Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser, 3.5 Stars

Jessica Strawser bounded on the literary scene less than two years ago with Almost Missed You, a stunning debut and the quintessential beach read. Since that time she has written not one, not two but three books. And word on the street is that she is hard at work on her third.

Her story is one of those that we all love to hear. Journalist who used to interview top authors as part of her job at Reader’s Digest, turns best-selling author in her own right. And, according to her website, she goes on to inspire others, speaking at libraries, writer’s conferences and book clubs. I love it! Relatable authors are the best!

I’ve read all three of her books since last May and she definitely has a style and genre all her own. So without further ado, a review! Sorry. I’m such a nerd.

From the Publisher:

Molly and Liza have always been enviably close. Even after Molly married Daniel, the couple considered Liza an honorary family member. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit—in the friendship and the marriage.

When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat after the kids are in bed. But then Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child.

What Liza sees next will change everything.

Only one thing is certain: Molly needs her. Liza drives all night to be at Molly’s side—but when she arrives, the reception is icy, leaving Liza baffled and hurt. She knows there’s no denying what she saw.

Or is there?

In disbelief that their friendship could really be over, Liza is unaware she’s about to have a near miss of her own.

And Molly, refusing to deal with what’s happened, won’t turn to Daniel, either.

But none of them can go on pretending. Not after this.

Forget You Know Me is a “twisty, emotionally complex, powder keg of a tale” (bestselling author Emily Carpenter) about the wounds of people who’ve grown apart. Best friends, separated by miles. Spouses, hardened by neglect. A mother, isolated by pain.

One moment will change things for them all.

My Review:

Jessica Strawser writes suburban life very well. Her stories and plotlines could be right out of Desperate House Wives. She weaves stories around completely normal lives, but concentrates her writing on what really happens behind closed doors.

Everyone has friends we grew up with or grew close to in college that we did everything with. You the same interests, hobbies and were just connected at the hip. But life happens and it’s impossible to stay frozen in time. So these friendships have to evolve too, which is hard, especially when physical distance separates the two.

Molly and Liza are two such friends. Molly has gone the domestic route–two kids, picket fence, you the know the drill. And even though Liza was also super close to Molly’s husband, when two people have children and a life together, a friend is always a third wheel to some extent. So Liza, looking for her own life, moves to Chicago, partly to avoid the new awkwardness. And they grow apart, tale as old as time.

Strawser picks up the story one night as they struggle through their now awkward friendship, trying to figure out where they stand. Liza sees an intruder enter Molly’s house and everything goes haywire. I can’t give much more away, but Strawser paints a very realistic portrait of what happens when a friendship and a marriage break down. And the secrets we keep that destroy everything.

I liked this one, it was a good story. For me personally, as the story shifted and was much more about Molly and Daniel and their relationship, I wanted more on Liza’s life. She was the protagonist and while loose ends about Molly’s life were tied up by the end, Liza was just kind of left hanging.

Liza had issues, but they were swept under the rug and she was given a consolation prize that was supposed to make me as a reader happy. And I guess I was a little happy, but the end just seemed to cut off and the story felt very unresolved. Maybe there is a sequel in the works?

Special thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for an e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out February 5! Get your copy:

Indiebound

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