CITY OF FRIENDS by Joanna Trollope
Life is unpredictable. Careers don't span like you'd like. Neither do relationships.
City Of Friends navigates through the lives of four friends, now in their forties, whose lives steer off path...understandably. Blueprints rarely are set in stone. The downward spiral begins with Stacey, who at the beginning of the book, has a huge upset in her existence.
Stacey Grant has just lost her long time private equity job, and she has no idea how she's going to deal with the incredible sense of injustice. Sixteen years at one company, and just like that, it's over. It all started because she thought she deserved some flexibility on the job. A chance to balance life and work, and an ailing mother, who's illness was starting to demand more of her time. Would this have happened if she were a man?
Within a matter of weeks, Stacey was starting to realize that her original plan of spending long days at home with Bruno (her dog), and taking her mom to doctor's appointments wasn't going to work as seamlessly as she had anticipated. It was one thing to accept her mom's deteriorating condition, it was quite another to actually deal with it. While she thought it would be easy to rely on her three other friends, Beth, Melissa and Gaby, the reality was quite the contrary.
Everyone has their own lives, complex and rife with problems. As friendship's bonds are pushed to the limits, and secrets exposed, their relationships hang by a thin unravelling thread. One betrayal will test their friendship.
This is Joanna Trollope's twentieth novel. Her contemporary writing style resonates with modern women who like a juicy, realistic portrayal of life, in a digestible format. In the past, she's written stories that appeal to the middle-aged, middle-class woman, but through the ages she's kept up with the times, writing on topics that are relatable on a much broader level, dealing with a wider range of topics. Ultimately, it is up to the reader to decide if the modern women can attain the Holy Grail of "work-life balance"; can the modern career oriented woman "have it all?"