Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Review: The Girls from Ames

Book: The Girls From Ames: A Story of Women & a Forty-Year Friendship
Author: Jeffrey Zaslow co-author of The Last Lecture. Jeffrey Zaslow is The Wall Street Journal's "Moving On" columnist.

About the book:
Karla, Kelly, Marilyn, Jane, Jenny. Karen, Cathy, Angela, Sally, Diana. Shiela.

Meet the Ames Girls: eleven childhood friends who formed a special bond growing up in Ames, Iowa. As young women, they moved to eight different states, yet managed to maintain an enduring friendship that would carry them through college and careers, marriage and motherhood, dating and divorce, a child’s illness and the mysterious death of one member of their group. Capturing their remarkable story, The Girls from Ames is a testament to the deep bonds of women as they experience life’s joys and challenges — and the power of friendship to triumph over heartbreak and unexpected tragedy.

The girls, now in their forties, have a lifetime of memories in common, some evocative of their generation and some that will resonate with any woman who has ever had a friend. Photograph by photograph, recollection by recollection, occasionally with tears and often with great laughter, their sweeping and moving story is shared by Jeffrey Zaslow, Wall Street Journal columnist, as he attempts to define the matchless bonds of female friendship. It demonstrates how close female relationships can shape every aspect of women’s lives – their sense of themselves, their choice of men, their need for validation, their relationships with their mothers, their dreams for their daughters – and reveals how such friendships thrive, rewarding those who have committed to them.

The Girls from Ames is the story of a group of ordinary women who built an extraordinary friendship. With both universal insights and deeply personal moments, it is a book that every woman will relate to and be inspired by.

My thoughts:

I often wondered what it would take to maintain a longstanding relationship with my friends. After reading this book many of my questions were answered. Having experienced longevity in my own friendships, I have come to realize the bonding effect it has on women. In my own personal relationships with my friends they date back to kindergarten, junior high and high school. Mind you I am in my mid30's so hopefully that counts as long term. We don't always see each other but when we do connect with one another it is as if we never skipped a beat and we pick up right were we left off. Many of my friends are not yet married or are not mothers yet and we they do or become one, I will be right there ready to lend a helping hand.

I loved how Zaslow depicted each and every character with intricate detail. In reading their story you are able to take a peek into this secret society and discover their individual stories. You will laugh, you will cry, you will be overcome with emotions you didn't think you had. After reading The Girls From Ames, it made me take a look at my relationships with my friends and ask myself the question: Am I being the best friend that I can be?  or Am I doing enough? Sometimes just being the listening ear and a shoulder to cry on is all that a person needs and to know that they can always count on you in the time of need. This is a must read and a great book for a Book Club.

Visit www.girlsfromames.com for pictures, video, discussion questions and other women's stories of friendship as well as updates on their stories.

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of a review. The thoughts and views expressed are purely my own. I was not compensated for this review.

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