The Girls from Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow is a memoir about eleven childhood friends who stand the test of time and now in their forties they are still friends – they have managed to maintain a forty year friendship. That’s amazing just on it’s own!
This is the story of Karla, Kelly, Marilyn, Jane, Jenny, Karen, Cathy, Angela, Sally, Diana and Sheila. Their bonds formed very early on in some cases but all began in childhood and while some of the girls feel closer to some than others, they are all still a group of friends. They are each unique in their own way with really their own role within the group. It was interesting to read about the dynamics in a group of friends this big.
The girls all grew up in Ames and dealt with all the normal stuff – the teenage years, the boyfriends – the usual. They were, although they say they weren’t, a popular group in high school. Any group of girls that big that always hang out together are bound to be envied and have others want to join in. However it wasn’t to be. These girls stuck together and kept their group to the eleven of them – they were definitely a clique.
Now they are spread all over yet they still manage to keep in touch whether it be by email, reunions and are always there for the big things like weddings or funerals. They are really there for each other and this I found that I really envied. When one is in trouble they all band together and send emails and flowers to show their support. One of their members, Sheila, is no longer with them as she passed away young in an accident yet they will all say she is there in spirit with them when they are all together.
I found myself laughing at some points in this book like in the maxi pad scene and tearing at others like the illness of one of their children. I didn’t really make any connections to any one person in this book because I don’t think it’s told in a way that you can. Being in my forties as well though I did find many of the things they experienced in their teen years to be the same as what I did in mine in terms of music, hairstyles, or movies. It was fun to take a bit of a trip down memory lane.
These women are very lucky to have each other. To have a friendship that has endured as this one has and is still going strong is extremely special and now they are passing it down a generation by having their children get together as well and I think that’s great. There’s a quote from Kelly that’s my favorite…
- ‘Having these women in my world has meant not only acceptance, but radiant joy and laughter that knocks me right out of my chair. Through our darkest moments, we have lifted each other up. In every moment of grief we’ve shared, our laughter is a life vest, a secure promise that we will not go under.’ (pg 261)
I think that sums up this group of ladies and their friendship so well. I read The Girls from Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow for his book tour with TLC Book Tours. You can see the other tour stops for The Girls from Ames here. You can buy your very own copy of The Girls from Ames here in the US and here in Canada.
I have 1 copy of The Girls from Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow up for giveaway courtesy of Penguin Group. To enter…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.
- For 2 entries tell me if you’re a part of a great group of friends like this one.
- For 3 entries blog or tweet this giveaway.
The giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only (no PO boxes) as the book will be shipped to the winner directly from the publisher. I will draw for the winner of Sunday, May 30, 2010. Good luck!