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January 25, 2023

Three self-made women gamble with love, sex and their careers in Meredith Berlin's debut novel

by Donna Huber

Sex and the City
 was a much-talked-about television show when it debuted in the late 1990s. Three women were making their mark on New York City while navigating careers, love, and friendship. If you were a fan of the television show then you don't want to miss Meredith Berlin's debut novel which delves into the lives of three best friends in their 40s. They are glamourous, self-made women who are willing to gamble everything for one charismatic man captivates who captivates them all.

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book cover of women's fiction novel Friends with Issues by Meredith Berlin
January 2023; Warren Publishing; 978-1957723723
audio, ebook, print (302 pages); women's fiction

Berlin is a three-time Emmy nominee and the former editor-in-chief of Seventeen Magazine and Soap Opera Digest. Like many writers who write a book and then put it aside, Berlin has been sitting on the novel that would become Friends with Issues for some time.

"I saw a movie on TV 20 years after I wrote the book and said, 'That’s my book!',” recalls Berlin. "Of course it wasn’t, but the relationship between the women, the fact that they were wealthy but also self made, had strengths, weaknesses, love problems, children problems and relied on each other, made me realize that my book’s themes were evergreen. I was enthused to return to it. And finishing the book became a fever goal."

Friends with Issues follows Brooke, Elizabeth, and Susan, three friends who have made their mark on Manhattan but who now struggle with the daily balancing act of career, family and friendship. Brooke thought she married the man of her dreams, but now she’s questioning her marriage as she embarks on a new venture to Hollywood. After a shattering diagnosis, Elizabeth attempts to remake herself in order to hold on to some semblance of her identity. Susan should be ecstatic when her media mogul husband catapults them into financial security, but as her uncertainty about their relationship grows, she opens a Pandora’s box of new passion–leading to stunning revelations neither saw coming. (Goodreads)

Berlin's time at Seventeen Magazine and Soap Opera Digest helped her hone her craft and taught her a number of lessons that she fell back on while working on Friends with Issues.

"[Soap Opera Digest] taught me about the art of storytelling. Daily soap scripts are the length of most movies. No reruns. Soaps are where writers learned about arcs and long form storytelling. They’ve been around since the early days of radio. Seventeen, is considered a national treasure. A girl’s first real magazine. It taught me about fashion, respect for teens, what is current and on the minds of girls. It taught me how to capture a reader and not let go," wrote Berlin.

Friends with Issues is being compared to Big Little Lies, The Manhattan Girls, Valley of the Dolls, and novels by Taylor Jenkins Reid and Jessica Anya Blau. Fans of these books won't want to miss this new novel.

"I want [readers] to relate to my characters. I want them to see themselves or someone they know in them. I want them to know that we–as humans–have inner strength to get us through the worst. I hope they see that humor, love and support can help us through the good times and bad," concludes Berlin.

If you are looking for a poignant and provocative novel where women discover that their lives and identities can transform regardless of age, achievement, or status-––and money doesn’t protect you from the unimaginable, then you should pick up Meredith Berlin's debut novel today.

Buy Friends with Issues at Amazon

photo of Meredith Berlin author of Friends with Issues

Meredith Berlin was the editor-in-chief of several magazines, including Soap Opera Digest and Seventeen. Her freelance articles and profiles have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines. Meredith is a three-time Emmy-nominated executive producer and has been a regular on-air contributor to television news and entertainment shows. Like a few of her characters, she worked as a jeweler and lived in the northern suburbs of New York City. Meredith has been married for over thirty years and has three adult children and one perfect granddaughter. Like many former New Yorkers, she currently lives in Florida. This is her first novel.

Follow Meredith Berlin on social media:
Twitter: @meredithberlin | Instagram: @meredith_berlin

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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