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Ratings and Book Reviews (24 63 star ratings
24 reviews
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4.7 out of 5
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    Loved the characters.

    Great story and loved the characters. Ellen and Unity both went on an emotional journey when they thought they were just going to mark a few things off of their list. Ellen had a son when she was just a teenager. Now she is in her 30's, her son is thinking about college and she has never had an adult relationship. Unity is a widow in her 30's and is quite content living in her husband's old bedroom and running a business out of her garage. Then one day she gets kicked out of the pickleball league and then the grief counseling group. She really doesn't need to change, does she? When she meets a very nice man, she is scared to death. What should she do? She realizes that she has closed off her life from love, but if she lets someone else in, what about her husband? Will she lose what she had with him? Ellen has been good friends with Keith for a long time, but when she starts wearing the correct size clothing (one item on the list), he really notices her. Then their relationship changes. But if Ellen gives into love, what will Keith expect of her? Her parents seem to put a price on love, so he will probably make some rules for them to follow. Can she do that? Both women have to do some changing and growing. It is a painful process, but necessary. Can they do it?
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    A humourous look at friendships

    I love to read a book about strong female friendships and this is certainly the case in The Friendship List. Ellen is a thirty-something single Mom whose son is about to enter his last year of high school. She is quite happy with her life - she enjoys her work, her friends and her son who has turned out to be an amazing kid. She overhears her son remark to his friend that he won’t be applying to colleges away from home. He explains that his Mom would be lost without him, that he’s all she has. This conversations forces Ellen to re-examine her current life- is she as happy as she could be? She knows she doesn’t want her son to miss the experience of living in a college residence because of her. Unity is a thirty-something widow having lost her husband three years ago. She has built a successful business as a handyman, and enjoys socializing with the seniors she meets while working for them. But she just can’t move past the loss of her husband. In fact, she has inherited her husband’s childhood home and chooses to sleep in his childhood bed. The women decide that in order to challenge each other to move outside of their comfort zone they will develop a list of tasks to be completed by the end of summer. What transpires guarantees changes in each women that extend far beyond the list. I enjoyed reading this humorous look at friendships and relationships that enhance and push us in life. These women, in my opinion, initially act much older than their stated ages. Having said that, each has experienced tremendous challenges in their lives created by circumstances beyond their control. The characters are well developed and the story engaging and show insecurities that many women also experience. I recommend this story to fans of women’s fiction and humour. Thanks to Edelweiss and Harlequin for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here
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    Inspiring & Entertaining

    For the most part, I really liked this book. I think there is a real grain of bitter reality in this inspiring and entertaining read. I thought Ellen and Unity were easy to relate to and I think that more than just one reader is going to spot some reflection of themselves in these characters. I thought the story was engaging involving. As someone who clings to my comfort zone, detests change and has personally suffered loss and has had a very difficult time letting go and moving on, I felt this book spoke to me on a extremely personal level. I enjoyed these two getting their "wake-up" call and the journey they undertook to make changes in their lives. My one pet peeve with the book was that I felt these drastic changes simply went too smoothly. Other than that, I thought that this was a winner. A great read about self, friendship, family and romance. This is my sincere review that I am posting of my own accord.
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    Friendship

    The Friendship List by Susan Mallery Two childhood friends One a widow the other a single parent Both have baggage they need to deal with Why? They need to move on with their lives and truly live! A catalyst is needed but will it be enough? Are they ready and willing to change? And, if willing, will they be able to do what is necessary? What I liked: * The friendship between Unity and Ellen * The eventual personal growth of both women * The fact that both women were able to earn a good living in spite of everything * Dagmar – Unity’s wise older friend with good sense and years of experience * The teens…sometimes they seemed more mature than the adults * Thaddeus: a good man that deserved the best – a great book boyfriend * Keith: a coach, father, and overall good man though a bit neurotic about keeping his daughter safe * That there was a happy ending for all What I didn’t like: * More a quibble than a dislike- I had a bit of difficulty believing that two 34-year-old women would behave as Unity and Ellen did…they seemed, in some ways, to have been stunted in their teens although their backstories indicated why this might have happened * Wondering what happened to Luka – missed him in the epilogue Did I enjoy this book? For the most part Would I read more books by this author? Yes Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for the ARC – This is my honest review. 3-4 Stars
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    Two women find themselves again

    Ellen Fox is a thirty-four year old teacher who is also a single mom to seventeen year old Cooper. It's only been them their whole lives since his father didn't want anything to do with him. Ellen always thought she was doing a great job raising her son until she overhears him one day saying he can't go away to his dream college because he can't leave his mom because she needs him. This causes Ellen to rethink her whole life with her lifelong, best friend, Unity Leandre. Unity is a thirty-four year old widow who lost her husband, Stuart, three years ago in combat. Ellen and Unity both realize that they are not truly living life and each come up with a list stating all of the things they wanted to do by the end of summer. The one who does the most on their list wins a weekend at the fancy spa paid for by the other! Ellen is also good friends with Coach Keith Kinne, who coaches Coop in football. Keith is a divorced, single dad of seventeen year old Lissa. When Ellen and Coop go on a three week college visit bus tour with Keith, Lissa, and other high school students, sparks start to fly between Ellen and Keith. At first they are not sure if they want to cross that line, but once they do, Ellen realizes all that she has been missing out on. When Ellen confesses her list to Keith, he is determined to help her cross more items off of it. While Ellen is gone for three weeks, Unity meets Thaddeus Roake, great-nephew of one of her elderly clients. Unity is drawn to Thaddeus, but is also reluctant to move past grieving for Stuart. As Unity and Thaddeus spend more time together, Unity is starting to realize that she is also missing out on many things in her life. Just when it looks like she might move past Stuart, panic sets in and Unity withdraws from life. It will take a lot of soul searching for both Ellen and Unity to understand how they have been actually living their lives and make the changes necessary for them to both be truly happy but in the end, they will both find their happy ending. I really enjoyed this story. I liked all of the characters, especially the interaction between the teenagers. Some of the things that the adults talked to the teenagers about I was a little skeptical because I know most teenagers do not talk about those topics with most adults but it still made for fun entertainment. Overall this was a fun story about two women finding themselves again.

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