Published by Orion
Published on 14th August 2014
An insightful and witty new novel from the bestselling author of WHAT WOMEN WANT, Fanny Blake’s delightful story celebrates the passionate and emotional lives women lead as wives, mothers and grandmothers. A powerful family drama filled with warmth and wisdom.
Beth is a woman in supreme control of all aspects of her life and family, with a stellar career and her house an oasis of calm. Her closest friend, Megan, is very different; somehow she swims through the chaos of her family with ease, the clutter on the stairs, the cat footprints on the kitchen work space. And while they could not be more different, Beth and Megan have a genuine friendship built on years of laugher, tears and true understanding of each othersa's strengths and weaknesses. Because that's what friends do, isn't it? But when Beth's daughter reveals a surprising secret, a wedge is driven between Beth and Megan. What begins as mild recrimination and misunderstanding develops into a full-blown row and then a simmering feud. As the two women square up to do battle in the London suburbs, there's everything to play for. All's fair in love and war...
With her wisdom, insight and wicked humour, Fanny Blake shines a light on to female friendships, in this delicious tale of two so-called best friends.
What People are saying:
‘Realistic, funny and utterly delightful. I loved it’ - Katie Fforde
‘I love that she writes about women our age, and the painful and wise truths we know’ - Marian Keyes
‘A breath of fresh air, something lovely to read on a summer’s day or a beach-read’ - Pretty Little Memoirs Blog
‘With realistic, easy-to-relate-to characters and a plot full of twists and turns; I couldn't put it down’ - Talli Roland, Author.
Inspiration for With a Friend Like You
Conversations with friends are one of the many places where I find inspiration for my novels. So it was when, over a bottle of wine, Marnie told me a long and tortuous story about a friend of hers who had fallen out apparently irretrievably with her own sister. One of sister A’s children had claimed one of sister B’s had hurt them. Sister B’s child denied it. Each sister took their own child’s side and they hadn’t spoken since. Naturally, this caused a huge rift between them and their families.
That got me thinking. I didn’t want to use the exact story I had been told. Instead I twisted it into another shape. What was the next best thing to sisters? Two very close female friends. What if one of their children did something to make the two women fall out? What would hurt another woman badly?
Friendship between women is so important. My closest friends are all women who I see often. They can reach the parts where sometimes even the best husband and children can’t. I trust them implicitly. We make each other laugh. We listen to each other and we provide whatever support we can in times of trouble.
I enjoy writing about women of a certain age. My four novels have all been about women and the issues that face them, marriage, children, family, the work-life balance, aging, friendship and so on. My last novel, The Secrets Women Keep was about the secrets that are kept within a marriage, about how impossible it is to know your partner completely.
So, my latest, With a Friend Like You, is about two close friends, Beth and Megan. When Beth finds out that her daughter Ella is pregnant, she’s stunned. Then she learns that instead of confiding in her own mother, Ella went to Megan first. Worse, Megan - the woman with whom Beth shares everything - didn’t tell Beth. Their friendship has been betrayed.
But this is just the beginning. The truth is that Beth hasn’t shared everything with Megan either. Their friendship is not quite the rock that they believed it to be. Their falling out is the start of an unravelling that gathers momentum until a far more shocking revelation is made.
It’s amazing what can come out of a having a drink with a friend!
With a Friend Like You (Orion) and The Secrets Women Keep (Orion) by Fanny Blake are both out now
About Fanny Blake:
Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written various non-fiction titles, acted as ghost writer for a number of celebrities, and is also Books Editor of WOMAN & HOME magazine.