Do you remember your best friends from elementary school ...middle school ...high school..?? Have you kept in touch with them..?? Or have you drifted apart over the years, finding your own way in the wide, wide world..??
As a 'features' writer for The Wall Street Journal (given the "freedom (to) tend to the hearts of our readers" ...yes, even despicable robber-baron-zombie readers of The WSJ have 'hearts') Jeffrey Zaslow first learned of 'the girls from Ames' in an email response to a column about women's friendships.
Several years later Zaslow began to consider writing "a non-fiction narrative—the biography of a friendship meticulously reported—(that) could be a meaningful document for female readers." Apart from that altruistic motive, he hoped working on the project "would help me understand my daughters, my wife and the other women in my life."
Image source: photoxpress dot com
To be honest, I was reluctant to start reading The Girls from Ames. Despite it being a local story I was not sure I would find it interesting. I only began reading when I realized the book was due back to the library. By the time I had read a few pages of the Introduction I was hooked. When I tried to renew it ...its waiting list had grown to seventeen patrons..!!
Weeks later (after I had finally checked it out again) I began to read and appreciate the depth of the story he tells. I had no doubt Zaslow would expertly tell the story of eleven girls/women and their sustained, shared relationships over several decades. I had previously read a similar 'life story' written by him (The Last Lecture, coauthored with Randy Pausch, link below) and had been impressed with his ability to weave an entertaining, emotional, and definitely worth reading story.
The Girls from Ames shares the interconnected stories of eleven childhood friends who blended stronger and weaker friendships between individual girls into a 'circle of friends' and a collective friendship that has endured for decades.
Read the rest of my review at Epinions dot com.