menu

Friends and Strangers
by J. Courtney Sullivan




Overview -
Click Here For the Autographed Copy
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) comes an insightful, hilarious, and compulsively readable novel about a complicated friendship between two women who are at two very different stages in life.

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.

  Read Full Product Description
 
Hardcover
  • Retail Price: $27.95
  • $24.31
    (Save 13%)
Add to Cart
+ Add to Wishlist
local_shippingFor Delivery
In Stock.
FREE Shipping for Club Members help
 
storeBuy Online Pickup At Store
search store by zipcode

 
 
New & Used Marketplace 116 copies from $3.87
 
Download

Format: EPUB What's this?
This item is available only to U.S. billing addresses.
 
 
 
 

Customers Also Bought

More About Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan

 
 
 

Overview

Click Here For the Autographed Copy
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) comes an insightful, hilarious, and compulsively readable novel about a complicated friendship between two women who are at two very different stages in life.

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.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525520597
  • ISBN-10: 0525520597
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: June 2020
  • Page Count: 416
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds


Related Categories

 

BookPage Reviews

Friends and Strangers

As problems go, a surfeit of money is a nice one to have. Some might argue, however, that wealth is like a set of weights: Those who have it will likely be stronger than those who don’t. But mishandle it, and the self-imposed strains can be painful.

The clash between rich and poor animates Friends and Strangers, J. Courtney Sullivan’s quietly perceptive new novel about two women on different sides of America’s economic divide: a new mother and the college-age nanny she hires for her son.

Elisabeth Ronson, a former New York Times journalist and author of two bestselling books, has moved from Brooklyn to upstate New York with her husband, Andrew, and Gil, their baby conceived through in vitro fertilization. The move was precipitated by the fellowship Andrew received from a nearby college to develop a solar-powered grill. Elisabeth won’t accept money from her rich, philandering father and insists that her needy sister, Charlotte, eager to build a lifestyle brand on Instagram, do the same.

As Sullivan skillfully shows, family is not Elisabeth’s only problem. Another is loneliness in her suburban neighborhood of stay-at-home mothers. Elisabeth also needs help caring for Gil as she struggles to write a third book, so she hires Sam, a senior at the town’s women’s college, to watch him.

Sullivan does a fine job depicting Elisabeth’s and Sam’s respective dilemmas, as Elisabeth learns to live on less money and Sam deals with her family’s meager finances. Among the well-drawn supporting characters are Clive, Sam’s English boyfriend who’s a decade her senior, and whom Elisabeth suspects may be taking advantage of her; George, Elisabeth’s father--in-law, who rails against the inequities of society; and the poorly paid staff at the college kitchen where Sam also works.

The tension sometimes wanes, but Friends and Strangers is at its best when Sullivan emphasizes the widening class difference in America between people who can afford $46 peony-scented hand soaps and those worried about meeting basic needs. Sullivan dares to further complicate her narrative by showing that financial security doesn’t guarantee happiness. The result is a poignant look at the biases of modern society.

 

BAM Customer Reviews