on June 27, 2004
Once I got into this book I could not put it down, Barbara Delinsky has a way of making me feel like I know her characters personally. I felt sorry for them, I was angry with them and relieved when young Michael woke up. I have reread it several times because of its very real themes - friendship, cheating, jealousy, power and love - and they are not so ridiculous that they aren't believable like some books. Definitely a keeper!
on January 17, 2004
This book is Delinsky's best to date, in my opinion. She has a cast of utterly unlikeable characters, apart from Annie, Zoe and Grady. There are oversexed, cheating husbands; power drunk, cruel and heartless men (J.S., J.D.); and other nasty people in this story that guarantees enough grist to keep a gal grinding her teeth or her gristmill of angst. There is the dimwitted, hormonally dominated,low class brood mare Teke who just continues to lame out and be helpless, her favorite mode of action. There are bratty teenagers whom one might want to kick all their over-privileged, over-indulged rearends any number of times. The story is a mind bending tour de force of the pain of dysfunctionality in families, and extended families, who in this story include best friends and their brood. Then there is a teenage revenge pregancy and a very malicious neighborhood gossip who involves herself in the story and literally brings down the families in a heartless power manipulation to grab her 5th husband from the fallout. Plus, there is plenty of other good stuff like control freak men with their raging threats and a powerful portrayal of two men with irrational, revenge mentalities who are utterly drunk on the dynamics of power manipulation. And the GUILT! It oozes from every pore in this story of mutual betrayals.
I loved this book. I could hate most of the main characters because of their despicability and root for the two who redeem the story. What an interesting polarity challenge. Rarely does an author write in such a way as to invite that sort of reader participation in the emotional abuse process unfolding in the book. The insights provided by the characters are not only relevant to the story line, they are relevant to one's own family structure for the book makes you look inward, to examine one's own reality and to THINK with new depth! A wonderful gift to a reader.
In fact, it would be a good research assignment for people who are studying sociology and psychology of family dynamics in their graduate programs at college. It is light years above the vacuous psychobabble of most of the mainstream psychology texts with their little powerpoint menus of dysfunctionality and hypothetical constructs. (Yawn). I know because I am a trained psychologist and I can attest to how meaningless those kinds of college texts are overall. If a reader is involved in a family mess of cheating spouses, control freak parents, bratty teenagers and those gut wrenching, raging dialogs by wronged parties then this book is a good way to externalize the grief, look at it, and gain the perspective provided by a whole lot of clues how to resolve conflict suggested in this work. I most definitely recommend this book.
on August 13, 1999
This was one of the best books I have ever read, EVER. Barbara Delinsky puts us right in there with the Popewells. She showed how Sam took responsibility for his actions and how one unfortunate, blurry incident changed everyone's life and brought out the good and the bad in every character. In addition, Barbara showed how mostly everyone has a skeleton in their closet. I absolutely loved the relationship Sam and Annie had - and, of course, routed for Teke and Grady to get together. JD, of course, was such an immature jerk. It angered me that although he defended Teke to his father, he so blatently, consistently, disrespected her to her face in front of the children. I thought "Coast Road" and "Together Alone" were excellent, but Barbara Delinsky outdid herself in "More Than Friends." I'll probably read it again in a few months. Barbara, please keep writing.
on November 25, 2001
This book begins beyond the point in a relationship where many romance novels end. Members of two very close families both make mistakes that are life altering. All family members learn to deal with seeing people they love as flawed and fallible. Eventually we learn that it is foundations that count and not so much of what is built on top.
Sam is wonderful! He is able to cope with his feet of clay and not make a full fledged Greek tragedy from a blunder. He hangs in with his family, admits to his flaws, AND does the work that is needed to get the outcomes that he wants. He deals with life and its imperfections and does a great job of it. I can't imagine who could have done a better job of rediscovering the joys of family under such imperfect circumstances.
You should read this, I learned many important lessons from this Delinsky novel.
on August 4, 1997
This "marriage" between two families was both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. Annie's patience with Sam and her friendship with Teke are what kept me turning each page with anticipation.
Barbara Delinsky did such a fantastic job drawing on each characters feelings, she made this story come alive.
I look forward to a sequel. It would be so great to read more on Jon and Leigh, and hopefully J.D. & J.S. will get what's coming to them
on February 26, 2002
This is a story about trust, and about how different people react to feeling that their trust has been violated. Two families' lives are changed when a moment of spontaneous passion occurs between two individuals of each respective family. Told from the point of view of all the major characters, including the children, every emotion from guilt, anger, sorrow, and love surfaces as a result. The story evolves with an outcome that reveals how each person comes to terms with what has occurred. Among Delinsky's best.
on June 10, 2001
This is a wonderful, powerful book. Barbara Delinsky is one of the really fine authors of our time. She gives her characters such depth that I feel like I'm reading about people I would really like to know. Her imagination is endless and vivid. I read this in record time and will be ordering all of the books by this author that I have not yet read. Thank you, Barbara.