by Stacey Ballis
Category: Fiction / General
352 pages; ISBN: 037389516X
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Red Dress, Apr 2005, $12.95, 352 pp.
In Chicago it has been two years since the five young single women held a “circling up” to discuss men and other problems. However, now that Jess has returned home from two years overseas with the Peace Corps, the quintet agrees it is time.
Jess wants to talk about her platonic relationship pediatrician Harrison who she lives with platonically but wants to make it more. Robin cherishes her friendship with her boss, restaurant owner Michael, but fears exploring what she really wants from him. Lilith enjoys the performing arts more than she does her businessman boyfriend Martin. Sisters Beth and Ann have opened up a clothing store, but the former has Jeff while the latter has Chris; two men coming in the way of their loving sibling camaraderie. Five friends struggling to spice up their relationships with the men in their respective lives, but will it mean the end of Circling Up.
Fans of relationship dramas will appreciate this fine character driven tale that provides unique protagonists approaching similar male issues in radically different manners. The story line is more a series of vignettes as the focus switches from one woman to another. Though Stacey Ballis does a remarkable job of keeping the personalities of her Circling Up stars different yet consistent, readers will find the switching perspective difficult to keep track of anyway. Still sub-genre fans will appreciate this female Friends tale because the women seem real and their loneliness woes and fears feel genuine.
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