With a Friend Like You by Fanny Blake
Beth is a woman in supreme control of all aspects of her life and family, with a stellar career and her house an oasis of calm. Her closest friend, Megan, is very different; somehow she swims through the chaos of her family with ease, the clutter on the stairs, the cat footprints on the kitchen work space. And while they could not be more different, Beth and Megan have a genuine friendship built on years of laughter, tears and true understanding of each other's strengths and weaknesses. Because that's what friends do, isn't it?
But when Beth's daughter reveals a surprising secret, a wedge is driven between Beth and Megan. What begins as mild recrimination and misunderstanding develops into a full-blown row and then a simmering feud. As the two women square up to do battle in the London suburbs, there's everything to play for. All's fair in love and war...
Beth and Megan have been friends for over twenty years. Megan even introduced Beth to Jon who was to become Beth's husband. Their families grew up together and Megan was always around to help career driven Beth by looking after her children when needed.
All that changes when Beth's oldest daughter Ella faces a life changing situation and confides in Megan before she tells her mum. Beth finds this out eventually and can't understand why Megan kept it a secret. She cuts Megan out of her life completely but things do not always go to plan and Beth will realise that cutting Megan from her life may not be that easy.
This is the first book I have read by Fanny Blake and I'm glad to say I enjoyed it. It explores the relationship between two best friends as well as the mother/daughter and mother /son relationship.
I understood completely why Beth felt hurt at her daughter confiding in Megan but what I found harder to understand was her lack of forgiveness and the fact that she blamed Megan who was only trying to do her best in an awkward situation.
Beth soon became an unlikeable character for me. I really wanted someone to give her a good talking to.
Megan on the other hand I liked and thought her a good friend to Beth.
Jake, Megan's son I liked one minute and the next I wanted to slap him. When you read the book you'll know what I mean. Ella was a typical teenager who thought she knew it all and could move mountains. I wanted Beth to listen to her more instead of scoring points over Megan.
I liked the glimpse into the working lives of Megan as a lawyer and Beth as a deputy head of a school.
I laughed at the meetings of the book club and how Megan and Beth tried to hide that they weren't on friendly terms.
Any book that can stir emotions in the reader as this did for me must be classed as a good read.
This is a very human story about something that lots of families may be having to deal with at this very moment. Some handle it well and some don't. As I said it's a very human story.
Amazon UK here