That’s What Friends are For by Marcie Steele – 4*s

That's What Friends are For by Marcie Steele

Don’t be fooled by the cover into thinking this is just another frothy, insubstantial, girlie book about shoes, sex and shopping (although to be fair those subjects do make passing appearances). It has more depth than that and follows the friendships and relationships of Sam, Louise and Nicci.

All three work together on Sam’s market stall selling fruit and veg. Sam and Louis have been friends since childhood, and Nicci is Louise’s sister. Outside of work their lives are far from harmonious.

Louise is a single mother to 15 year old Charley, and at times you wonder who is the adult. While Louise has a rather haphazard grip on her drinking and sexual liaisons, Charley is sensible, hard-working and struggling to come to terms with false sexual cyber rumours and innuendo about her, fuelled by a like mother, like daughter belief.

Sam is married to Reece, but the relationship is not all that it seems and her desire for a family seems no nearer to coming to fruition; and finally Nicci is in a relationship with Jay, who is loathe to commit after a first failed marriage.

Thrown into the mix is the return of Jay’s predatory sister Jess who makes a play for Nicci and Louise’s married brother Ryan. Her behaviour causes ripples and unrest that ultimately brings everyone’s secrets and lies out into the open.

I enjoyed this book as the storyline and characters were all very real. While the majority of characters were likeable, all were still flawed and human. It presents a realistic look at the nature of friendships and relationships that I suspect most of us can identify with, if not thankfully from direct personal experience. It doesn’t tie things up with unrealistic happy endings for all, but does resolve issues in a way that leaves you feeling satisfied.

All in all, a good, solid read, with a balance of ups and downs.

I received a review copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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