In her fifth book, The Most Likely Club, Elyssa Friedland showcases the highs and lows of being a woman in her forties. When Melissa, Priya, Tara, and Suki graduated from high school, they all had high hopes for the future. Now, as their twenty-fifth high school reunion is upon them, not one is where she wished to be in life. Hit with the nostalgia of 1997 and their high school superlatives, the women decide to course-correct their lives and take on new challenges in an attempt to fulfill their teenage goals.
Friedland’s latest novel is an homage to female friendships — the ones often taken for granted but most needed during tough times. The banter amongst these friends will make you want to text the best friend you haven’t spoken to in weeks, just to remind them that you’re thinking of them. While all of the women bring diverse backgrounds and identities (including Melissa’s Jewish heritage), they all reach a common consensus: being a woman is hard. It’s easy to catch glimpses of oneself in any of them.
At the core of the novel, readers will discover a way of redefining what it means for a woman to have it all in today’s world. Friedland does an excellent job of portraying each character’s journey toward self-kindness as she pursues second chances in love, work, and motherhood. The Most Likely Club will without a doubt make readers of all ages feel a range of emotions, but Friedland infuses so much humor that the book is a constant source of joy.
Elizabeth Slotnick works in the technology space but has a growing presence on bookstagram, where she reviews books spanning across all genres. She graduated from the University of Virginia and lives in Seattle, WA.