Bonding with the Babysitter

Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan is a relaxing read, like sitting with girlfriends for a long chat.

The story pivots back and forth between college senior Sam and new mother Elisabeth’s points of view. Sam is hired to help care for Elisabeth’s son Gil while she tries to get back into writing after her family’s move from Brooklyn to suburbia.

They develop a close friendship which blurs lines with each other’s personal lives. There are many topics, such as adapting to a new residence, financial struggle, pregnancy, friend/significant other relationships and familial conflict. This all builds toward a surprising fallout.

Characters are well written and mostly likable. The story reminds us about the fragility of relationships during our lives.

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