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Norah Merrit, a dedicated obstetrician known for her bedside manner and service to Doctors Without Borders, walks into girls night out with a confession to make and what she has to say shakes the group to its core. In the aftermath of Norah's revelation, each of the women she calls her sister-friends photojournalist Camille, stay-at-home mom Leila, publicist Ellison, and d Norah Merrit, a dedicated obstetrician known for her bedside manner and service to Doctors Without Borders, walks into girls night out with a confession to make and what she has to say shakes the group to its core. In the aftermath of Norah's revelation, each of the women she calls her sister-friends photojournalist Camille, stay-at-home mom Leila, publicist Ellison, and designer Kate are left questioning the roads they haven't taken, and revisiting the vastly different choices they've made in life and love. Told in alternating points of view between the five friends, Center Ring is a story about modern women finding balance through action, relationships, and growth in the midst of challenges and change.


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Norah Merrit, a dedicated obstetrician known for her bedside manner and service to Doctors Without Borders, walks into girls night out with a confession to make and what she has to say shakes the group to its core. In the aftermath of Norah's revelation, each of the women she calls her sister-friends photojournalist Camille, stay-at-home mom Leila, publicist Ellison, and d Norah Merrit, a dedicated obstetrician known for her bedside manner and service to Doctors Without Borders, walks into girls night out with a confession to make and what she has to say shakes the group to its core. In the aftermath of Norah's revelation, each of the women she calls her sister-friends photojournalist Camille, stay-at-home mom Leila, publicist Ellison, and designer Kate are left questioning the roads they haven't taken, and revisiting the vastly different choices they've made in life and love. Told in alternating points of view between the five friends, Center Ring is a story about modern women finding balance through action, relationships, and growth in the midst of challenges and change.

30 review for Center Ring

  1. 4 out of 5

    Laura McNeill

    Timely and compelling, Waggoner's debut delivers a deft look at women and contemporary life; examining the choices we make and the decisions which define us.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I've heard only good things about Center Ring and I have to agree with everyone who recommended it. Nicole Waggoner hit one out of the ball park with her debut novel. The main characters are all easy to relate to and I could see myself being friends with all of them, but to different degrees. (I think I would be closer with Leila than with Cami, for instance.) It was like reading a grown-up version of The Babysitters Club (even though I've been writing fan fiction of that series to appeal to adu I've heard only good things about Center Ring and I have to agree with everyone who recommended it. Nicole Waggoner hit one out of the ball park with her debut novel. The main characters are all easy to relate to and I could see myself being friends with all of them, but to different degrees. (I think I would be closer with Leila than with Cami, for instance.) It was like reading a grown-up version of The Babysitters Club (even though I've been writing fan fiction of that series to appeal to adults). Each woman had some demons to face, whether it was a terrible upbringing, a bad marriage, stress from parenting, a troublesome health situation, career issues, mourning a loved one, etc. Sometimes I got so angry with other characters they had to deal with, such as Kate's mom, who was just obnoxiously stuck up. I think that since this is part of a series, the books could have been a bit shorter to focus on just one or two characters per story. A lot of the time, I felt like this was the Ellie story and the other characters had bit parts. Even Norah's story seemed to take a back-seat to what was going on in Ellie's life. I liked Ellie's story a lot and it showed a side of public relations that I had not seen before. Almost like The Babysitter's Club, if each character had their own book, it would feel a bit less overwhelming. Nonetheless, this did not take away from my enjoyment at all. Just when I think there's going to be a happy ending, Nicole threw in a huge cliffhanger, and now I can't wait for her next book in the series to come out! Nicole cast the main characters over at my book blog, but she challenged me to find some alternates. Challenge accepted! (It was very hard to step away from Nicole's ideas though.) Norah: Natalie Portman Leila: Keri Russell (I saw her more as Leila than as Norah). Cami: Blake Lively Ellie: Kristen Bell or Erika Christensen Kate: Kate McKinnon

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susan Peterson

    Center Ring is a compelling, fast-paced story about 5 friends trying to find balance, love, and success in today's world. The story begins with the 5 friends meeting for dinner, during which Norah, a successful obstetrician reveals a shocking secret to her friends. As the story moves along, we learn that each of the friends is harboring their own secrets and daily struggles. The story is told from all 5 points of view, and each of the women have a distinct voice. This book deals with so many top Center Ring is a compelling, fast-paced story about 5 friends trying to find balance, love, and success in today's world. The story begins with the 5 friends meeting for dinner, during which Norah, a successful obstetrician reveals a shocking secret to her friends. As the story moves along, we learn that each of the friends is harboring their own secrets and daily struggles. The story is told from all 5 points of view, and each of the women have a distinct voice. This book deals with so many topics; adultery, anorexia, grief, marriage, and parenthood, and how they shape each of the friends. The story is a real page-turner, as the reader becomes anxious to know how each of their stories will conclude. This is book one of a trilogy, and ends on a climactic note, leaving the reader clamoring for the rest of the story. This is the author's debut novel, and she has done a stunning job giving us characters and plot that will resonate with all of us. I can't wait for book 2!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    I enjoy books written from multiple points of view like this—in this case, five women in their thirties—because I can identify with certain aspects of each of the different characters’ personalities. There is Norah, a successful married physician whose professional life is great but whose personal life is in chaos. Cami, a photojournalist who suddenly finds her career headed in a surprisingly new direction. Leila, who has a PhD and had a great job as a professor but is now at home full time with I enjoy books written from multiple points of view like this—in this case, five women in their thirties—because I can identify with certain aspects of each of the different characters’ personalities. There is Norah, a successful married physician whose professional life is great but whose personal life is in chaos. Cami, a photojournalist who suddenly finds her career headed in a surprisingly new direction. Leila, who has a PhD and had a great job as a professor but is now at home full time with her two young daughters. Ellie, a successful PR rep, whose personal life also is in—for her—uncharted territory. And Kate, a new mom, trying to navigate motherhood and an eating disorder. (I wanted to murder the judgmental moms she encountered in the poorly named mom “support group.”) It’s fun to delve into the ups and downs of other women’s lives. Waggoner manages to juggle the multiple POVs well, keeping each of the perspectives clear and intriguing. For more of my reviews, please visit http://theresaalan.net/blog/

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I have only one complaint about this book and its that I have to wait for book 2 and 3 in the trilogy! I got so involved in the lives of Norah, Ellie, Cami, Kate, and Leila while I read Center Ring that I want to spend more time with them NOW. But, I will try to be patient and give debut author Nicole Waggoner a little time (not too much though) to use her fantastic talent to continue their stories. This is a novel about 5 women facing modern day problems. The chapters are told by alternating wom I have only one complaint about this book and its that I have to wait for book 2 and 3 in the trilogy! I got so involved in the lives of Norah, Ellie, Cami, Kate, and Leila while I read Center Ring that I want to spend more time with them NOW. But, I will try to be patient and give debut author Nicole Waggoner a little time (not too much though) to use her fantastic talent to continue their stories. This is a novel about 5 women facing modern day problems. The chapters are told by alternating women but are woven together by their friendship. There was no confusion in keeping the women and their stories separate, their voices were so different and they were easily identified. They all faced problems that are being faced by young women today and they each have distinctive strengths and weaknesses but they are all bonded together by their friendship. I can't wait for Book 2 to get back into their world! (I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Center Ring is Nicole Waggoner's debut novel and it's a delightful one. The cover. The concept. It's all a perfect fit. Admittedly, when I got to the end I was thinking, oh nooooo. I may have even said it out loud. It's a cliffhanger! Waggoner's book holds enough weight that it left me invested enough to need to see what happens next. Told from the perspective of five women, Center Ring has a strong focus on friendships and relationships. You'll find yourself caught up in each storyteller's tale Center Ring is Nicole Waggoner's debut novel and it's a delightful one. The cover. The concept. It's all a perfect fit. Admittedly, when I got to the end I was thinking, oh nooooo. I may have even said it out loud. It's a cliffhanger! Waggoner's book holds enough weight that it left me invested enough to need to see what happens next. Told from the perspective of five women, Center Ring has a strong focus on friendships and relationships. You'll find yourself caught up in each storyteller's tale, questioning what it is about them draws you in. What characteristic is strongest in each woman? Which do you like best? Can you feel for them all? Which one are you in your circle of friends? And when you get to the end you simply need to know what happens next. You can't ask for much more when it comes to book one of three!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Burnett

    Wow – I just loved this book!! I did not want the story to end and was so sad when it did. I cannot wait for the next to books to follow. Center Rings tells the story of five female friends dealing with modern day relationships and problems. The characters are very well developed and interesting, and I felt invested in each of their stories. Each woman was dealing with her own set of issues and struggles, and the author portrays each character so well that I empathized with each of them. The stor Wow – I just loved this book!! I did not want the story to end and was so sad when it did. I cannot wait for the next to books to follow. Center Rings tells the story of five female friends dealing with modern day relationships and problems. The characters are very well developed and interesting, and I felt invested in each of their stories. Each woman was dealing with her own set of issues and struggles, and the author portrays each character so well that I empathized with each of them. The story is told with alternating viewpoints as each woman relays her own story. All sorts of details emerge as the story progresses, and I just could not put the book down until I finished it. I found it easy to keep the characters and their stories straight because each woman had her own distinguishable personality. As a side note, Nicole Waggoner’s cultural references really resonated with me. From late night talk show hosts to Robert Frost quotes, these additions to the story made me like the book even more than I already did. The title for the book was also spot on, and the author cleverly wove references to the title throughout the story. A definite must read that I highly recommend. I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Letty

    What a wonderful debut novel Nicole Waggoner has written. A story of five friends, Norah, Cami Kate, Ellie and Leila trying to find balance in their lives, something most women try to do when dealing with relationships, families, health, and career choices. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, "Life is this crazy combination of love and risk and loss; then, just when you think you have it figured out, it throws you a curveball." So, so true! This book is told in alternating points of view What a wonderful debut novel Nicole Waggoner has written. A story of five friends, Norah, Cami Kate, Ellie and Leila trying to find balance in their lives, something most women try to do when dealing with relationships, families, health, and career choices. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, "Life is this crazy combination of love and risk and loss; then, just when you think you have it figured out, it throws you a curveball." So, so true! This book is told in alternating points of view between the friends and done so well that I did not find it confusing as I sometimes do with other books written in that style. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it. I cannot wait to read the next two books in this trilogy!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Roesel

    Debut author, Nicole Waggoner is the newest lady on the block to enter the women’s friendships genre. In THE CENTER RING, she tells the story of five strong women who face ups and downs throughout their friendships. Nicole has a warm writing style and manages to capture the heartbreaks and complications of everyday life. Nicole the author, is an incredibly positive person. I look forward to what she writes next! http://www.nicolewaggonerauthor.com Debut author, Nicole Waggoner is the newest lady on the block to enter the women’s friendships genre. In THE CENTER RING, she tells the story of five strong women who face ups and downs throughout their friendships. Nicole has a warm writing style and manages to capture the heartbreaks and complications of everyday life. Nicole the author, is an incredibly positive person. I look forward to what she writes next! http://www.nicolewaggonerauthor.com

  10. 4 out of 5

    Susie Schnall

    Great characters - a page turner! Even after the last page!!! Can't wait to find out what happens in Book 2!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kayleigh

    Sister-friends. The women we choose to be our life partners. The ones who are there for our everything, be it men or babies. In Center Ring, debut novel by author Nicole Waggoner, we delve into the friendship and lives of five women. Five women who love each other fiercely, and have each other's backs, no matter what mistakes are made. Debut novel, really?! I'm eagerly anticipating picking up the story of Ellie, Kate, Norah, Leila, and Camille again, and can't wait for the second novel!! I was c Sister-friends. The women we choose to be our life partners. The ones who are there for our everything, be it men or babies. In Center Ring, debut novel by author Nicole Waggoner, we delve into the friendship and lives of five women. Five women who love each other fiercely, and have each other's backs, no matter what mistakes are made. Debut novel, really?! I'm eagerly anticipating picking up the story of Ellie, Kate, Norah, Leila, and Camille again, and can't wait for the second novel!! I was completely invested in the stories of these ladies, I felt like they were my own friends, that I was part of the circle.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Athena

    Center Ring is such a clever novel . It Centers on 5 Women who are the best of friends who have "Real Women " issues that we all face when we are in our thirties. Choosing career, family, children and romance and trying to juggle this tightrope act that we all have to face. You as the reader will find at least one woman to relate to and will see your friends and acquaintances in others. Please pick this novel up will make an excellent Bookclub pick as it lends to great discussion. And best part Center Ring is such a clever novel . It Centers on 5 Women who are the best of friends who have "Real Women " issues that we all face when we are in our thirties. Choosing career, family, children and romance and trying to juggle this tightrope act that we all have to face. You as the reader will find at least one woman to relate to and will see your friends and acquaintances in others. Please pick this novel up will make an excellent Bookclub pick as it lends to great discussion. And best part this is a Trilogy!!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laura Rash

    A terrific story of five strong women who face challenges & life choices together with their incredible friendship. Great to read a book with brave women having each others backs in the ups & downs! A terrific story of five strong women who face challenges & life choices together with their incredible friendship. Great to read a book with brave women having each others backs in the ups & downs!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    Center Ring is a book ALL women can relate to. It's written from the different view points of five friends, each just attempting to live their life and find balance between work, home, love and motherhood. I instantly found two characters I could relate to. Being a stay at home mom of three, I could easily look back and remember times I felt the exact way the characters were feeling. At one point I shoved the book at my poor husband and demanded he read a paragraph- after reading he tried to hid Center Ring is a book ALL women can relate to. It's written from the different view points of five friends, each just attempting to live their life and find balance between work, home, love and motherhood. I instantly found two characters I could relate to. Being a stay at home mom of three, I could easily look back and remember times I felt the exact way the characters were feeling. At one point I shoved the book at my poor husband and demanded he read a paragraph- after reading he tried to hide a smirk... "Sounds familiar" was his only response. I enjoyed the remaining characters and found myself wondering what my life would be like had I chosen a different path... Would I be a Norah??? A Cami?? Ellie??? I absolutely love how the characters meld together at times while still remaining independent from one another. You'll have moments where you want to skip one characters story just so you can find out what's happening with another. This book truly shows the beauty of female friendship... You'll enjoy watching the group pull together for one another, even though they don't necessarily like the choices one has made. This is a great read, especially if you're into chick lit- but, be careful and make sure your work is done first- because one you start you will be sucked in and become a worthless pie eating couch potato for the day!!!! Congratulations to Nicole Waggoner, a sister friend I am proud to know. I wish you all the best in this new adventure! I am truly blessed to know you. I can't wait to see what the future holds for your talent. Much love my friend!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I received an ARC of Center Ring, in return for an honest review. Honestly, this book left me wanting So.Much.More (in a GREAT way). I LOVED it!!!!!!!! I finished Center Ring this past weekend, and it's taken a few days to digest. Nicole Waggoner has written an amazing debut - so very realistic, loving, heartbreaking, and real. So real, that you want Leila, Cami, Ellie, Norah, and Kate as your own "sister-friends." Every woman should be so blessed to have these types of "sisters" in their lives. I received an ARC of Center Ring, in return for an honest review. Honestly, this book left me wanting So.Much.More (in a GREAT way). I LOVED it!!!!!!!! I finished Center Ring this past weekend, and it's taken a few days to digest. Nicole Waggoner has written an amazing debut - so very realistic, loving, heartbreaking, and real. So real, that you want Leila, Cami, Ellie, Norah, and Kate as your own "sister-friends." Every woman should be so blessed to have these types of "sisters" in their lives. Women, that would drop everything at the snap of a thumb for you. Ones who would bend over backward for you, and most importantly - be your biggest cheerleaders. I laughed, I cried, and the ending had me wanting more, NOW! Unfortunately, I will have to wait for the second in the trilogy to come out to find out what happens next. No spoilers in this review, just go pre-order this book, NOW! I promise you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to see what Nicole Waggoner comes up with next, and where these women's lives go. I am so emotionally invested - after one book!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    Center Ring by Nicole Waggoner is a great novel that follows five women in their thirties who all face pivotal moments in their personal and professional lives. Besides being very well written and having engaging story lines, the skill in this book also lies with the narration. Each chapter is from a different character's point of view but it doesn't get confusing. Waggoner does a great job of establishing each character individually, both in occupation and voice. Then she builds on their connec Center Ring by Nicole Waggoner is a great novel that follows five women in their thirties who all face pivotal moments in their personal and professional lives. Besides being very well written and having engaging story lines, the skill in this book also lies with the narration. Each chapter is from a different character's point of view but it doesn't get confusing. Waggoner does a great job of establishing each character individually, both in occupation and voice. Then she builds on their connections to each other and their own conflicts as she goes along. The book sets itself up perfectly for a sequel, which is good since it's the first book in a trilogy. My favorite character by far was Ellie. I appreciated the perspective she gave me as I read and also the humor. Fun fact #772 - this book is fantastic and will be worth the time you invest to read it. Even if it means you need a lot of coffee the next day because you stayed up until the middle of the night reading it like I did because I could not put it down. I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Camille Maio

    The author of "Center Ring" accomplished something that is very difficult to do - juggle five main characters and manage to give them distinct and easily recognizable voices. I've read several multi-lead stories lately, both of which I found confusing. Waggoner's women - Norah, Ellie, Cami, Kate, and Leila each had compelling stories, strung together by their common friendship. Any one of them could have its own book, and yet I didn't think any depth was lacking for them having to share pages. M The author of "Center Ring" accomplished something that is very difficult to do - juggle five main characters and manage to give them distinct and easily recognizable voices. I've read several multi-lead stories lately, both of which I found confusing. Waggoner's women - Norah, Ellie, Cami, Kate, and Leila each had compelling stories, strung together by their common friendship. Any one of them could have its own book, and yet I didn't think any depth was lacking for them having to share pages. My personal favorite was Ellie. I would definitely read more from this author, and look forward to reading the sequel. And, if anyone asks me why I have baggy eyes today, I'll blame it on this book, which I stayed up until 3:30am finishing.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Yesterday, I finished Center Ring by the lovely Nicole Waggoner. Not only was I hooked from the start, I became completely, emotionally invested in Norah, Kate, Ellie, Leila and Cami's lives. And fell a bit in love with a couple of their men as well. All five women are likable and relatable and have a friendship like on SATC, only real, like you could be their friend too. And you see a bit of yourself in each woman. The strengths, weaknesses, self doubts and courage. You might find yourself in t Yesterday, I finished Center Ring by the lovely Nicole Waggoner. Not only was I hooked from the start, I became completely, emotionally invested in Norah, Kate, Ellie, Leila and Cami's lives. And fell a bit in love with a couple of their men as well. All five women are likable and relatable and have a friendship like on SATC, only real, like you could be their friend too. And you see a bit of yourself in each woman. The strengths, weaknesses, self doubts and courage. You might find yourself in this book while you end up getting lost in it. I cannot wait for Book Two so I can crawl back into the bubble that is The Circus of Women.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I read this quickly and eagerly, resenting having to go to bed or make a meal because I couldn't wait to see what happened next. We follow five long-time girl friends through a brief but very action filled time in their lives. Whether you are a stay at home mum, busy professional or work with the rich and famous, there is at least one of these five ladies you can relate to. I initially found following five characters quite confusing but once I'd got their names with their stories I couldn't wait I read this quickly and eagerly, resenting having to go to bed or make a meal because I couldn't wait to see what happened next. We follow five long-time girl friends through a brief but very action filled time in their lives. Whether you are a stay at home mum, busy professional or work with the rich and famous, there is at least one of these five ladies you can relate to. I initially found following five characters quite confusing but once I'd got their names with their stories I couldn't wait to get back to each of them again, and having five protagonists instead of one or two certainly keeps variety and story interest up. Nicole Waggoner is an accomplished writer who knows how to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. She fills the pages with love, emotion and the exciting life of women you can relate to. This is a wonderful book, it's sexy and sassy, full of secrets and the feel-good wholesomeness of the strong bonds of women and has a continuous gripping storyline. I would certainly recommend.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Sherod

    If you love characters that draw you in and make you feel like you aren't alone this is your novel!! This is the tale of 5 sister-friends who ride the roller coaster of life together! Love, heartache, ambition, trials, tribulations... In other words LIFE is found within the pages of this debut novel! The book told in alternating perspectives will draw you in. Each quick chapter is a snippet of the lives of some amazing women! You will fall in love with Pat and feel angst for Norah, rally behind If you love characters that draw you in and make you feel like you aren't alone this is your novel!! This is the tale of 5 sister-friends who ride the roller coaster of life together! Love, heartache, ambition, trials, tribulations... In other words LIFE is found within the pages of this debut novel! The book told in alternating perspectives will draw you in. Each quick chapter is a snippet of the lives of some amazing women! You will fall in love with Pat and feel angst for Norah, rally behind Kate and love Leila for the mom/wife she stands for. And finally you will embrace Cami as she navigates the unknown!!! This will be in the hands of many a mom, wife, and friend upon its release!!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hollis

    A multi-layered and multi-perspective novel which illuminates the challenges of life and relationships. Waggoner delicately and meticulously weaves the tapestry of lifelong friendships of 5 women from very different backgrounds. Each woman goes through her own balancing act of family, work, and self-identity, while also helping the others with their own juggling acts. Readers will be able to identify with at least one character and be invested in these friendships from the first page. Waggoner d A multi-layered and multi-perspective novel which illuminates the challenges of life and relationships. Waggoner delicately and meticulously weaves the tapestry of lifelong friendships of 5 women from very different backgrounds. Each woman goes through her own balancing act of family, work, and self-identity, while also helping the others with their own juggling acts. Readers will be able to identify with at least one character and be invested in these friendships from the first page. Waggoner does a brilliant job with keeping the plot going while also providing background stories on each character, making it feel like you've known Leila, Norah, Ellie, Kate and Cami your whole life.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    Center Ring is Sex in the City California Style... ...the Sangria to SITC’s Cosmos. The beaches and palm trees to Manhattan’s skyscrapers and pavement. Nicole Waggoner’s debut is a page-turner, a delicious read, that delves into the lives (read: drama!) of five friends attempting to find balance in life, work, relationships, and parenthood. It’s a perfect book club pick that leaves you breathless at the end and aching for more. Thank goodness this book is the first in a series. There’s more to c Center Ring is Sex in the City California Style... ...the Sangria to SITC’s Cosmos. The beaches and palm trees to Manhattan’s skyscrapers and pavement. Nicole Waggoner’s debut is a page-turner, a delicious read, that delves into the lives (read: drama!) of five friends attempting to find balance in life, work, relationships, and parenthood. It’s a perfect book club pick that leaves you breathless at the end and aching for more. Thank goodness this book is the first in a series. There’s more to come!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Mommy Booknerd http://mrsmommybooknerd.blogspot.com

    Center Ring is packed with love, humor, friendship and motherhood. Waggoner has managed to write a book that captures the lives of friends in a way that really showcases the complications, heartbreaks and victories of every day life in a way that both breaks and warms the heart simultaneously. There is brilliance in the writing that allows the reader to really connect to the characters. The readers are touched and moved by their stories in a way that makes them feel so real. I cannot wait to see Center Ring is packed with love, humor, friendship and motherhood. Waggoner has managed to write a book that captures the lives of friends in a way that really showcases the complications, heartbreaks and victories of every day life in a way that both breaks and warms the heart simultaneously. There is brilliance in the writing that allows the reader to really connect to the characters. The readers are touched and moved by their stories in a way that makes them feel so real. I cannot wait to see where this series is going! Love, love, love 5 stars!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Simpson

    Nicole Waggoner owes me a couple of night’s sleep! Her debut novel, Center Ring is an excellent page-turner and I didn’t want to stop reading once I started. It has the components I believe are necessary to make a book good: complex and interesting characters, compelling storylines with unpredictable twists and turns, and high quality writing. And on top of that, the bonus for me was the way thought-provoking, inspiring ideas were interspersed throughout the entertaining narrative. I can’t wait Nicole Waggoner owes me a couple of night’s sleep! Her debut novel, Center Ring is an excellent page-turner and I didn’t want to stop reading once I started. It has the components I believe are necessary to make a book good: complex and interesting characters, compelling storylines with unpredictable twists and turns, and high quality writing. And on top of that, the bonus for me was the way thought-provoking, inspiring ideas were interspersed throughout the entertaining narrative. I can’t wait to read her next two books. My advice: Buy Center Ring NOW – you won’t be disappointed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pam Jenoff

    I loved this story of four friends, all at different stages of their lives, questioning their choices in work and family. And the book is supposed to be the first of a trilogy -- I cannot wait for the next one!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Donsky

    Starting the day with a cup of coffee and the Wall Street Journal remains one of life’s undiminished pleasures. So when I found myself neglecting the newspaper to finish Center Ring, I knew something special was brewing. Other than the coffee. In this debut novel, Nicole Waggoner lays bare the complicated lives and difficult choices faced by five best friends as they juggle families, careers, and identity problems—what one refers to as ‘first world problems.’ And that they are. But for those dea Starting the day with a cup of coffee and the Wall Street Journal remains one of life’s undiminished pleasures. So when I found myself neglecting the newspaper to finish Center Ring, I knew something special was brewing. Other than the coffee. In this debut novel, Nicole Waggoner lays bare the complicated lives and difficult choices faced by five best friends as they juggle families, careers, and identity problems—what one refers to as ‘first world problems.’ And that they are. But for those dealing with ‘first world problems,’ there’s a striking lack of support that’s traditionally been offered by families. In its place, the women who come to one another’s aid time and again—to vent, to listen and console; to babysit when a friend needs a break; to send over a housekeeper when persnickety family members are about to descend. In this forensic exploration of five interlocking lives, the women forge modern-day traditions of their own. It’s a tale of love and loss, betrayal and redemption. Waggoner’s eye is keen, her ear sure.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Contino

    A fun, relatable read about friendship, love, and family. Even though there's 5 POVs, each character's story is well-crafted and distinct so it's never confusing switching between them. The "sister friends" struggle with kids, job stress, marriage issues, and trying to find balance, which I think will hit home for most women in their 30s. Grab this for your summer beach bag!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Cox

    Center Ring is a very enjoyable read! Waggoner does a brilliant job juggling 5 different women characters and their stories. The characters are easy to relate to and the pacing is wonderful. I really cheered for all of them and am intrigued with what will happen next. Can't wait for the next installment!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hailey Fish

    I absolutely loved Center Ring. From the very first sentence to the very last, I knew I just had to find out what was going on with Norah, Camille, Leila, Ellison and Kate. The book was so well-written that I felt like I was side by side with the sister-friends, living through their trials and tribulations.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    You know a book is a winner when you are upset it ended. Center Ring draws you into five women's up and down lives that have unexpected twists and turns. I love to read stories that are so real and not predictable. This is a must read if you want a dramatic page turner that you will be sucked into at the beginning. When is the next book coming out??? I can't wait to read it.

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