REVIEW: BRIDGES, BY MARIA MURNANE

 

It’s a piece of news Daphne never expected to hear: Her globe-trotting friend Skylar, who vowed never to get married, is engaged! Time to celebrate in Manhattan—Skylar’s treat, of course. After years scaling the corporate ladder, she can more than afford it.

Daphne arrives in NYC with news of her own—the novel she’s finally finished appears to be going nowhere but the trash bin of every publishing house around. She’s devastated but plans to keep her disappointment under wraps, something that becomes trickier when she sees Skylar’s spectacular apartment. Could her life have been like this if she’d chosen a different path?

What Daphne doesn’t know is she’s not the only one with a secret. Skylar and their friend KC are also holding something back, but what? As the trip unfolds, the truth about each woman emerges, along with tears.

And laughter. And love.

My Thoughts: Who doesn’t love a great friends’ weekend? I definitely couldn’t wait to curl up with these three college friends for a Manhattan getaway, to celebrate something special, and to reconnect.

Bridges was the kind of story that resonated with me, as I have always enjoyed the special connections that I’ve felt with college friends. Add in the perfect setting of Manhattan, and there is nothing better. Girl talk, sharing secrets, and even trying new things.

Daphne was my favorite character, primarily because she was a single mother and an aspiring author. I loved watching her experience her first trip to Manhattan. I could see Skylar’s world from her perspective, including visualizing the fabulous apartment that she shared with her fiancé James. I walked the streets with her and her friends. From the Brooklyn Bridge to the cute boutiques and flea markets, I felt as though I was along for the ride.

I was a little intimidated by Skylar, and even by her soon-to-be stepdaughter Sloane…until one night when Daphne lost her cool and let Skylar have it. It was inevitable that old feelings of envy might creep into their moments together, but those conflicts made them all feel very real. When envy reared its head, the air was cleared and they grew even closer.

Events unfolded in unexpected ways, and by the end of the weekend, I wanted more. More of the friends and their unique connection, and more about Daphne’s writing experiences. 5 stars.

***My e-ARC came to me from the author/publisher via NetGalley.

***

REVIEW: THOSE SECRETS WE KEEP, BY EMILY LIEBERT

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In the year following the sudden death of her sister Amy, Sloane has been struggling. Her loss consumes her, although she still clings to her remaining connections, to her daughter Maddie and her husband Eddie.

But for a while now, she has felt distanced from her marriage.

So when Maddie heads off to sleepaway camp that summer, Sloane takes her aunt up on her offer to spend some time in her cabin at Lake George. And Sloane invites her friend Hillary, who has become someone she sees as reliable and comforting.

But before she can even drive away from her home in Brookline, Massachusetts, Sloane’s old college friend Georgina calls and insists on coming with them.

Frustrated, Sloane tries to look forward to the getaway, but is reminded once again of how disappointing her friendship with Georgina has become. A wild child, Georgina has always had all the money she wanted and no responsibilities. She is loud, gregarious, and pushes her way into every situation, with her sense of entitlement showing.

It was easy to dislike the character of Georgina, and even though Sloane is trying to figure out what she wants and where she will end up, I found myself rooting for her. And I was also eager to see good things happen for Hillary. Before the summer ends, however, we will discover the big secret she has been keeping from her husband.

Those Secrets We Keep was a somewhat predictable novel about friendships, secrets, and trying to find new beginnings during a summer getaway, and while there were some unexpected situations, like the huge secret Georgina has been keeping, there was nothing particularly unique about the story or the characters.

However, it was interesting to see how everything played out, watching what the women would do and what choices they would make. 4 stars.