Friends and Strangers

Friends and Strangers

An insightful, hilarious, and compulsively readable novel about a complicated friendship between two women who are at two very different stages in life, from the best-selling author of Maine and Saints for All Occasions (named one of the Washington Post's Ten Best Books of the Year and a New York Times Critics' Pick).

Elisabeth, an accomplished journalist and new mother, is struggling to adjust to life in a small town after nearly twenty years in New York City. Alone in the house with her infant son all day (and awake with him much of the night), she feels uneasy, adrift. She neglects her work, losing untold hours to her Brooklyn moms' Facebook group, her "influencer" sister's Instagram feed, and text messages with the best friend she never sees anymore.

Enter Sam, a senior at the local women's college, whom Elisabeth hires to babysit. Sam is struggling to decide between the path she's always planned on and a romantic entanglement that threatens her ambition. She's worried about student loan debt and what the future holds. In short order, they grow close. But when Sam finds an unlikely kindred spirit in Elisabeth's father-in-law, the true differences between the women's lives become starkly revealed and a betrayal has devastating consequences.

A masterful exploration of motherhood, power dynamics, and privilege in its many forms, Friends and Strangers reveals how a single year can shape the course of a life.

Title:Friends and Strangers
ISBN:9780525520597
Format Type:

    Friends and Strangers Reviews

  • Paromjit

    J. Courtney Sullivan writes a slow paced human drama, an emotional, insightful and compassionate look at a new mother and her babysitter's relationship as she peels back the layers beyond the initial ...

  • Brandice

    Friends and Strangers explores the relationship between Elizabeth, a new mom and writer, who has recently relocated from New York City to a small town with her husband, and Sam, an ambitious college s...

  • Michelle

    DNF at 50%Unfortunately, I have to let this one go. The writing is good and I can relate to a lot regarding the perspective of being. A young mother, but it’s a lot of talking about issues and nothi...

  • Ron Charles

    “Babysitter,” “nanny,” “caregiver,” “au pair” — we have many names for the people we welcome into our homes to tend what is most precious to us. As parents know, it’s a relationshi...

  • Barbara

    I listened to “Friends and Strangers” by J. Courtney Sullivan, performed by Kate Rudd. I loved it. Rudd did a fantastic job, and the story is compelling to me as a mother and a past babysitter.In ...

  • SundayAtDusk

    This is a 400-page story about Elisabeth and Sam. Elisabeth is a published author in her 30s who has moved to a college town where her in-laws live. Her husband is pursuing an invention idea, and she ...

  • Alisa

    Idk... this one felt like a good written piece of literature, however, completely lacking in climax or some sort of movement. It felt to me like a very poor imitation of Sally Rooney 🤷🏻‍♀️...

  • Nawal QC

    Verdict is still out on whether or not I recommend this fiction story about a mom and her babysitter, which ultimately sank into issues of wealth, class, relationship deceit, boundaries and life choic...

  • Celia

    Elisabeth is a journalist who has successfully published two previous narrative non-fiction books. She is trying to write a third. She is a new mother of 6 month old Gil. She needs to find a nanny to ...

  • Jamie

    This book was a miss for me and I skimmed over a lot. The characters were hard to relate to and hard to even like. This author is a hit or miss for me and even though I liked the beginning of this boo...