Title: Four Friends by Robyn Carr
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr comes the story of four friends determined to find their stride. Ultimately, they’ll discover what it means to be a wife, mother, lover, friend…and most important: your true self.
Gerri can’t decide what’s more devastating: learning her rock-solid marriage has big cracks, or the anger she feels as she tries to repair them. Always the anchor for friends and her three angst-ridden teenagers, it’s time to look carefully at herself. The journey is more than revealing—it’s transforming.
Andy doesn’t have a great track record with men, and she’s come to believe that a lasting love is out of reach. When she finds herself attracted to her down-to-earth contractor—a man without any of the qualities that usually appeal to her—she questions everything she thought she wanted in life.
Sonja’s lifelong pursuit of balance is shattered when her husband declares he’s through with her New Age nonsense and walks out. There’s no herbal tonic or cleansing ritual that can restore her serenity—or her sanity.
Miraculously, it’s BJ, the reserved newcomer to Mill Valley, who steps into their circle and changes everything. The woman with dark secrets opens up to her neighbors, and together they get each other back on track, stronger as individuals and unfaltering as friends.
Robyn Carr’s Four Friends is a beautiful novel about four women whose close friendship becomes a saving grace as they are each faced with life altering decisions.
Gerri, Andy and Sonja are long time neighbors whose lives fall apart right around the same time. Andy’s second marriage to a younger man comes to a dramatic end just as Gerri learns devastating news that leaves her questioning her twenty four year marriage. Sonja has worked hard to find peace and tranquility in her life, but when her husband leaves her, she descends into a deep depression. BJ is a newcomer to the neighborhood who mainly keeps to herself, but it is her astute observations that alert Gerri and Andy to Sonja’s frightening despondency.
The least complicated story arc is Andy’s unexpected romance with Bob, the carpenter who is renovating her kitchen. Bob is nothing at all like the men Andy usually dates and her feelings for him catch her completely by surprise. Bob is older, shy, a little overweight but so incredibly sweet and understanding. Their relationship begins as friendship but soon transforms into a romance that is very heartwarming.
The storyline with BJ is also fairly simple. She has a passing acquaintance with the other three women but she is rather enigmatic and closely guards her privacy. After getting Sonja into treatment for her depression, Gerri, Andy and BJ finally become closer but BJ still remains tightlipped about her past. By the novel’s end, her secrets are revealed and surprisingly enough, she and Sonja form a tight bond.
Sonja’s part of the novel is the most serious and she undergoes the biggest transformation. At first a new agey, health nut, she is absolutely stunned when her husband leaves her. She immediately falls apart and her friends get her into treatment right away, but they are slow to realize how seriously depressed she is. Once she gets the intense therapy she needs, Sonja faces her painful past and emerges much stronger and more self-aware.
Although Gerri and her husband Phil lead very hectic lives, they do a wonderful job balancing demanding jobs and parenting duties. But Phil has been keeping a secret that leads to a (hopefully) temporary separation as Gerri tries to come to terms with her hurt and anger. Gerri is quite contemplative as she searches for answers that can help her understand how she and Phil could be so far apart in how they view their marriage. A short-term crisis involving their children reunites the estranged couple but their future remains uncertain.
Four Friends by Robyn Carr is an engaging novel with a realistic plot and appealing characters. The women’s struggles are true to life and easy to relate to. The friendships are strong and enduring and while they do not always agree with one another’s decisions, their support for one another is unwavering. A heartfelt and poignant story that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend.