Brunch and Other Obligations

A Novel

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Pub Date 05 May 2020 | Archive Date 03 May 2020

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Description

“Poignant, funny, and smart, Brunch and Other Obligations is a must-have for contemporary women's fiction shelves. Readers will want to watch for what Nugent does next.”
Booklist

“A thoroughly upbeat and fully entertaining novel from cover to cover.”
Midwest Book Review

Brunch and Other Obligations is women’s fiction at its finest! A tender, witty, heartfelt novel that had me laughing out loud in one chapter and reaching for tissues in the next. With humor, heart, and hope, Nugent reminds us that, once in a lifetime, if we’re very, very lucky, we just might find a friend who knows us better than we know ourselves.”
—Lori Nelson Spielman, New York Times best-selling author of The Life List

The only thing reclusive bookworm Nora, high-powered attorney Christina, and supermom-in-training Leanne ever had in common was their best friend, Molly. When Molly dies, she leaves mysterious gifts and cryptic notes for each of her grieving best friends, along with one final request: that these three mismatched frenemies have brunch together every month for a year.

Filled with heartwrenching scenes and witty prose, Brunch and Other Obligations explores the intricate dynamics of girlhood acquaintances who are forced to reconnect as women. This upbeat novel reminds readers that there’s hope for getting through the hard times in life—with a lot of patience, humor, and a standing brunch date.
“Poignant, funny, and smart, Brunch and Other Obligations is a must-have for contemporary women's fiction shelves. Readers will want to watch for what Nugent does next.”
Booklist

“A thoroughly...

Advance Praise

“Poignant, funny, and smart, Brunch and Other Obligations is a must-have for contemporary women's fiction shelves. Readers will want to watch for what Nugent does next.”

―Booklist

“Brunch and Other Obligations is women’s fiction at its finest! A tender, witty, heartfelt novel that had me laughing out loud in one chapter and reaching for tissues in the next. With humor, heart, and hope, Nugent reminds us that, once in a lifetime, if we’re very, very lucky, we just might find a friend who knows us better than we know ourselves.”

―Lori Nelson Spielman, New York Times best-selling author of The Life List

“A delightful debut that captures the beauty and complexity of relationships.”

―Amy Blumenfeld, author of The Cast

“Brunch and Other Obligations is an engaging, often sweet, and absolutely laugh-out-loud story of how relationships can evolve even among individuals who would like to believe they are vastly different―and lifelong frenemies. Suzanne Nugent’s writing is sharp and masterful, with spot-on dialogue and scenes that jump to life on the page.”

―Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, author of Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares

“Poignant, funny, and smart, Brunch and Other Obligations is a must-have for contemporary women's fiction shelves. Readers will want to watch for what Nugent does next.”

―Booklist

“Brunch and Other...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9781631528545
PRICE $16.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

Every woman should read this book...
Molly dies... and this is where the story begins. Her last request is that her three best friends will meet for brunch once a month... and because they each loved Molly, they agree to so... at the expense of not really liking each other at all. What follows is a humorous and heartfelt story about women, about all the emotions of women... jealousy, envy,love,fear,... and every emotion in between. At times this story will break your heart, and at other times it will make you laugh out loud. This is a book club read if ever there was one.

Thank you for this opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
My review is my own and is in no way required by the publisher.

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Loved this book!!! It was such a deep look at friendship and what happens when the rolls in a relationship changes. Definitely one to read!!

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An engaging, charming, laugh-out-loud story of relationships about frenemies who have more in common than they realize. Read this in one day. Fun escape book. The writing is fluid and has great dialogue.

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A great different version of friendship between four friends. All with different personalities and different end goals! A good light and easy read. Thanks for the early copy.

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This book was interesting due to the dichotomy of personalities that were tied into their dead friend, Molly. Christina; the aggressive lawyer who was lonely at her core. Leanne; the vacuous people pleaser who was a living doll due to Joan. Nora; who lived by rules and regulations to have a normalcy in her life but lacked total emotional empathy. The sarcasm was very well welcomed.

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I really enjoyed this light read! It revolves around three ladies who have just lost their friend Molly. That's the only thing they have in common until they receive Molly's last wishes.

I liked how the story was told through all of the characters perspectives. Sweet little read you will not want to put down!

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This book was so sweet! A quick read with a touch of romance and plenty of heart, it feels light but is also rooted in tragedy and grief. I loved the characters Nugent created, and honestly just wish the book was a bit longer, and that the pacing was slowed down just a bit so we could linger with the characters longer and dive a bit deeper. Also, would love a book about Maeve!!

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I loved this story! Multiple POVs is something I almost always enjoy and this was no exception. Here it allowed me to appreciate some characters I might have disliked otherwise. The premise was at times hard for me to believe in but the author gave me enough sweet moments and things to look forward to (Sam!) that it wasn't a real issue. I'm excited because this is the author's first novel and I will definitely be reading her next!

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A book that starts with the tragedy of a death and ends with an uplifting coming together of friends. I enjoyed this easy read and even laughed out loud a few times, something I rarely do. Written from the different perspectives of the main characters and even the dog gave an interesting dimension to the book. I'll look out for more from this author.

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I could not get enough of this book, the writing was so clever. I loved how the narration was in third person present tense but also how it flipped perspectives from not only between the three main characters, but all the side characters - my fave was Fred the dog! It kept the book interesting and moving at a quick pace. I can’t wait to read another book by this author.

An advanced copy was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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This book is the cutest! That's it that's my review. Just kidding, but in essence this was the perfect read for me during this crazy times. What starts out as a sad story of loss, quickly turns into a heartwarming story about grief, friendship, and learning to lean on others.
Told through the view point of three very different women, who's only common factor is their best friend Molly, this is the story of childhood 'friends' and how their relationship has evolved over time. When Molly dies, the three all believe they have nothing left in common. Nora the recluse, Christina the workaholic, and Leanne think they'll never see each other again. That is until they learn that Molly has left them each instructions and one of those is to get brunch with each other for a year. What started as a chore somehow turns into the only saving grace for these women and makes them realize that the only other people they have to lean on is each other.
I loved the dynamic between these very different women. As a late twenty year old myself, its easy to see how childhood friends grow apart. It's also hard to watch but this book reminds me that there are other things than careers that can tie people together and that sometimes the people that knew you were before you knew yourself will love you no matter what.
Nugent did a great job of giving each women an extremely distinct persona and voice. The way she builds the characters and created a unique story for each of them was outstanding. This book has an incredible amount of depth but the added comic relief Nugent peppers in makes the story all the more relatable. I found myself feeling all the emotions and I even had a few really great laughs.
I cannot recommend this book enough!

This book is the cutest! That's it that's my review. Just kidding, but in essence this was the perfect read for me during this crazy times. What starts out as a sad story of loss, quickly turns into a heartwarming story about grief, friendship, and learning to lean on others.
Told through the view point of three very different women, who's only common factor is their best friend Molly, this is the story of childhood 'friends' and how their relationship has evolved over time. When Molly dies, the three all believe they have nothing left in common. Nora the recluse, Christina the workaholic, and Leanne think they'll never see each other again. That is until they learn that Molly has left them each instructions and one of those is to get brunch with each other for a year. What started as a chore somehow turns into the only saving grace for these women and makes them realize that the only other people they have to lean on is each other.
I loved the dynamic between these very different women. As a late twenty year old myself, its easy to see how childhood friends grow apart. It's also hard to watch but this book reminds me that there are other things than careers that can tie people together and that sometimes the people that knew you were before you knew yourself will love you no matter what.
Nugent did a great job of giving each women an extremely distinct persona and voice. The way she builds the characters and created a unique story for each of them was outstanding. This book has an incredible amount of depth but the added comic relief Nugent peppers in makes the story all the more relatable. I found myself feeling all the emotions and I even had a few really great laughs.
I cannot recommend this book enough! Make sure to pick up your copy on May 5th. If you think you’d like to read this book, get your copy HERE!

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on Brunch and Other Obligations. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof_books. Huge thank you to She Writes Press and Netgallery for my advanced copy!

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Oh. My. God. To say I adored this book is an understatement.

I can't remember the last time I was so invested in a story and the characters. I just adored this book. Suzanne's writing is witty and brilliant yet manages to convey so many emotions so brilliantly. This is the best quarantine reading you will find - you'll devour this in a day and get lost in another world.

Thank you so much for this ARC - I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved it and I implore any reader to pre-order this immediately.

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I loved this book. When I first started reading it I wasn't sure about it. I was in the mood for a light read and it began at a young woman's funeral. The story follows Molly's 3 best friends who didn't like each other through their grieving and journey to friendship. I thought the transitions between the 3 friends' characters was seamless. The individual characters were developed in addition to their relationships with each other. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it.

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This book is about three "frenemies" - Nora, Christina and Leanne. They all knew each other when they were younger, but are properly reunited due to the death of their mutual best friend Molly. They have to navigate their way through their own personal grief by attending monthly brunches - one of the final requests that Molly has made of them. As the brunches progress and the story moves on, they start to re-evaluate their decisions and paths that their own lives have taken. They are all incredibly different from each other and this does serve as a sticking point in them being able to form any sort of relationship, however maybe being different to each other is not such a bad thing after all?

I really enjoyed seeing the dynamic between the three women and I was particularly intrigued by Nora, and I think I enjoyed her story the most - she seemed to me to have the biggest journey through a readers' eyes - although I'm not sure she would have realised that herself! The whole story idea was a really interesting concept and I liked the chatty narrative style being consistently in the first person. It felt like we were almost being allowed to watch these lives from afar, with a narrator picking up on key points.

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A lighthearted journey of female sisterhood. I found this book to be very enjoyable. I felt as if I was swept into each of the characters lives and inner turmoils. The author developed the perfect narrative, in that the dynamic between the friends was complex enough to keep the reader interested but still lighthearted and at times comical. A perfect read during the current climate, exactly what I needed.

Thank you to Netgalley and She Writes Press for the opportunity to read this arc in exchange for an honest review.

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I saw this book on bookstagram and knew I wanted to read it. I absolutely loved it. It drew me in and I didn't want to take a break. Definitely did not disappoint!

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Very entertaining story about three very different women. I think gals who read this will see themselves in one of them. I feel like Nora and I are very alike. I love how they don’t like each other much but end up finding how great it is to have them in their lives. Very enjoyable!

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Absolutely wonderful - heartfelt and charming. A first purchase for all collections where women's fiction is popular.

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This book is a wonderful, very good, fantastic read. End of review.

Well not quite.

It is marketed as Women’s Fiction and in general, with the main characters being women it will solidly appeal to such an audience. The women are old enough to relate to women in their 20’s who are still eager and open to life and its journey in a positive manner, but the trials they face will also ring true with women who are older, who have lived through the troubles of being and know that life isn’t all lollypops and bubble-gum.

Nora, Christina and Leanne share one apparent thing in life, their friend Molly. Each share an independent friendship, with never the borders of lines crossing between the three women and each is content to believe they are Molly’s best friend and ignore the reality of the others, despite their sharing a joint history that spanned their early childhood until their early 30’s. But then Molly has the nerve to get cancer and die, leaving the three women bereft and alone with their grief. But ever the troublemaker and insightful as to her own failings as an adult, Molly has plans for her three friends which involve strange gifts that the women have to puzzle to the meaning of and the request that they meet for brunch one Sunday a month for a year. As her final request, the three women agree to make it work, even though their hearts aren’t really into the whole matter. What follows is the slow unravelling of past and current events that draw each of the women into different journeys of self-discovery and the weaving together of the threads of their lives to make a new rope on which to tie themselves together with to withstand both the trials and jubilations of life.


There are some parts of this novel that can leave the reader broadly smiling, but there were parts in which the reader will flat-out roar with laughter; the code word to prove it's her talking from the other side that Molly thinks of to share with her friends for when she is dead is just hysterical reading. This story is beautifully paced, written with humour in almost every scene and then has the power to strike a touch of tenderness that will bring the reader crashing back to earth and feel the heartache of the death of a loved one. Molly is never the main character and yet is pivotal in every scene. The three women are strongly created, knowable and honest. They are not some kind of superstars that regular people can only aspire to be, they are flesh and blood, flawed and eager for life to be the whatever of their choosing, and their journey to discover new friendships and understandings in a manner they least expected it to develop from is the arc of this story.

Each woman is facing personal troubles that they would have previously shared with their friend Molly, but are now alone, trying to cope and be the ‘adult’ in situations that would have them preferring to cower under the covers of a quilt and wait for a mother figure to bring them warm cocoa and biscuits. It is in the trials that they discover a new kind of friendship and learn to trust again in each other. Be it social anxiety, pressures of being a workaholic or not quiet being the perfect housewife and mother, each woman fights a battle that readers will relate to on a deeply personal manner. They will find love, redemption and a renewal of what it means to be alive that will resonate with the reader and their growth cycles will leave you cheering and wanting them to become the overachievers and victors you dream of.

This book is a rare jewel. Funny, powerful, poignant and uplifting, it is well worth the time to read.

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This novel was beautifully written and developed. I liked the characters and enjoyed that we got to know each of the characters lives. This was well paced and everything fell together nicely. I liked the themes this tackled such as grief and female friendships.

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I loved this book! I think every woman should read this book. It is a must-read for women's fiction fans. I will definitely be reading more from Suzanne Nugent.

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Suzanne Nugent writes a wonderful, tender and fantastic début about hope and the complexity of friendships and relationships.

Nora, Christina and Leanne have only one thing in common: their friend Molly. They each share an independent friendship with her, happy in their belief that individually, they are Molly’s best friend as they ignore the reality of the others' roles, despite sharing a joint history going back to their early childhood. Now in their early 30’s, Molly has died, leaving the three women bereft and alone with their grief. Mischief-maker Molly makes it her last wish that the ladies do brunch together once a month for one year. The former childhood friends all approach the Sunday brunches with equal amounts of dread, although we never come to understand why these three ladies all despise each other. Molly's plans for her three friends also involve strange gifts that the women puzzle the meaning of. As the three women agree to make it work even though their hearts aren’t really into the task, what follows is the slow unravelling of past and current events that draw each of the women into different journeys of self-discovery.

Full marks must go to Suzanne Nugent for making this novel an immensely fun, and times downright hysterical read when it could have been a rather sombre affair. This story is beautifully paced, with humour in almost every scene, though there is also a good deal of tenderness in the mix.

Never the main character, the author has cleverly made Molly indispensable in many scenes. The three women are ably created, keen, honest and flawed and I found that I could relate to them all on some level which was definitely the icing on the cake.

Powerful, incredibly amusing, poignant, sharp and uplifting, Brunch and Other Obligations is a real jewel and is well worth reading. I for one, will be watching out for Suzanne Nugent's next offering.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from She Writes Press via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.

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I don't know what I expected from 'Brunch and Other Obligations', but I wasn't expecting to love it so much! Witty, thoughtful, and full of gleaming insights, Nugent's novel was a refreshing gem of a book. While this story centers around grief and loss, at no point does it feel sappy or contrived. Instead, it navigates through all of the complex emotions and diverse personalities of the three former friends as they individually experience their collective loss is widely different ways. One wouldn't expect a book that centers around losing a best friend too young shouldn't feel light and fun, but 'Brunch and Other Obligations' manages to fun, funny, and emotional all in perfect balance.

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This was the comfort reading I didn't know I needed. It's funny and touching, honest and real and a great reminder that even though there are times you need to be pushed to do something, it might just be the best thing for you. Going through their loss together after time apart shows that a friend (or more) is one of the best things to have even when you've forgotten what to do with them. Don't worry it's funny as hell too so it's not the downer you think.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley for my honest review.

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I was originally drawn to this book by its cover. What could be better than a book with some adorable cups of coffee and brunch in the title? Molly is at the center of a group of friends that drifted apart in adulthood. She passes away at the young age of 34, but she leaves some requests behind for her friends. They have to have brunch together every month for a year. It's a real struggle for these three other friends to meet up without the friend they still had in common. They all seem so different, and it just feels painful for them to have to meet up in the absence of their best friend. The three main characters all have very different personalities, but I fell in love with each of them. They are each trying their best in the face of their loss, and I will say that I loved that Suzanne Nugent wrote with a lot of heart and humor. There were several parts that made me laugh out loud, and I couldn't have enjoyed this story more. It made me miss my friends so much, and I can't wait to meet up with them for brunch again. This is the perfect, ultimately heartwarming story about an unlikely group of friends. I think we can all relate to the idea that we are just trying to do the best we can with the hand we are dealt. I'd highly recommend this book!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the gifted copy. All of the thoughts are my own.

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Captivating, suspenseful, entertaining novel! This beautiful story kept me on the edge of my seat while I was reading it! Would highly recommend to those who enjoy this genre.

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This was a 4.5 Star Read for me, but rounding up to 5! Though a could have read this book in a single sitting, I found myself stopping and wondering what I would do if I was in Nora, Christina or Leanne's situations, or what I would leave for my closest friends should I find myself in Molly's situation.

Nora, Christina and Leanne have nothing in common except their friend Molly. When Molly dies, the three women follow Molly's request to have brunch once a month, and accept the gifts she has given them, which they don't feel suit their personalities.

I loved how this followed women of the same age in completely different phases of life: Leanne is plotting her life out on a path to motherhood, Christina is a successful lawyer taking care of her ill mother, and Nora is an introverted bookworm who tries to keep her communication in her personal journals.

The novel explores loss and grief through the death of Molly, weaves in happy and heartwarming moments in each of the women's lives, and also touches on each of the women's individual struggles outside of their grief. It shows that sometimes, those who are close to you may know parts of you better than you know yourself, and may see something in you that you have yet to unravel yet.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the read, I was a little disappointed in the level to which Nora, Christina and Leanne's friendship evolved in the end - it felt a little cut off. All in all though, you won't regret picking up a copy of this book!

Thank you to She Writes Press and NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This is a lovely tender and complex novel that covers friendship, grieving and trying to follow your own path, especially after one of the most important people in your life has gone. It moves seamlessly from funny,to heartbreaking and back again. The characters are all very different, relatable and beautifully drawn. The relationships between the women are complex and strongly written. An excellent and recommended read. Thanks to She Writes Press and Netgalley for the opportunity to view an arc of this novel.

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Molly dies and has asked that her 3 best friends take a stab at friendship. She has asked that they meet for brunch once each month for a year. This journey into friendship will make you laugh and will make you cry and feel lots of their emotions in between. Loved it! Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the opportunity.

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Brunch and Other Obligations by Suzanne Nugent is a novel revolving around three 30-something women who have nothing in common except for one friend, Molly. The novel commences at Molly’s funeral, and starts with a weird request: the other three frenemies must have brunch together once a month for a year. These three women live completely different lives but grow together and the book highlights that you never really know everything about someone.
I loved this book. The writing is very smart and actually quite funny for dealing with some difficult topics including aging parents, death of young friends, and more. The characters were all endearing in their own way, and while I didn’t agree with nor relate to many of the decisions made, I still related to them. The characters aren’t perfect people, but neither is anyone I’ve ever met. The best part of this entire book is the voice given to Fred, Molly’s dog who she leaves to one of her friends. Fred is hilarious, and as a dog owner I *know* what Fred says is what my dogs would be thinking.
The title and description of this book made me think it would be a breezy, 3.5 star that I’d enjoy but wouldn’t remember. I was wrong. This book is so much more. It is snarky and the writing is superior. I laughed many times and highlighted a few passages that I wanted to remember. The book moved along at the perfect pace, switching point-of-view frequently but not too often. Even though it’s under 300 pages, I wasn’t longing for more. I felt as if it began and ended perfectly.
I would recommend this book to some of my friends, but I know it won’t be for everyone. I’d recommend it to my reader friends who are looking for something easy to read with smart writing, but ideally women in this age range. Even though it is only written for a certain generation essentially, I give this book 5 stars. It was perfect for me at this time in my life and exactly what I didn’t realize I was looking for.

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