Friendship Matters


Fiction - Womens
396 Pages
Reviewed on 04/02/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Rona D. Drinkard (Rona D.) is a native of Buffalo, New York, the setting of her self-published debut novel. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Daemen College and Masters from SUNY Buffalo State College. Mrs. Drinkard currently resides in Bowie, Maryland and is a project manager lead by day and an award-winning writer by night.

Rona was inspired to write a book after relocating to Maryland with her daughter. She missed her Buffalo family and friends, and writing became a way for her to maintain the connection to those she loved. Out of that came “Friendship Matters” which was launched on February 5, 2022 in Washington, DC.

To date, Rona has won The 2021/2022 BREW Readers’ Choice of the Year Award for Women's Fiction, 2021 Firebird Book Award contest for Fiction, February 2022 BREW Readers’ Choice Award for Fiction and selected as a Indies Today Finalist for Fiction.

Equally notable, she has received numerous five-star reviews from professional companies and readers around the world.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

Friendship Matters by Rona D. Drinkard follows the lives of three friends, all at different places in life and each facing different circumstances. After losing her husband, Euniqé was set on raising her son alone. She meets a man that she is unexpectedly attracted to. Still, she is cautious about the new relationship. Her best friend, Saisha, struggles to hide her unhealthy relationships from Euniqé, a psychologist who always sees through Saisha’s explanations. Their friend Kandace is in a picture-perfect marriage on the surface. Though her husband indulges her, her material possessions do not fulfill her innermost needs. She is unsure that sacrificing her dreams to be a stay-at-home mother is what she wants. Her patience toward her unfaithful husband is wearing thin.

The main characters in Friendship Matters are realistic, and each has a distinctive personality. Saisha is the sassy one of the three, while Euniqé is over-protective of her friends and often offers unsolicited advice. Kandace is a talented singer and is always available for a meet-up. The dialogue between the friends is entertaining and often hilarious. There are also some captivating, dramatic scenes in the novel. In the story, each character grows. They learn to confront the fears that have held them back and allow themselves to move forward. Their separate lives also contain life lessons about being honest with oneself, letting go of the past, and working toward achieving personal dreams. Friendship Matters by Rona D. Drinkard is a funny, profound novel about three friends who share a close bond.

Stephanie Chapman

Friendship Matters by Rona D. Drinkard delves into the friendship bond of three women. Saisha is a real estate agent searching for the perfect man to take the place of Lamont, her high-school sweetheart who had moved to South Carolina. While showing a house to Cameron, Saisha tries to show him subtle clues that she was interested in more than just a business relationship. When Cameron chooses a house, he asks her out to dinner to finalize the deal. Eunique is a psychologist with a profound set of problems. She is a widow and mother of a young boy. She does her best to avoid having a relationship with anyone since her husband died. However, Earl has become determined to win her affections. Kandace is the mother of two children with Travis. For three years, whenever Kandace needed a break from her children, her babysitter was always reliable. When Alisha reveals she is pregnant, Kandace happily offers to help her with the baby.

The way that Rona D. Drinkard wrote Friendship Matters is one of the reasons I enjoyed the story. The character development is clear, and the alternating first-person views allow for an in-depth understanding of each woman's mental reasoning. The interaction between the three women is tasteful and realistic. When they talked, I could imagine I was in the conversation. I was able to relate to Kandace's character the most. I understand how she got blindsided by several revelations about her life, especially when her son tells her how much he understands why his father was absent from home. Instead of being weak and folding under pressure that many people would find unsurmountable, she forges ahead with no hesitation. I can easily rate this a 5-star book. I would recommend this to any adult reader that likes a relatable story. Friendship bonds can easily become stronger than family bonds in this story.

Ronél Steyn

What is friendship? According to the Oxford dictionary, a friend is a person with whom one is on terms of mutual affection, a helper or sympathizer. Oxford does not however explain the particular type of friendship that Saisha, Euniqé, and Kandace have. In Friendship Matters by Rona D. Drinkard, these three friends stand by each other through thick and thin. They are a family. To them that means when one is down, the others are there to lift her up and give full support. Saisha is a real estate agent. She has already met the love of her life, but because of work, they are not together. Her replacement choices so far leave a lot to be desired. Euniqé is a psychologist. She is widowed and is more focused on raising her son than finding another man. Kandace is a housewife. She has two children and a husband who supplies her with financial freedom. But what is his money costing her?

I have had the privilege of getting to know each one of these strong and beautiful ladies. I have become a part of their family and see them like my own friends. The author did an amazing job of bringing these characters to life. They are full of personality and passion. Friendship Matters is easy to read, and the overall flow is steady. I loved the fact that the dialogue was written exactly how they would have spoken. There was no doubt what ethnicity these ladies were and that they were proud of it. Praise to Rona D. Drinkard for succeeding in that task!

Chris K.

This first novel tells the story of three close thirtyish women friends -- Saisha, Euniqe, and Kandace -- and their many tribulations as they try to lead their lives and find happiness. Deceitful and difficult men, and some wonderful men, are the subjects of many, many conversations. Raising kids, managing complicated family relationships, and just the daily business of life are related in ways that are refreshing and humorous, authentic and relatable. The characters are carefully drawn, and it is a pleasure to see them develop and unfold. You get to know the three friends well, and cheer them on as they hit bump after bump yet keep moving forward. Nice homage, too, to Buffalo NY.

Amazon - Reviewed in the United States on March 10, 2022

Shameka Clifton

Oh what a treat! This book was absolutely magnificent! From the start and finish of the 1st chapter I did not want to put the book down. I quickly became invested in each of the characters and wanting to know how the story would end for each of the characters. My schedule is crazy because I am a working mom with 2 elementary age children but I picked the book up every chance I got and still finished it in less than 2 months. I have already purchased several books for my friends so that we can have a discussion about it. I typically read self help books so this fictional drama was quite a great treat and escape from my busy life!! Ironic enough I finished the book on my flight back from a girls trip in TX - Delightful!

Amazon - Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2022

Dana Ransom

This book gives you a real look into the matters of friendship and why FRIENDSHIP MATTERS. The stories of these 3 women on different paths in life is relatable and entertaining. You can find something about yourself in each of these women and even the men that surround their lives. The author wrote in such a way that you feel personally connected to each lady like you are part of their conversations & interactions. It’s a page turner & truly is a must read!

Amazon - Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2022

Desire Durant

Heartwarming and genuine
I love this book! For her first outing, I think Rona D really hit the nail on the head with the development of her characters. She made them interesting and realistic. At times funny and at times heartbreaking, reading about these ladies really touched my heart.

Amazon - Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2022

Amars

Sassy but Loyal
These ladies will absolutely capture your attention from the 1st sentence and hold you there wanting more until the last word!! Such a fun book that truly is a great reminder of how friendships can be stronger more meaningful. Grab some kleenex a glass of your choice and enjoy!

Amazon - Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2022

Haashim a. drinkard

It was so refreshing to read a story about three women without cattiness or backbiting between friends. The author brilliantly shone a light on what truly matters when it comes to friendship. The twists and turns she took us all on we’re well worth the ride. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in this saga, would love to see this story played out on television.

Amazon - Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2022

Shrabastee

Friendship Matters by Rona Drinkard features three inseparable friends- Saisha, Euniqé, and Kandace. The trio could not be any more different from each other. Saisha, a realtor by profession, seeks a stable companion despite pining for her ex. Euniqé is a widowed psychotherapist raising her son all by herself. Kandace, a stay-at-home mother of two, has no clue that her husband’s adultery has already made her life a nightmare. This gorgeous women’s fiction will provide glimpses into these three friends’ life. Will Saisha find her dream man? Can Euniqé come out of her grief? Will Kandace finally confront the reality?

Rona made three unforgettable central characters who would enamor the readers with their personalities. I loved how she gave each friend a unique voice. She detailed their personal preferences in music, dressing habit, and even hobbies. Rona sure knew how to make the readers thoroughly involved in the characters’ lives. There were countless times I desperately wanted Saisha to forgo a wrong choice or Euniqé to give herself another chance in love. While reading this book, you could not help rooting for the characters.

The novel talked about family bonding while providing ample glimpses into the trio’s backstories. I admired the loving ties they shared with their families and each other. I loved how they were deeply involved in each other’s lives, caring for the others’ children even. The story proved that being family does not necessarily require a blood relation. The trio’s chemistry was fantastic; it was the strength of their friendship that held them together and helped them deal with life’s curveballs. Despite their occasional competitive streaks and insane banters, each provided a valuable support system for the other two.

The assertiveness of the central characters amazed me. Rona sketched each of them with distinct traits. Saisha boasted a sassy and forward character, while Euniqé was more rational and conservative. Although I did not expect it from Kandace, she turned out to be a strong-willed girl as well. Yet, the beauty was that Rona featured their vulnerable sides with equal vividity. Even the formidable Saisha felt insecure about not getting a suitable partner. Euniqé hesitated to start a new relationship lest her son could not cope with it. Kandace had long overlooked the follies of her philandering husband. The novel thus captured them at a crucial moment in their lives.

I did not have much to complain about. All the stories of meeting new men and dating started to sound a little similar and repetitive towards the end. Still, this is one of the best books I have read featuring women’s solidarity. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who appreciates romance stories and women’s fiction. Rona sends us a powerful message through her novel. That is, conquering the world is easy if you have such strong friendships in your arsenal.

The Chrysalis BREW Project - SC, 11 February 2022

Morgan Justice

"A timeless, charming story about three women who need each other as they need the very air they breathe."

Friendship Matters is a bubbly romp through the champagne waters of adult relationships. Three long-time friends, Saisha, Euniqé and Kandace, navigate the challenges of marriage, child rearing, grief, heartbreak and infidelity. Each woman is fierce and independent, although in different ways. Kandace seems meek at first glance, but underneath all the designer clothes and expensive purses is a tiger who has just been uncaged. Saisha overcompensates for insecurities with an in-your-face confidence that turns heads, but is ultimately unsure of herself when the important decisions need to be made. Euniqé is the most complex of the trio, raising a son alone after the death of her beloved husband. Although romance isn’t on her radar, love has a way of coming in through the window, even if the door has been closed for a while. Besides their enduring friendships, these feisty ladies always make time for God, their families, and great music.

Rona D. Drinkard has a relaxed writing style that is so casual that you may forget you’re actively reading a book. This dramatic rom-com is refreshingly free of pretension, affectation and needless self-reflection. Instead, readers are dropped right into the non-stop locomotion of these busy women, becoming immediately absorbed in Saisha’s newest boy-toy, Euniqé’s story of heartbreak or the complete 180 degree turn in Kandace’s life. It’s so easy to get in the mind of each woman as the narration changes voices, almost like switching from comfy jeans to even comfier PJ’s. All the characters are genuine, open and honest, casting a warm and inviting glow over the entire story, and evoking feelings of contentment and belonging. Cozy and comfortable, Friendship Matters is a timeless, charming story about three women who need each other as much as they need the very air they breathe.

Jordan Ehmann

Three gal pals with two decades of history are on a path to find something, perhaps satisfaction or maybe genuine happiness, only to discover that the answer lies in their unshakable bond of friendship. Saisha spends her days selling real estate and her nights with sundry men, some otherwise entangled, some not. This is to the dismay of the vivacious Euniqé, who never fails to live up to her name, even when exuding confidence and strength is painful. Adding balance to the threesome is Kandace, a woman who seems to be living the dream. But to her, the dream isn’t very sweet. She may be flush with cash, but the cost is a perpetually unfaithful husband and dreams unfulfilled. Romantic predicaments, domestic difficulties, missed expectations and daily stresses are the web these women must unravel as they battle the ups and downs of life. Their struggles will ultimately strain the limits of their relationships, but friendship can be surprisingly resilient.

Friendship Matters is a lively story that proves just how much friendship matters. Rona D. Drinkard does an impressive job of capturing all the everyday moments in life, making them shine with excitement and constant movement. The cultural picture is painted vividly, with an endless sampling of rich food, pointed expressions, and moving musical tracks. As for the characters, well, these ladies have personality for miles! Saisha is over-the-top confident about everything from her looks to her seduction skills. Her personality is so big and so loud that it is almost a relief when the point-of-view switches to the more grounded Euniqé and her tragic story of heartbreak. And even Kandace, who struggles to be more than just a suburban housewife, has little difficulty finding her voice as her marriage disintegrates before her eyes. The unstable tense of the narrator affects the prose and flow of this dramatic novel, however, Drinkard’s spirited writing style is familiar and casual, speaking directly to readers as if you were involved in an exclusive conversation. If you enjoy reading about confident Black women, this book has you covered with three different ladies sure to speak to people in all sorts of circumstances. With plenty of relationship drama tossed in among fierce outfits, sizzling hot dates, and heart-to-heart moments, Friendship Matters is a splashy and spicy novel that demonstrates the staying power of friendship.

Indies Today - November 2021

Morgan Justice

"A timeless, charming story about three women who need each other as they need the very air they breathe."

Friendship Matters is a bubbly romp through the champagne waters of adult relationships. Three long-time friends, Saisha, Euniqé and Kandace, navigate the challenges of marriage, child rearing, grief, heartbreak and infidelity. Each woman is fierce and independent, although in different ways. Kandace seems meek at first glance, but underneath all the designer clothes and expensive purses is a tiger who has just been uncaged. Saisha overcompensates for insecurities with an in-your-face confidence that turns heads, but is ultimately unsure of herself when the important decisions need to be made. Euniqé is the most complex of the trio, raising a son alone after the death of her beloved husband. Although romance isn’t on her radar, love has a way of coming in through the window, even if the door has been closed for a while. Besides their enduring friendships, these feisty ladies always make time for God, their families, and great music.

Rona D. Drinkard has a relaxed writing style that is so casual that you may forget you’re actively reading a book. This dramatic rom-com is refreshingly free of pretension, affectation and needless self-reflection. Instead, readers are dropped right into the non-stop locomotion of these busy women, becoming immediately absorbed in Saisha’s newest boy-toy, Euniqé’s story of heartbreak or the complete 180 degree turn in Kandace’s life. It’s so easy to get in the mind of each woman as the narration changes voices, almost like switching from comfy jeans to even comfier PJ’s. All the characters are genuine, open and honest, casting a warm and inviting glow over the entire story, and evoking feelings of contentment and belonging. Cozy and comfortable, Friendship Matters is a timeless, charming story about three women who need each other as much as they need the very air they breathe.

Indies Today - November 2021