can shape the course of a life.

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Praise for Friends and Strangers: The New York Times bestselling novel of female friendship and privilege

  • J. Courtney Sullivan is a writer of extraordinary gifts, and this is her most affecting book yet, which I just wanted to keep reading and reading straight through to its climactic and emotional last pages, because its world felt completely realized, and completely real. Sullivan is a writer who offers up small human moments and large social ones, all within the frame of a truly good story. I loved it - Meg Wolitzer, best-selling author of THE FEMALE PERSUASION

  • I have long been a fan of J. Courtney Sullivan's insightful and rich novels-Friends and Strangers is her best yet! Sullivan has a stunning ability to capture the tenderness and frailty of human relationships. Her newest is a poignant, wise, big-hearted novel full of complicated women doing their best and striving to do better. - Taylor Jenkins Reid, best-selling author of DAISY JONES & THE SIX

  • This book pokes at the sometimes troubling relationship between caregivers and mothers, and what starts out as a sweet and straightforward story evolves into something more nuanced and complex - Vogue

  • Sullivan . . . writes with empathy for her characters even as she reveals their flaws and shortcomings. And while the story she tells focuses primarily on two women from different backgrounds and at different stages of life, it also illuminates broader issues about money, privilege, and class; marriage, family, and friendship; and the duelling demands of career and domesticity with which many women struggle. This perceptive novel about a complex friendship between two women resonates as broadly as it does deeply - Kirkus

  • Sullivan's intimate, incisive latest explores the evolving friendship between a new mother and her babysitter . . . Readers will be captivated by Sullivan's authentic portrait of modern motherhood - Publishers Weekly

  • Friends and Strangers is a smart and deeply compelling exploration of female friendship and the complicated politics of motherhood and childcare. J. Courtney Sullivan is a shrewd and sympathetic observer of our current cultural moment, with an unerring eye for the way that the unspoken realities of money and class can affect even our most intimate relationships - Tom Perrotta, best-selling author of THE LEFTOVERS

  • J. Courtney Sullivan is one of our great literary treasures, and Friends and Strangers is permeated with her brilliance and heart. The novel is a captivating, wise, laugh-out-loud-funny story about the life-changing friendship between Elisabeth, a new mom, and Sam, her college-age babysitter. I loved this novel from the first word to the last. - Ann Napolitano, best-selling author of DEAR EDWARD

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J. Courtney Sullivan

J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN is the New York Times best-selling author of the novels The Engagements, Maine, and Commencement. Maine was named a 2011 Time magazine Best Book of the Year and a Washington Post Notable Book. The Engagements was one of People Magazine's Top Ten Books of 2013 and an Irish Times Best Book of the Year, and has been translated into seventeen languages. She has contributed to The New York Times Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, New York magazine, Elle, Glamour, Allure, Real Simple, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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