THE MOST LIKELY CLUB – Elyssa Friedland

Elyssa Friedland’s The Most Likely Club (Berkley 2022) is a fun little romp about a group of childhood friends in their early forties who’ve realized life didn’t quite turn out as they imagined when they were on the cusp of adulthood.  The novel alternates between the four friends, Melissa, Tara, Priya, and Suki  – a group who, despite life and distance, have remained friends.  Imagine Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants but add twenty-five years.

At their 25th reunion, the women revisit the high school superlatives that had been bestowed on them by their classmates.  Only Suki has realized the success imagined when they were 18, and she’s too busy to even go to the reunion.  The other three women decide it’s not too late to accomplish those young adult dreams, or at least get back on the paths they envisioned.  With the superlatives as their guide (and a little booze to ignite them), they form the Most Likely Girls.  They will lift each other up, and accomplish great things.  But as Tara, Melissa, and Priya set out on their respective rocky paths forward, Suki’s world threatens to come crashing down.

It’s a fun novel about friendship between women.  Easy comparisons would be Sex and the City, Jennifer Weiner’s Little Earthquakes, and the more recent, Wahala by Nikki May.  These three all focus on the individual women and the collective group of friends, much like The Most Likely Club.  Friedland’s novel is not as snarky or posh as Sex and the City, not as thriller-y as Wahala, and not as powerful as Little Earthquakes, but it still scratches an itch for a candy book that isn’t just fluff.

There are some heavy subject matters with questionable treatment in the novel (sexual assault, grooming of a student by a teacher, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, breast cancer), but the novel never pretended to be something that it wasn’t – and that was a light read about friendship and how it’s never too late to chase one’s dreams.

Read this book. 

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