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19 April 2010

The Girls From Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow

Title: The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship
Author: Jeffrey Zaslow
Publisher: Gotham
Publication Date: April 6, 2010
Paperback: 342 pages
ISBN: 978-1592405329
Genre: Current Events/Non-Fiction


From the Publisher:

As children, they formed a special bond, growing up in the small town of Ames, Iowa. As young women, they moved to eighth different states, yet they managed to maintain an extraordinary friendship that would carry them through college and careers, marriage and motherhood, dating and divorce, the death of a child, and the mysterious death of the eleventh member of their group. Capturing their remarkable story, The Girls from Ames is a testament to the enduring, deep bonds of women as they experience life's challenges, and the power of friendship to overcome even the most daunting odds.

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. The Girls from Ames 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. With both universal events and deeply personal moments, it's a book that every woman will relate to and be inspired by.

My Review:

The Girls From Ames by Jeffery Zaslow is an in-depth and intriguing look at the social and behavioral traits that brought these particular eleven girls together as friends, maintained their friendships spanning decades, states, marriages, divorces, and even death. While they were a unit, each girl had at least one defined role. To fully understand the Ames girls, Zaslow takes an in-depth look at the beginning of each girl's family life and how their families impacted their personalities. Of the eleven, only ten remain; although the women say when they get together, Sheila is with them in spirit. The girls are different enough to make their group interesting, and they credit their willingness to talk and listen to each other for their long friendship and admit in their 20s and 30s they had a difficult time connecting, which holds true with the science behind friendships. According to the study in this novel, women have the most difficult time maintaining friendships between the ages of 25-40, after which friendship suddenly rates higher. The Ames girls discuss their children, especially their daughters. Current research indicates today's girls will be life-long dieters, have distorted body images, and be scarred by cliques. The Girls From Ames is an intriguing sociological look inside a group of women who forged deep bonds as young children, forged their friendship by junior high and maintained and strengthened their friendships through time and distance, marriages, births, and divorces. I found this book to be an intriguing look at the social science of friendships, being of the same age group, I do not think I would have been friends with many of these girls, however, I did find it interesting that the McCormick's had a summer house on the same lake my family did, and briefly pondered whether I ever met any of them. All in all it is an intriguing sociological study on friendship and I would recommend The Girls From Ames to anyone interested in the social sciences of women and friendship.

About the Author
Coauthor of the international bestseller The Last Lecture, award-winning journalist Jeffrey Zaslow writes the Wall Street Journal’s “Moving On” column, which has inspired several Oprah segments. He has also written for Time and USA Weekend.
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I received a complimentary copy of The Girls From Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the novel. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



Abby said...

I went to high school in Ames so I had to read this book! I thought it was a great story but I didn't love how it was written. It was fun when they mentioned people and places I knew!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I really want to read this one. I live in Minnesota and because of the Midwest connection it sold really well at the bookstore I worked at.

Tea said...

I would love to read this one. Thank you for your review.

fredamans said...

This is on my wish list!

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

I lived in Ames for four years while attending Iowa State University. Ames certainly caught my eye. Thanks for the review.


Kristi said...

Great review! I've seen a few recommendations for this one - it seems very intriguing.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I have this one to be read and can not wait to get to it! I love books about friendships!

Sue Jackson said...

I've heard lots of good things about this book - sounds like it would be a good one for a book group.

Thanks for the review!


LisaMM said...

I'm WAY late to the party here, but thanks so much for being on this tour. We really appreciate it!