Thursday, January 25, 2024

Review - - The Friendship Club

The Friendship Club: A Novel
by Robyn Carr
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: January 23, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

Four women come together at a tumultuous time in their lives, forging an unbreakable bond that will leave them all forever changed.

Celebrity cooking show host Marni McGuire has seen it all. She’s been married—twice—and widowed and divorced. Now in her midfifties, she’s single. Happily so. She just needs to convince her pregnant daughter, Bella, of this fact. And maybe convince herself, too. Especially after Marni’s efforts to humor her determined daughter result in a series of disastrous dates that somehow prompt Marni to wonder if maybe the right man for her is still out there after all.   

Similarly single, Marni’s best friend and colleague is confident she’s content without a man, but both older women soon find themselves leading by example as the young intern on their show appears caught in a toxic relationship—and Bella reveals her own marriage maybe isn’t built to withstand the stresses of the baby on the way.

Suddenly, all four women find themselves at a crossroads, each navigating the challenges of dating, marriage, loneliness and love. Thankfully, they have each other to lean on. The realities of modern love are far from easy, but there’s no better group to have in your corner than friends who will lift you up, no matter what, and hold fast in the face of any storm.

PJ's Thoughts:

Robyn Carr explores the intersecting lives of four women of multiple generations in her newest women's fiction novel The Friendship Club. I enjoy reading about characters at different stages of life and Sophia, Bella, Ellen, and Marni provide plenty of food for thought as they each approach a crossroads with the possibility of taking them in new, and in some cases unexpected, directions. Carr does a good job of making all of these women - and their circumstances - relatable. While they range in age from twenty-two to sixty, they're developed in such a way that I was able to identify and empathize with all of them even if I had not shared their individual experiences.

The female bonding and support is strong in this book, something I enjoy in real life and on the page. I appreciated the banter among the women, the fun they have, the secrets they share, the way they challenge one another but also have each other's backs, the empowerment that results from that. I also like the fact that Ellen and Marni, at ages when many are contemplating retirement, step forward into new opportunities. Reinventing oneself never goes out of style. 

While the primary focus of this book is on the evolution of the women, there are also romantic elements. Some of the women find themselves entering into promising relationships as well as finding peace with past partners. A marriage faces emotional challenges during an IVF pregnancy, and, as in real life, one toxic relationship goes off the rails. There may be readers who are triggered by this. 

Finally, as one who uses baking to deal with stress, I love Marni's multi-tier cake. Okay, let's be honest, I love everything Marni cooks and bakes in this book. It had me drooling and ready to hit the kitchen myself. Also, as someone who was primary caregiver to my late husband for many years, I closely identify with Ellen and the emotional challenges she needs to overcome in order to move forward into a new relationship. I felt like I was right there with her, facing those emotional hurdles, and feeling an immense sense of relief when she conquered them.

If you enjoy women's fiction, strong female friendships, overcoming adversity, and starting over wiser and stronger, give Robyn Carr's The Friendship Club a try. 

Content Warnings: stalking, abusive relationship, cheating


  1. I thank you for this review. Ms Carr is an amazing writer. Thanks for the review, and as always, thanks for making me want another book.

  2. Thanks for your review PJ. I am a life long fan of Robyn Carr's and her book will be my next read.

    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Kathleen!

  3. Loved this book, I so wanted to take my time reading but I just couldn’t put it down. Loved the friendships of these women.

  4. I enjoy Robyn Carr's books. Her characters are realistic, well developed, and as you said relatable. The situations and life choices are those we have seen, sometimes experienced, and understand. It is easy to become invested in her stories. This is sure to be another good read she has given us.