It's Eleanor who starts the Friday nights. From her scruffy house in Fulham she observes two young women with small children, separate — struggling and plainly lonely — and decides to invite them in and see what happens. What happens is that these very different women, Eleanor, Paula and Lindsay, are joined by three more: Jules, Blaise and Karen. Together they make up one retired professional, one budding DJ, one frazzled wife, three mothers, three singletons and five working women. Slowly, gradually and despite vast differences in background and circumstance, a group forms: a sorority of sorts, and a circle of friends.
It is only when Paula meets Jackson, an enigmatic, powerful and seductive man, that the bonds that have been so closely forged are put to the test; jealousies, rivalries, even infidelities threaten everything the women have between them, even their Friday nights. Harmony is eventually restored, but not without its price: Paula must confront some unsavory truths about her relationships; Karen must completely reevaluate her priorities in life; Blaise must meet new challenges; Eleanor must admit she needs help at home; Jules has some growing up to do; and Lindsay needs a little love in her life … With wit and warmth, Joanna Trollope explores the complexities, the sabotages, and the shifting currents of modern friendship.