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Publisher's Summary

"It’s the women who make this novel such a great read. They are glorious and mad, vulnerable, so human, and very, very funny." (Roddy Doyle)

Thelma and Louise meets Goodfellas when an unlikely trio of women in New York find themselves banding together to escape the clutches of violent figures from their pasts.

After Brooklyn mob widow Rena Ruggiero hits her 80-year-old neighbor Enzio in the head with an ashtray when he makes an unwanted move on her, she retreats to the Bronx home of her estranged daughter, Adrienne, and her granddaughter, Lucia, only to be turned away at the door. Their neighbor, Lacey 'Wolfie' Wolfstein, a onetime Golden Age porn star and retired Florida Suncoast grifter, takes Rena in and befriends her. 

When Lucia discovers that Adrienne is planning to hit the road with her ex-boyfriend, she figures Rena is her only way out of a life on the run with a mother she can’t stand. The stage is set for an explosion that will propel Rena, Wolfie, and Lucia down a strange path, each woman running from their demons, no matter what the cost.

A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself is a novel about finding friendship and family where you least expect it, in which William Boyle again draws listeners into the familiar - and sometimes frightening - world in the shadows at the edges of New York’s neighborhoods.

©2019 William Boyle (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A thunderous locomotive of a novel, driven by remarkable characters and sparkling dialogue. A treat for fans of neo-noir, it’s brimming with dark wit and piercing insight. Highly recommended." (Stuart Neville, author of The Twelve)

"The three wondrous and resilient women at its center are so richly etched, so powerfully voiced, you’ll find yourself wanting to pull up to the dinner table with them, grab a glass, and tuck in." (Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me and The Fever)

"Wolfie Wolfstein is as comfortably intact a creature as any crime writer of recent vintage has put together." (Barry Gifford, author of Sailor & Lula:The Complete Novels and The Cuban Club

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  • Blake
  • 04-04-20

do not judge a book by its title

I was recommended this book by a close friend and I can safely say it's one of the greatest audiobooks I have listened to. absolutely fantastic performance by the reader and such a vivid and wonderful story. very funny and absorbing