Joanna Trollope never disappoints me. I get into the book with a sense of anticipation! waiting gleefully to see what happens. I get the same feeling with a Susanna Kearsley or a Diana Gabaldon. New authors I've still to develop a relationship with - these are like old friends where you know you are in for a good time.
Eleanor, single retired from an active professional life, otherwise isolated has the pluck to do what others would like to do but cannot. She invites two single mothers over for Friday night - with their very young babies because she feels they are lost and alone. For want of anything better to do they go. The group gets added on. A younger hip sister of one girl, a neighbor and strong ties develop. The group is still only women - some of them single, some with kids but all struggling to get on - to make something of their lives.
The change comes about suddenly when one of them finds a partner whom she is very happy about. Paula's son Toby a very important part of the group also gets on well with him and everyone tries to adjust and be happy for Paula's sake. Cracks appear however. Jackson is not into commitment and happily ever after and he is interested in everyone and everything - particularly with an eye to business. Offering a partnership to one person of the group, making the most vulnerable member Jules an offer with her djing which gets her hopes up and Paula is left bereft not knowing which way she is going.
The story is about a bunch of women whom you can identify with immediately. We all have characters like this somewhere around us. How relationships develop, how they shatter and what effect we each have on each other is part of the story.
Nice read for the weekend.