Monday, August 9, 2010

The Girls from Ames

The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and FriendshipThe Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and Friendship by Jeffrey Zaslow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Book:
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 trhough college and careers, marrage, and motherhood, dating and divorce, a child's illness, and the mysterious death of one member of the 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 lfetime of memories in common, some evocavative 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 Jeffey 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 much friendships thrive, rewarding those who have committed to them.

My Review:
This is the story of Karla, Kelly, Marilyn, Jane, Jenny, Karen, Cathy, Angela, Sally, Diana, and Sheila.  I was so moved by this book.  I haven't read a book in a long time that just consumed me like this one did.  It made me sit and ponder past friendships and relationships that molded who I am.  To some extent, aren't we who we are because of those childhood friendships?  As I read, I kept recalling old stories from my own childhood.  Ones I hadn't thought of in years... 

For the most part, I liked how the book what broken up.  However, there were entire chapters devoted to four of the girls, then the rest were stories and highlights of all the girls.  I would have liked to have seen individual chapters on all the girls.  Yes, I'm nosy.  What about the dirt on the others?  Their stories made me laugh and cry, envy that their relationships are still strong today.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Look Again

Look AgainLook Again by Lisa Scottoline

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

About the Book:
When Ellen Gleeson gets a "Have You Seen This Child?" flyer in the mail, she almost throws it away.  But something about it makes her look again, and her heart stops.  The child in the photo looks exactly like her adopted son, Will.

Everything inside her tells her to deny the similarity between her son and the boy in the photo, because she knows her adoption was lawful.  But she's a journalist and won't be able to stop thinking about the photo until she gets to the truth.  And she can't shake the question: If Will rightfully belongs to someone else, should she keep him or give him up?  Ellen makes the wrenching decision to investigate, uncovering clues no one was meant to uncover.  And when she digs too deep, she risks losing her life-and that of the son she loves.

My Review:
What would you do?  That's what the author is asking the reader through the entire book.  I'm glad the storyline (a) is about a boy and (b) about an adopted child.  To be honest, I had a hard time even imagining that I would ask myself, "What would I do?"  I can't imagine have a feeling that my child isn't really mine.  I liked the premise of the storyline.  It kept me interested and I really liked Ellen, the main character.  Then about 3/4 of the way through, the storyline got a little "out there" and all of a sudden, the book became a murder mystery.  HUH?  Up until that point, I was really enjoying the emotionally charged book I was reading.  The ending was far fetched and predictable for me.  Don't get me wrong, I liked it, but not as much as I would have with a completely different ending!