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Book Rec: Keep Your Friends Close by Leah Konen

Updated: Jul 6

How well do you know your friends?

The whole saying goes, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” But what if you don’t realize who your enemies are until too late? I must say I didn’t know of Leah Konen’s other books, but this new release had me drawn in from the first few chapters. Gripping and twisty, Keep Your Friends Close reminded me of First Lie Wins.


Keep Your Friends Close Book Summary

a women wearing red lipstick with another woman's hand on her shoulder (also wearing read fingernail polish)

Isolated and embroiled in a custody battle, Mary is desperate for a friend. So when she meets the charming and enigmatic Willa at a Brooklyn playground, their connection feels fated. But during a margarita-fueled moms’ night out, Mary shares her darkest secret about her ex, George, and the next morning Willa simply disappears. No calls, no texts, nothing.


Two months later, Mary’s divorce is almost finalized, and she’s trying to build a new life for her son in upstate New York. On her first day in town, she runs into Willa . . . only Willa’s name is now Annie, and she’s got an entirely new family in tow. When George turns up dead and Mary becomes the prime suspect, she has no choice but to turn to her only friend in town: Willa.


As coincidences—and evidence—pile up, Mary begins to wonder whether Willa had something to do with George’s death. Is the woman a friend or a foe, a confidante or just a con? Mary must uncover the truth before she loses everything.


Discussion Guide for Keep Your Friends Close (spoilers ahead!)


  1. When Mary first befriends Willa at the playground, Willa says, “It can be hard to connect with other women – for me, at least.” In what ways did this statement make Willa more appealing to Mary? As you learn more, how did this statement tell you more about Willa?

  2. Early on, Mary encounters Willa again after not seeing her for several months, and Willa pretends to be someone else. How would you react to a friend in the same situation?

  3. In various forms, the women mention their desire for freedom – financially and socially. How does motherhood exacerbate or reconcile their feelings of entrapment with their desire to be free?

  4. We see a glimpse of Mary and Willa after the novel is over. What is your reaction? What do you think is next for Willa and Mary?

  5. Did you see it coming? Who did you suspect?


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Loved this book!

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