Monday, 6 March 2017

Book Review - A Time For Friends by Patricia Scanlan - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #55

Amazon UK
Title: A Time For Friends
Author: Patricia Scanlan
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Goody Bag
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 11th February 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

When are the boundaries of friendship pushed too far, and when is it time to stop flying over oceans for someone who wouldn't jump over a puddle for you? There comes a time when Hilary Hammond has to make that call. 

Hilary and Colette O'Mahony have been friends since childhood, but when irrepressible Jonathan Harpur breezes into Hilary's life and goes into business with her, Colette is not best pleased. 

After their first encounter Colette thinks he's a 'pushy upstart' while he thinks she's 'a snobby little diva'. And so the battle lines are drawn and Hilary is bang in the middle. 

But as the years roll by and each of them is faced with difficult times and tough decisions, one thing is clear… to have a friend you must be a friend. 

And that's when Hilary discovers that sometimes your best friend can be your greatest enemy…

An epic story of friendship over the decades, Patricia Scanlan has weaved a brilliant story of three families starting in the 90s and coming right up to the present. The book is split into parts, each marking a significant portion of time moved forward, and although it takes a chapter or two at the start of each part, to get up to date with the new circumstances for the characters, its a great mechanism of allowing us to know the characters so much better. 

I loved seeing them all grow, and the various dilemmas they faced, and it touches on a whole manner of big issues including abuse, care of the elderly, the financial situation throughout the past couple of decades and much more. 

Hilary and Colette have been best friends since childhood, or at least friends of convenience. It may not be the most equal of friendships and I definitely loved Hilary a lot more than Colette for the majority of the book. However if was the introduction of Jonathan, and his dynamic with Hilary that really lifts the book in my mind. 

I loved every scene that Jonathan and Hilary were together, especially the way in which they met, and generally their conversations. 

Over the course of the book we also get to know the extended families of the three main characters, so we get to know their children and see how they develop as they grow up, and also the parents and just what happens in all the families. 

I was a bit apprehensive before starting this book, as although I have read and enjoyed Patricia Scanlan before, it has been a while since I last read one, and also been ages since I voluntarily and knowingly sat down to read a 600+ page book. Thankfully I needn't have worries as I found it to be a surprisingly easy to read book, and completely gripping. I was continually eager to know what would happen next, and it probably took me about half the anticipated time to read. 

There are so many ups and downs in the story, in addition to many secrets, and all manner of revelations. It was fun trying to work out, or guess just how it may all work out in the end for everyone. 

A Time For Friends was a highly enjoyable story and a fabulous saga that I would definitely recommend. 

Thank you to everyone that voted for the Patricia Scanlan. I can honestly say that without you pushing me to read it, I would have probably left it in the far corner of the box it was in for a very long time, due to my fear of 600+ page books at the moment. Thoroughly enjoyed that, so can only thank all 5 of you a lot.  

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