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When David Walton, a little-known American playwright, abandons his wife, his three-year-old daughter, and his unborn child for Sarah Cope, a renowned star of the English stage and screen, it causes an international scandal. Though not for the same reasons, his behavior shocks even the person who knows him best, his childhood playmate and closest friend, Nikki Collier. Over the years, Nikki had watched the chronically unfaithful David work his way through a seemingly endless assortment of besotted women, and she had come to believe him incapable of any feeling but friendship. Now, she is not so sure. To her it seems that David may be deeply and genuinely in love for the first time in his life. At least, she wants to believe he is.

That Sarah is in love is beyond question. To be with David, she leaves her celebrated actor-husband. To be the mother of David’s children, she sacrifices her career. They are the perfect couple, the golden couple, beautiful, talented, famous, scandalous, fodder for the tabloids, the stuff of dreams for people who think their own lives humdrum. As the years pass, Nikki observes David and Sarah in London, New York, Vienna, and Los Angeles, wherever their whims, or their work, take them. While Nikki’s own success as a photographer grows, she watches David’s fame rise to meet and then eclipse his wife’s. She witnesses the tragic consequences of that for Sarah.

Can their marriage survive the volatility of their passion, the clash of their egos, the turmoil of their lives? Nikki wonders.

Lovers and Friends is her response to that question. It is Nikki's account of what lies behind the glamorous image the hugely talented David and Sarah present to the world, her chronicle of what befalls them, their children, their family and friends. Above all, it is her portrait of the devastating effect of David and Sarah's actions on each other and the love they share. 

Sonja Bolle, Los Angeles Times: “Marchetta’s prose is well-paced and sensitive, moving from London to New York to Vienna in a sweep of elegance and bittersweet romance. The complexity of her characters sets her apart from the popular writers with whom one is tempted to compare her … The descriptions of theater life are particularly vivid.”

Kirkus Reviews: “If Marchetta’s lovebirds sing a sad song, they do it with fine style and intimacy. Her characters have the jauntiness and gloss of Leigh and Olivier in their good years, and her film and stage milieus are sharply observed. A good show.”

Books, London: “This talented first novel is an intense study of the destructive relationship of two glitterati…”

Clare Colvin, Sunday Express, London: “… a merry-go-round of love intrigues.”

Lancashire Evening Post: “… a man’s story cleverly narrated from a woman’s point of view.”

Louise Titchener, Book World: “… an interesting, thoughtful well-written book.”

Joyce Slater, Chicago Tribune: “ To her credit, Marchetta has created people big enough to support any triumph or tragedy.”

Publisher’s Weekly“… the larger-than-life characters – including Sarah’s ex-husband Duncan, a womanizing thespian, and Cassandra, a cheery, loud gossip and fashion designer – gain a rich patina as they age.”

Merle Rubin, The Christian Science Monitor“When it comes to passion, what this novel delivers is refreshingly free from histrionics: intelligent, self-aware characters in realistic situations struggling with emotions that are believable … ‘Lovers and Friends’ is superior in style and substance to a great deal of what is being marketed as ‘literary’ fiction these days.”

Napa County Record and Valley News“ Beautifully written about larger than life characters. Read it. You’ll love it.”
Jill Jackson