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Publisher Description


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 Saints for All Occasions (named one of the Washington Post's Ten Best Books of the Year and a New York Times Critics' Pick).

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 order, 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.

Fiction & Literature
June 30
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

kaykaybean13 ,

A book of a young mother in a new town who relies perhaps too heavily on her college aged nanny

A young mom who moves out of NYC and has stopped working while on maternity leave is struggling to find her footing in a new suburb that’s hours away from her old home. She puts in an ad up at local college and finds a nanny for her son while she’s getting back into part time writing again and soon she begins to form a friendship and strong reliance on her nanny. She crosses her bounds with the girl in the end by making a calculating call to a friend to get her a coveted job interview which would keep her in the city instead of moving to London to live with a boyfriend who’s too old, who has been lying to her about a previous marriage and she believes she’s doing her nanny a favor. It all falls apart in the end.

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