Weekend Friends
Women's Fiction

Weekend Friends by Bella Ellwood-Clayton

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Weekend Friends by Bella Ellwood-Clayton
Published by Posthill Press on 6 November 2023
Genres: Thriller, Women's Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
four stars - Weekend Friends by Bella Ellwood-Clayton

For girls, middle school is practically the Hunger Games—for their mothers, it can be even worse.

Food photographer, Rebecca, and her tween daughter, Willow, move from Alaska to Boca Raton, leaving behind their terrible secret about the death of Rebecca’s husband. They’re ready to start anew in the warmth of the sunshine state, hoping it will help vanquish Willow’s night terrors.

As her daughter becomes controlled and bullied by the popular group, Rebecca is drawn closer to the charismatic head of school, Mr. Brady. A hot and steamy—though uncertain—relationship begins. Soon, lies, deception, and secrets cause everything to spiral out of control and both mother and daughter find themselves on the wrong side of their gated community with devastating repercussions.

Full of dark twists and turns, Weekend Friends makes you grateful you’re no longer a tween…or the parent of one.

Weekend Friends by Bella Ellwood-Clayton is an endearing story about grief, motherhood and navigating the horror that is teenage girls’ friendship groups.



Death of a husband and father



My review of Weekend Friends

Weekend Friends makes you entirely too grateful that you aren’t a tween anymore or the parent of one – unless of course, you are me, who has two of them in her household. Those years are crazy – both for the parent and for the child. There’s so many big emotions to navigate and as the parent it can be hard to keep that in the forefront of your mind, especially when they scream ‘I hate you.’ Every inconvenience seems like the end of the world, and maybe, for them it is.

At its core, Weekend Friends delivers. Within its pages, twists, turns, and significant revelations unfold. Friendship groups are formed and lost, relationships commence and conclude, and life, in its peculiar way, demonstrates that change is indeed beneficial.

Rebecca, a food photographer, and her daughter Willow have just moved from Alaska to Florida. Life hasn’t been kind to them. They are still recovering from the loss of her husband Theo, who died from colon cancer. Being surrounded by all the things they did together as a family is too much, so Rebecca decides to move them back to a place where she had fond memories as a teen. It’s there that she bumps into her childhood friend, Odelle, and her daughter Stella. Can the pair heal a rift that is decades old?

The relationships between the school mums reminded me of The Weekend Escape by Rakie Bennett. You can check out my review here.

‘We can’t stop living. When someone we love dies, we have to honor them by appreciating our life.’

This debut book was so enticing, I was captivated by both the girls’ relationships and the mothers. An emotionally charged novel, a Mean Girls story for adults.

‘For girls, middle school is practically The Hunger Games—for their mothers, it can be even worse.’

Weekend Friends examines with crystal clear clarity just how cruel kids can be. No scrap that. Kids are just evil, let’s not beat around the bush. Some of them get off with absolute carnage. They pick, tease, and berate they’re so-called friends until they break. Now of course, with the added complication of social media – there is no escape from it. I do feel parenting in the age of social media is a bit like avoiding a landmine.


Weekend Friends delivers. The protagonists are believable, flawed and brave. Addictive.

image asset - Weekend Friends by Bella Ellwood-Clayton

Bella Ellwood-Clayton

Dr. Bella Ellwood-Clayton is an award-winning author and internationally acclaimed relationship expert. Her gripping debut novel, Weekend Friends, described by bestselling author, Nicola Moriarty as ‘unputdownable’ is out now. Bella works in editorial at NAC literary agency.


four stars - Weekend Friends by Bella Ellwood-Clayton

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