Friends Like These is the fourth novel from well known comedienne Wendy Harmer. And it is a witty, funny and thoroughly enjoyable read.
Jo Blanchard is the deputy headmistress at Sydney\’s most elite private girls\’ school and has her eye firmly on taking over the top job someday soon. That is, until she discovers her husband\’s affair with another society lady and sparks a scandal by speaking out at a school function. Needless to say, Jo is summarily dismissed from her job (and her fancy house overlooking the harbour) and is forced to start again.
She takes on a new career as a civil celebrant and with some amusing scenes involving naming ceremonies and same-sex marriage ceremonies, she wonders if she has taken on more than she can handle.
Suze is Jo\’s best friend and is definitely not one of the elite society set. Jo helps her land an administrative job at the prestigious school, and when she wins Lotto Suze quits to start her dream of opening a florist shop. But there\’s more to Suze than even Jo realises and while her husband gambles away most of what they have Suze is driven to extreme measures to try to keep her family afloat. But her secret might be about to come out â€“ and will it end her friendship with Jo as well?
The book follows the ups and downs of Jo\’s attempts to get her life back on track â€“ despite the best efforts of Sydney\’s social set to bring her down again and again. Her dodgy ex is also trying to deceive her and then it seems she can\’t even trust Suze.
Friends Like These is a sharp, humorous look at the inner workings of the upper echelons of society. Where money, plastic surgery and designer clothes might help you look the part, but at the end of the day who are your true friends?
I loved this book and, have to admit, I hadn\’t read any of Wendy Harmer\’s other novels before this one. But I will.
Available Now: Allen & Unwin RRP $32.99