by Sally Koslow, author of With Friends like These
For marriage, brides and grooms start with nothing less than the Ten Commandments to find practical suggestions for keeping things afloat. (“Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery.” Just saying.) When we become parents, we’re smothered with advice. But with friendship, rewarding and as essential to good mental health as it may be—which medical studies confirm—we’re basically on our own, trying to parse this complex relationship from that first moment when some two-year-old creep in the sandbox steals our shovel.
At the bookstore, the non-fiction shelf about friendship has never held much sway for me. The best insights I’ve gotten about friendship have been in novels because, as a wise man I know once said, if you want to tell the truth, you write fiction. This is why I hope you’ll read With Friends like These, my tale of four “achingly real” (that’s Publishers Weekly talking) women who find their close bonds unraveling after ten years.
When the women in my new novel became friends, they were single. Now there are three husbands, one boyfriend and a couple of kids, which add layers of complications to friendships that were once as clear and golden as a glass of Chardonnay. When opportunity presents itself, should the women do what’s right for their friend or their family? Their loyalties start to conflict, and since none of these characters is perfect (who is?) each woman justifies her own behavior. Guilt, regret and, yes, forgiveness enter the picture.
I decided to write With Friends like These inspired by a bad patch with a good friend. A few years ago, my husband and I hoped to move. The morning after I saw what I was sure was my dream home I described its perfection to a pal. Later that day, our bid was accepted and a contract, drawn. But sooner than you can scream “No!” my friend’s boyfriend made a play for the very same place, thanks to the inside information she shared.
Crash, bam, betrayal! Let’s just say this put a serious crimp in our friendship. And yet, once again, we’re friends.
Readers have shared with me that With Friends like These made them think hard about friendships in their life, those that nourish them every day as well as ones that got snuffed out due to careless actions. Have you ever been or had a less-than-perfect friend? Then this, my friend, is a book for you.
SALLY KOSLOW is the author of The Late, Lamented Molly Marx and Little Pink Slips. Her essays have been published in More, The New York Observer, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among other publications. She was the editor in chief of both McCall’s and Lifetime, was an editor at Mademoiselle and Woman’s Day, and has taught creative writing at the Writing Institute of Sarah Lawrence College. Her latest release is With Friends Like These. The mother of two sons, she lives in New York City with her husband. You can visit Sally Koslow’s website at www.sallykoslow.com.
With Friends Like These is available for purchase at http://www.amazon.com/Friends-Like-These-Novel/dp/0345506227