A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK
“[A] propulsive, deeply felt tale of race and friendship.” —People
“We Are Not Like Them will stay with you long after you turn the last page.” —Laura Dave, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me
Told from alternating perspectives, an evocative and riveting novel about the lifelong bond between two women, one Black and one white, whose friendship is indelibly altered by a tragic event—a powerful and poignant exploration of race in America today and its devastating impact on ordinary lives.
Jen and Riley have been best friends since kindergarten. As adults, they remain as close as sisters, though their lives have taken different directions. Jen married young, and after years of trying, is finally pregnant. Riley pursued her childhood dream of becoming a television journalist and is poised to become one of the first Black female anchors of the top news channel in their hometown of Philadelphia.
But the deep bond they share is severely tested when Jen’s husband, a city police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager. Six months pregnant, Jen is in freefall as her future, her husband’s freedom, and her friendship with Riley are thrown into uncertainty. Covering this career-making story, Riley wrestles with the implications of this tragic incident for her Black community, her ambitions, and her relationship with her lifelong friend.
Like Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage and Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, We Are Not Like Them explores complex questions of race and how they pervade and shape our most intimate spaces in a deeply divided world. But at its heart, it’s a story of enduring friendship—a love that defies the odds even as it faces its most difficult challenges.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Hot-button social issues hit very close to home for the women in this powerful novel, co-written by real-life friends Christine Pride and Jo Piazza. When a Philadelphia police officer is implicated in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager, best friends Jen and Riley find their lifelong bond disrupted. Jen is white and the wife of the officer in question, while Riley is Black and a TV journalist assigned to cover the headline-making story, and the incident forces both characters to confront problems they’ve chosen to ignore. Piazza, who is white, and Pride, who is Black, grapple with the all-too-real issues of bias, prejudice, injustice, and trauma in ways that feel real and raw. We Are Not Like Them reads like an extremely personal dialogue about race in America—and it’s also an emotional pageturner.
Piazza (Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win) teams up with veteran book editor Pride for a blistering and incisive story of race, friendship, and police violence in Philadelphia. Riley Wilson, who is Black, is a TV news reporter. Her best friend from childhood, Jenny Murphy, who is white, never planned to be a policeman's wife but then her white husband, Kevin, quits his sales job and becomes a cop. Jenny gets pregnant after a series of unsuccessful IVF treatments, the last of which Riley paid for, and is in her third trimester when 14-year-old Justin Dwyer, who is Black, is shot by Kevin. Riley is assigned to cover the story while Jenny nears her due date. Riley and Jenny's relationship is strained after Jenny is initially concerned for Kevin rather than Justin, who is on life support (if he dies, Kevin could be charged with murder). The circumstances feel conveniently invented in service of the premise, though the authors skillfully build tension, such as whether Riley's boss at the station will discover her conflict of interest regarding Jenny, and what will happen with Riley's relationship with her ex-boyfriend Corey, who is white. This character-driven novel ought to spark much discussion.