Saturday 22 August 2015

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 laugher, 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...
With her wisdom, insight and wicked humour, Fanny Blake shines a light on to female friendships, in this delicious tale of two so-called best friends.

With A Friend Like You by Fanny Blake was published in paperback by Orion on 13 August 2015.

This story of how a very close friendship can suddenly break down and turn into an on-going, and at times, quite vicious feud is expertly written with wonderfully perceptive observations that at times could prove to be uncomfortably familiar to some readers.

Two families whose friendship has grown over many years. Two couples who have lived out their lives together; meeting, falling in love, marrying, becoming parents, raising their children. They have shared everything, from holidays to parenting duties. Each couple have two children, and these children have been raised as a family. They've shared everything, and become closer and closer as the years have passed.

Beth and Megan are the two mothers in this story. Two very different women. Beth is a confident career women, her life is organised, her house is neat and tidy, she is in control. Megan is a teacher, she bakes cakes, her cushions may be battered and worn and there may be stray cat hairs in the kitchen, but she is warm and funny and intelligent. Her parenting style is more laid-back, she's happy when her family is happy. Beth and Megan may be opposites but their friendship is strong. They are loyal to each other, they are confidantes and soul mates.

When Beth's daughter Ella announces her news, the link between these two families is both strengthened, yet shattered, and from that moment things will change, and will never ever be quite the same again.

Fanny Blake takes the much overlooked in literature, fifty-something female and proves that the older woman is far more interesting and much more complicated than the more traditional heroines who tend to be younger and taking their first steps into adult life. With A Friend Like You will touch a nerve for many readers, exposing as it does, the complex and often painful truths about women and their friendships,

There are times when both Beth and Megan behave appallingly, and whilst I personally had much more sympathy for Megan, there were times that  I empathised with Beth, and if I'm honest, was quite impressed by her. Beth's ability to touch the exact tender spot, to inflict the worst possible pain with only words as a weapon is quite brilliant.

With A Friend Like You is a in-depth examination of female friendship, it considers many issues, and is assured and at times, very funny. Whilst Beth and Megan are most certainly the stars of the story, their families are also portrayed realistically, each with their own individual and well rounded characters.

A really wonderful novel, I enjoyed every minute of it, and eagerly anticipate her next book.

My thanks to Emma from Orion who sent my copy for review.

Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer.
She has written various non-fiction books, acted as a ghost writer for a number of celebrities, and is also Books Editor of Woman & Home magazine.

To find out more visit her website at

Find her on Facebook : FannyBlakeBooks

Follow her on Twitter @FannyBlake1

By Fanny Blake:
What Women Want
Women of a Dangerous Age
The Secrets Women Keep
With A Friend Like You


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