Fiction, Series & Collections

All for One & Here’s to Friends–Books 3 & 4 of the Four Lindas Series, by Melody Carlson

allforone heres_to_friendsI cannot remember the last time I’ve read an entire series of books.  It may have been the Harry Potter series.  After reading As Young As We Feel, the first book of the Four Lindas series, for our local book club, I felt compelled to carry on with the characters.

Just as a quick recap, they are 4 ladies named Linda who have known each other from childhood but now go by their middle names.  They are brought back together at a class reunion and the 3 who are not currently living in their small Oregon hometown eventually return.  All of the ladies are at a crossroads in their lives.

Book 1, As Young As We Feel, describes them getting reunited and reacquainted, as well as the moves to fictional Clifdon, Oregon. They also make decisions of how they are going to go forward with their lives.

Book 2, Hometown Ties, is a creamy book.  With the exception of one of the ladies who is caring for an elderly parent, the rest seem to have settled in to a happy new normal with budding relationships for a couple of them.

Book 3, All for One, shows that no matter how we think our lives are going, there are always challenges around the corner that we were completely unprepared for.  There is a lot of upheaval in this book, but the ladies’ friendship and commitment to each other buffers what could have been a lot worse.

Book 4, Here’s to Friends, sees the ladies still dealing with some of the challenges of Book 3.  Most of them are relationship based, deciding whether to take the leap with possible new loves or to stay single and independent.  I will note that the one thing about Book 4 that I found annoying is that a couple of the ladies suspected good, trustworthy men of not being faithful, even though they had clearly done nothing.  The doubts were born completely out of the women’s own insecurities and got a little tiresome after a while.

The good thing is that the ending is satisfying, even though everything is not sewn up in a tight little bow.  It is a conclusion of hope, not perfection, which is more realistic.  And when all is said and done, the reader wishes they had friends like these.

Whole series:  8/10 Stars

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