I've had this book in my TBR pile for years and years, so I was glad to finally get to it, but it was a very big disappointment.
From the prologue, the reader is given a very contrived coincidence involving two besties, then expected to be eager to go back 20+ years to find out what led up to it...No thanks. I might've enjoyed this when I was twelve, but the narrative doesn't assume a very well-read audience will be reading.
From Publishers Weekly
In 1989, Gayle Saunders Hilliard is living a nightmare. Her husband, Ramsey, a compulsive gambler, has committed suicide, leaving Gayle, her young daughter and her widowed mother destitute. Pressed to add to her income as a receptionist, Gayle, who is African American, takes a part-time job as a maid at a suburban New York hotel, where she encounters her childhood best friend, Pat Reid, a polished executive for an ad agency. Pat, who was taken in by Gayle's parents and brought up as family after her mother abandoned her, hasn't spoken to Gayle in 10 years?ever since Gayle neglected to pick her up at an abortion clinic because she was tied up with her gambler husband. In flashbacks, we see Gayle's upbringing as the indulged child of older parents, and Pat's need to revise her family history as she becomes a workaholic and claws her way up the hierarchy of Manhattan corporate life. Eventually, the two draw upon their shared past to rebuild their lives. The authors have collaborated seamlessly on this well-paced debut. Their heroines are balanced and clearly drawn, while their plot manages to spring myriad surprises without resorting to obvious gimmickry. In an age when personal responsibility is often abrogated in the name of early childhood emotional trauma, Pat and Gayle are refreshingly honest characters, accepting of their own and each other's shortcomings. Author tour.