City of Friends by Joanna Trollope, Macmillan.
Four London postcodes, four female friendships spanning uni, plus 30 years of high-power careers. Joanna Trollope deftly weaves the comings and goings of bustling households; working women juggling cooking and caring and the unexpected changes that wreak havoc at around 50, when life was supposed to be easy. Partner in a private equity company Stacey, 47, suggests she work flexi hours from home when her mother is diagnosed with dementia. Her male boss thanks her for making her “pending” redundancy a walk in the park. Single mum Melissa advises corporations where their weaknesses lie, but her strength disappears when her 15-yearold son befriends his newly found father. Gaby, MD of a global bank’s investment division, out-earns her husband but won’t give Stacey work. Beth is a best-selling book and buzzword writer for her thinking on ways workforces need to change, but when girlfriend Claire tries to claim half her property, she’s left speechless. With ugly (non) disclosures about to surface in this city of friends, “this is the kind of thing you just can’t row back from. Not even us.”