Friday Nights: A Novel

Friday Nights: A Novel

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by Joanna Trollope

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Joanna Trollope's warm, insightful novel stars Eleanor, who invites two young mothers into her home from off the street, and slowly begins to connect with them and their friends. But when one of them meets a man, new questions are posed: can female friendships withstand the jealousies and intricacies of love?
With wit and warmth Joanna Trollope opens a window onto


Joanna Trollope's warm, insightful novel stars Eleanor, who invites two young mothers into her home from off the street, and slowly begins to connect with them and their friends. But when one of them meets a man, new questions are posed: can female friendships withstand the jealousies and intricacies of love?
With wit and warmth Joanna Trollope opens a window onto six very different women's lives, their passions and their sorrows, and explores with insight and humanity the shifting currents of friendship.

Editorial Reviews

Carolyn See
Don't be too quick to dismiss this skillfully crafted novel as mere "women's fiction." Men tend to scorn this stuff—to be seen reading it in public would be like wearing pantyhose to work. But men could learn a lot from some earnest perusal of books like these—about their own intrinsic power and, more vulgarly perhaps, their ability to score—because, despite their sincere protestations, women need men like lungs need air.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

When a British retiree invites two young single mothers from the neighborhood to her flat, a Friday night tradition begins. As their klatch widens, Trollope's memorable characters do more than just represent varying female predicaments: they develop as rich individuals who come to triumph over their pasts. Paula has a wary relationship with the married man who fathered their son, Toby: she must move on, yet stay in touch for Toby's sake. Struggling Lindsay was widowed before she gave birth, while her sister, Jules, is a careless aspiring nightclub DJ with a wild streak. Independent, put-together Blaise contrasts starkly with her often bedraggled business partner, Karen, who barely manages her role as mother and breadwinner. And then there is Eleanor, the catalyst for the gatherings, a no-nonsense older woman who, though full of wisdom and spunk, keeps her thoughts to herself unless asked. When a new man enters Paula's life, Trollope (Second Honeymoon) masterfully shows how work and romance can tip the scales in female friendships. The result is a careful and compelling examination of one man's insidious effect on a group of female friends, as memorable as it is readable. (May)

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Library Journal

Trollope (The Rector's Wife) excels at character development and realistic dialog, two talents displayed in this novel of various women drawn together-though not over a book club or knitting group, as in many other works. Retiree Eleanor often sees Paula and Lindsay, two harried young mothers, passing on the street and decides they should have time to relax. Paula and Lindsay, who have never met each other before, turn down Eleanor's offer of babysitting but are flustered enough to accept her invitation to visit her one Friday evening. The group soon expands to include Blaise, Eleanor's neighbor; Karen, Blaise's coworker; and Jules, Lindsay's younger sister. Trollope outlines each woman's history, deftly interweaving their individual stories with those of the new connections growing among them. When Paula begins dating Jackson Miller, the equilibrium of the group is altered, and as Jackson becomes a part of all of their lives, events occur that will change the group forever. Trollope's novel rings true, portraying the complexities of contemporary women's lives without sentimentality or melodrama. Recommended.
—Beth Lindsay

Kirkus Reviews
Trollope (Second Honeymoon, 2006, etc.) freshens up a tired chick-lit device, the woman's group, in this story about a group that falls apart when one of the members falls in love. Eleanor, a retired professional who never married, began the Friday night get-togethers years earlier when she noticed two young single mothers who separately looked lonely and invited them in to her home to meet each other. The father of Paula's son Toby never left his wife and family but pays Paula child support and occasionally visits Toby, now eight. Lindsay's husband died before six-year-old Noah was born. Lindsay's waiflike younger sister Jules, an aspiring DJ, begins to show up. So does Eleanor's neighbor Blaise, a business consultant who like Eleanor has chosen work over family. Blaise introduces her business partner Karen, married and struggling to balance her domestic responsibilities with her professional ambitions. The friends find comfort and support in the Friday nights spent talking and drinking wine. Then one Friday Paula arrives with her new beau Jackson, both to show him off and get her friends' approval. A pucklike figure, the charming if emotionally elusive Jackson insinuates himself into the group, triggering a mix of reactions. Lindsay resents that Paula ignores their previously close friendship for a man. Jules believes Jackson is going to give her a career. Her marriage foundering, Karen is sexually drawn to Jackson and mistakenly thinks he is interested in her. Both Blaise and Eleanor, women without other emotional ties, suffer the loss of the community they depend on. And Paula is too gaga over Jackson to pay attention to anyone else, including needy Toby. There are no villains orheroines here, just women-and men-trying to make sense of the limits that their choices and personalities have imposed on their lives. By the time Jackson slips away, or is pushed away by Paula, the characters have realigned, wiser and mostly happier. Insightful and reassuring if a little contrived.

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Bloomsbury USA
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Meet the Author

Joanna Trollope, the nationally bestselling author of seventeen other books, including Second Honeymoon, Brother & Sister, Marrying the Mistress, and The Rector's Wife, lives in Gloucestershire, England.
Joanna Trollope is the author of many highly-acclaimed novels, including The Choir, The Best of Friends, Next of Kin, Marrying the Mistress, Girl from the South and Friday Nights. Her novel Other People's Children was made into a major drama serial for the BBC. She is the author of Britannia's Daughters, a study of women in the British Empire, and has also written several romantic historical novels under the name of Caroline Harvey. Joanna was appointed OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature. She lives in London.

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Friday Nights 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always enjoyed all of Joanna Trollope's books but this one did not interest me. Too many characters and detail...was not inviting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a big Trollope fan and have read most everything she's written in the past. This book is nowhere near as good as prior efforts. The characters seem like stereotypes and I had trouble really caring about what happened to them. Hope she gets back to her usual sterling form with her next novel.
bookholiday More than 1 year ago
Great Read as usual. I was not disappointed.
Bijou1313 More than 1 year ago
Even if Joanna Trollope wasn't a master at plot lines, which she is, I'd read her books just for her writing style. Her characters are so lifelike and believable they leap off the page. In fact, I'm going to re-read this book right now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't like the dialog, or lack of. There was no real conversations, but instead 1-word answers. I love all books just for the sake of reading but I couldn't wait for this one to be over. The characters were blah and ere was no depth or real story, certainly no climax. I would not recommend this book at all. Waste of my time.
booksJT More than 1 year ago
This is the first time reading anything by this author. It was slow reading but it did pick up near the end. I felt sympathy for Paula's character. She had an out of control son and man who did't want to make any commitments. The other characters seem to bring the story full circle especially Elenor's character. She was the matriach of the group. All the women seemed to rely on her for advice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters were all over the place, I found myself not liking any of them. The story jumped from one character to another with no transition. Very hard to Get into any of the plot lines. I wouldn't buy another book from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One must like to think to enjoy this book The story is for women about women and our relationships. I took my time reading it and found it very fulfilling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the story to be poignant character study of other characters. Made me want to know more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Friday Nights was an okay book, good read, just jumps a lot to different characters.
Odie1967 More than 1 year ago
a lovely read showing how friendships among women are constantly in flux - brings to mind the poem that says people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime, when you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
found it difficult to get into.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lynne229 More than 1 year ago
Friday Nights was a quick read. It was easy to get to know the characters and to form a relationship with them. Bittersweet-the way life is. I would like to read more from Joanna Trollope.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's on sale for a reason.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everybody who thinks it's bad i think they are right. The author had bad poorly lame idea. I would NOT be suprized if this was his first and only book. I cant bejieve this scope for the book. Its not that good. I aggree with it being on sale. I mean people they put worse books for less. You can not see the characters and settig in your head. You cant make the movie in your mind. The author is hardly desriptive and you hardly know what is going on. I want to flush this book down the toilet. Plus who would want to read a book called Friday Night because it sounds like a little kids book. Oh wait it is. An adult or even a toddler will not uunderstand this story. Bye bye now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago