The Friendship List         

By Susan Mallery           

ISBN13: 9781335136961

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra                   


[ ] Dance till dawn

[ ] Go skydiving

[ ] Wear a bikini in public

[ ] Start living

Two best friends jump-start their lives in a summer that will change them forever…

Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to convince him she’s living hers.

So Unity Leandre, her best friend since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirtysomething widow still sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?

The Friendship List begins as a way to make others believe they’re just fine. But somewhere between “wear three-inch heels” and “have sex with a gorgeous guy,” Ellen and Unity discover that life is meant to be lived with joy and abandon, in a story filled with humor, heartache and regrettable tattoos. (Goodreads)


The Friendship List by Susan Mallery is a wonderfully crafted story of two friends, helping each other move forward in their lives by way of a “to-do” list created for the summer. The story begins with single mother Ellen Fox and her son (whom she had when she was 17) and the fact that Ellen overheard her son telling a friend that he can’t go away to college because his mom needs him.  Well, that certainly was a shock to Ellen that her son thought this. So Ellen decided that she would “show” her son that she had a life and could get along just fine if he were to go away to college. Upon discussing this plan with her bestie – Unity Leandre (a grieving young widow) – Unity decided to do the same, create a “to-do” list to support her bestie and show she was “living” her life following the death of her husband three years ago.

Ellen and Unity provide many chuckle worthy moments throughout this delightful read, though don’t get me wrong, there are some very serious, gut wrenching moments as well. The cast for the romantic counterparts to Ellen and Unity are good looking, smart men that certainly had more patience than I thought possible.

Ellen and Couch Keith Kinne have had friendship for a while, but one gets the sense that the couch would like more. However, Ellen is clueless. I liked the fact that she was clueless because her dating experience essentially started and ended after her brief encounter with Cooper’s dad – Jeremy when she was a teenager. Ellen and Keith’s friendship was put to the limit when they were the chaperone’s for the school trip taking senior students to various colleges/universities. In fact….well…you will read all about it. Suffice it to say, relationships morph over time and this relationship was interesting to follow. 

Thaddeus Roarke is a definite swoon worthy gentleman and I think perfect for Unity. He does retreat from their potential relationship when Unity backs away, and I thought that move made their growing relationship so much more real. I enjoyed the fact that Thaddeus was related to the always effervescent senior Dagmar – with whom Unity had a close friendship with prior to meeting Thaddeus.  Thaddeus has had an interesting dating life, with his best friend’s wife trying to be his matchmaker (not very successfully I might add) – hooking him up with a workaholic who never got off the phone the entire date and in the end called him Theodore. Or lets not forget the married woman or the inappropriately much older woman. So once Lela gave up her match making – Thaddeus seemed to do fine on his own.

While the journey through the to-do lists was entertaining, there was a lot of personal growth for both of these woman and at times, it was very emotional and gut-wrenching to experience these changes. But life is all about accepting things we cannot change and embracing what life has in store for us. The characters were relatable, flawed and all around like an average person. I was totally engaged and entertained throughout the entire book.

This is the second book of Susan Mallery’s that I have read and I am totally smitten with her work. I can’t wait to read another one of her titles.