Husbands May Come and Go But Friends Are Forever by Judith Marshall is an enjoyable, thought-provoking look at the strength of friendship. The central storyline revolves around the journey to a friend's funeral, but much of the story is told through flashback and memories. Though at times undeniably sad, the story is a positive, hopeful one. Friendships carry on. Love built over decades carries on, in spite of failed marriages, job losses, insecurities, and betrayals. What surprised me about this story is that Ms.Marshall shows how friendships can be damaged. She doesn't paint a glossy coating over real life. I love, however, that she showed how resilient those friendships can be. Love is stronger than the damage.
I was also pleased to see that this story does not vilify the male gender. While there are plenty of divorces and failed marriages to go around in the story, there are also a few relationships that work and are supportive.
Through humorous and honest glimpses into these women's lives, Ms. Marshall shows real women being tested by life. Sometimes the tests are their marriages or their children. Sometimes the tests are each other. Sometimes the tests are themselves. The trip to the funeral brings these things out into the open, where they help each other cope and even grow stronger through their friendships.
If you enjoy women's fiction, I definitely recommend this book for an honest look at the nature of life, death, and friendship.