Malorie didn't believe there was something out there at first. Her sister tried to warn her. Incidents of suicide and madness were popping up around the world but nothing close to home. Until their parents stopped answering the phone. Then there were cases occurring in their city. Finally, pregnant and scared, Malorie finds her sister in the bathroom in a pool of blood. Thus starts a frightening tale of unknowns and survival.
Friends and Strangers tells the story of two women at a crossroads in their life. Sam, a senior at an all girls college, has signed on to babysit Elisabeth's baby, Gil, part-time. The women indulge in a quick friendship, relying on one another for honest insight as Sam prepares to adjust to a new more grown up life outside of college and Elisabeth adjusts to her new life in a small town. Both women, however, find themselves dealing with personal demons, elitism and privilege.
Kristen is a fierce, loyal, smart, funny, and driven woman who makes life decisions based on logic, not feelings. When she meets Josh, the best man in her best friend’s wedding, she tries to use logic to keep their relationship strictly platonic, even though she’s never felt this way about anyone in her life-- not even her boyfriend (who is overseas in the military). However, wearing her ugliest clothes, no makeup, and forgoing a hairbrush for days doesn’t stop Josh from thinking she’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever met.
Cassie Hanwell is one of the best firefighters Austen, Texas, and one of the few female ones. The book begins with her being the youngest and first woman to receive an award for Valor. However, at the ceremony, the man handing her the award is an alderman she hasn’t set eyes on since high school, who happens to be the reason she doesn’t do relationships. When he gropes her onstage, she loses it and beats the crap out of him. And thus, her perfectly curated life begins to unravel.
During their senior year of college, Lucy and Gabe randomly come together on September 11, 2001, before going in separate directions. They reconnect years later and fall into a passionate love affair only to be separated again, but this time because Gabe accepts a job as a photographer with the Associated Press overseas and Lucy refuses to leave her job in New York City. Both wanting to make their mark on the world, neither wants to give up their dream for their relationship.