Author: Annie Cathryn
Narrator: Brenda Scott Wlazlo
Audiobook Length: 8 hours 18 minutes
A plucky protagonist who’s far from figuring it all out—but powers through with wit and determination—Fallon is a heroine millennial moms will instantly connect with.
Fallon Monroe, mother of one, self-help book junkie, and budding chocolatier, has always relied on her mom friends in the Chicago suburbs to get her through the trials of adulthood. So when her bestie Beatrice inexplicably starts ghosting her and takes all their mutual friends with her, Fallon’s left wondering how everything went so wrong. Pushing down a lifetime of insecurities, Fallon doubles down and decides to win them back. First, she hosts an epic Mexican fiesta that goes epically wrong. Then she joins a friendship app but discovers a disturbing secret about one of her new friends.
Just when she’s about to throw in the towel on the whole friendship mess, Fallon reads a recently unearthed letter she’d refused to deal with decades earlier—and reading it forces her to finally face the deep-seated fears she’d desperately tried to bury. Now, looking at her friendships through fresh eyes, she must decide between hanging on and letting go.
Fallon is an instantly likeable heroine—as vulnerable as she is determined—and she’ll have readers eagerly turning the pages as they join her on an emotional journey into the hopes and fears of adulthood.
The Friendship Breakup is an interesting story about a mom who is working on trying to figure out her life now that she is on the verge of turning forty and her friendships are not how she thought they would be. While I have read a lot of stories before around friendships and motherhood, they are usually surrounding single moms who are in the middle of a romance type journey. This one instead finds Fallon already married and instead focused on all the other aspects in her life. As Fallon lives in suburbia and does not work the nine to five type jobs, she had the time and money to do things like hang out with other moms, go to all the school events, etc., so this will not be relatable to every type of reader. It can come across as very privileged as Fallon’s main problems were just surrounding herself and her friends and not a lot of the other struggles that other people go through. While this was not a criticism, it was just details that I noticed while reading.
Fallon is part of a mom group in her suburb where she has been closest with one of the mom’s named Beatrice. Seemingly out of the blue, Beatrice stops talking to Fallon and deceiving the other members of the friend group, Lila, and Vivian, that Fallon is the one pulling away. The dynamic of the mom group is nicely set up as initially the reader sees Fallon with her husband and 7-year-old daughter Maya before the reader becomes familiar with one of the moms, Eleanor, who was going through a difficult time with her husband and ended up having a public affair with the principal at her kid’s school. I’m not a fan of cheating, so I could not quite understand why Eleanor was made out to be a sympathetic character as she was cast out by the mom group. I am not sure if it was just me or if other readers will feel the same way, but I did not see it as negative that the other moms cast out Eleanor as that is their choice.
While listening to this story, it was interesting to see how the author wrote Fallon’s determination to get to the bottom of her friendship with Beatrice and the possibility of them reconciling. It is not my approach to the situation, so it was difficult to fully connect yet I still enjoyed seeing another approach. If I was in Fallon’s situation, which I have in the past, I would still be curious about what happened to end the friendship, but I would not be interested in ever being close with Beatrice or the other women in the group again. Fallon does not approach things as I would, which is a nice thing to read about as this is the beauty of fiction as they are not copies of me. The story mixes in the lighter side in a way with just a basic friendship ghosting along with heavier topics, which was unexpected. I do wish that some of these were explored in greater depth, but I do like that it felt more realistic that everything was not super clean in either how it was dealt with or how it was resolved. Fallon’s life is messy and although it may not include some stressors that others feel, this was a nice story about her experience. Overall, the author’s writing style was engaging. As I listened to the audiobook, I also felt it was easy to follow along. Based on this story, I would read more from the author in the future.
**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and Dreamscape Media for the opportunity to read this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed are completely my own.**
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