Buy Used
$5.54
Condition: Used: Good
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship Paperback – July 20, 2010


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, July 20, 2010
$0.47 $0.01

Pieces of My Mother by Melissa Cistaro
Pieces of My Mother by Melissa Cistaro
Check out the newest book by Melissa Cistaro. Learn more
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Voice; 1 edition (July 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401341543
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401341541
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,633,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A newly-dumped empty nester at only 39, Beck could do whatever she wanted, but had no friends with whom to do it. She needed pals, so she placed an ad in a Colorado newspaper to form a "smart, sassy women's group," with no idea what sort of response she'd get. A bevy of women responded, and Beck winnowed the lot of potential partners in crime to a half-dozen. One of them would change her live forever, and their friendship is the subject of Beck's mood-hopping memoir. They seemed to have little in common at first glance; Denise Katz was sophisticated, glamorous, successful, while Beck saw herself as a "stubby Catholic girl with thin hair." But the two struck up a fast friendship rife with adventure, even as Katz slowly succumbed to the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis. It's easy to see why Cabernet attracted a major publisher after it was self-published to great acclaim on Amazon. Though often full of treacle, Beck doesn't shy away from a frank, honest portrayal. Readers may not always like the book's versions of Beck and Katz, but they will identify with them.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Divorced with two kids by age 22, Beck reaches her late thirties “primed for hell and high water.” Looking for a partner in crime, she places a newspaper ad for a women’s group, and meets “high-wheelin’ and fun-lovin’” Denise—the perfect antidote to Beck’s years of struggle as a single parent. In her debut memoir, Beck focuses on their immediate, intensely fierce friendship—there’s scarcely room or air for anyone else, including Beck’s children. The good times are tempered by Denise’s deteriorating health, which ultimately strains the relationship—Beck’s life is beginning to soar just as her friend’s is slipping away. A lively, pull-no-punches storyteller, Beck writes with great affection even as she struggles to create a fully realized portrait of Denise, who remains elusive. Beck proves most effective when drawing on vivid, heartrending scenes from her past (fertile ground for future memoirs) to illuminate the present. As Beck blossoms from tentative and fearful to confident and composed, we come to see how, under Denise’s influence, she has traveled from there to here. --Patty Wetli

Customer Reviews

If you are looking for a fun book to read try Cheap Cabernet.
Carol
This book isn't just a book, it's a companion and it's the friend that makes you laugh and cry (in a good way).
Johnny
Cheap Cabernet : A Friendship, by Cathie Beck, is a very good, entertaining, and fun book.
R. Spaulding

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Heather E. Gallien on August 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
Cheap Cabernet is at turns touching, daring, and chaotic - just like real life. What struck me the most was its authenticity: Cathie's Beck's unique voice, sense of humor, and the battle between her confidence and her self-doubt, shine through.

It's ultimately the story of feminine power; of overcoming obstacles, of how friends can uplift each other, learn from each other, and stick by each other, despite the ugliness and awkwardness of illness, despair and death. If you are turned on by the idea of women empowering themselves and seeking more out of life, you'll consume Cheap Cabernet.

Cheap Cabernet follows the friendship of two women who find strength in each other; who change each other; who help each other develop broader, wiser and more compassionate perspectives on life, love, gain, loss and death.

Cathie Beck has the guts to tell the true story of a transformative time in her own life - the good, the bad and the ugly. The story follows the way Cathie and Denise's friendship evolves as Cathie's life is finally on the upswing while Denise's spirals downward due to MS. Although the storyline focuses on Denise's battle with illness, the REAL story is Cathie's personal journey towards honoring, and tending to, her own wants and needs instead of those of others, as she has done for the majority of her poor, single-mother, hard-knocks life.

Cathie is attracted to Denise's boldness and confidence, and despite Denise's slow demise, Cathie gains strength from the example that Denise sets. Denise is no June Cleaver; rather, she assists Cathie in becoming a bit bolder, more confident and more street-smart - for good and for ill.

Cathie and Denise share many adventures and sometimes get into trouble.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Maia Tress on September 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
While reading this memoir, one could easily experience almost guilty thoughts, as though one was secretly reading a dear friend's diary.

I loved this book, and frankly, couldn't put it down. In an entertainment world where it seems that every story (book, movie or television) has become so formulaic, it's refreshing and compelling to grasp in one's hot little hands a book that absolutely breaths with life. REAL LIFE, not some "edited for comfort" life. Where difficult circumstances exist and even more difficult decisions sometimes had to be made. Real coming to terms, coming to grips and coming of age LIFE. And lest you think its all aching difficulties, just know (no spoiler here!) that there is plenty of love, grace and hi jinks to make one's teeth itch wondering what the next page will bring.

The honesty of this book and this relationship is a life saver...like a conversation with someone you love and admire, who admits to the decisions and wishes of their darkest hour, only to exonerate all humanity in their like moments. The shock of recognition, in both the tough and celebratory moments is palpable. The resulting joy and sense of hope and well being that permeates the reader after the fact is a gift all books should seek to attain.

What would I compare this to? Hmmm, well I'd open my food processor and throw in Eat, Love, Pray, Angela's Ashes, Thelma and Louise and Beaches, hit puree and then set up an IV drip!

So, strap yourself in and get ready for a true, in every sense of the word, adventure of the heartfelt variety.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Dorr on August 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Cathie Beck's memoir "Cheap Cabernet" is a stunner.

"Cheap Cabernet" is real.
"Cheap Cabernet" is a life most of us cannot imagine.
"Cheap Cabernet" is a spirit, a strength, a triumph we all dream of.

This is a must read book.

Cathie Beck's true story takes place within our time. Now. Today. This is a stirring saga of someone you know, maybe someone you work alongside, not someone from the "romantic past" of the 1950s. Cathie has chronicled a snapshot of her life in America, a life most of us neither consider nor choose to see. Beck's memoir is 3 stories interlaced within a single narrative.

One story thread is of Beck's struggle to lift not only herself but her children from a life of multigenerational poverty to become something better. Cathie Beck was 21 years old with only a high school education and two babies when she woke up one morning to find her husband gone. He left taking their only car, all of the money in their bank account and their hope for a "normal" future.

"I worked hard to pretend each and every day that it was normal to be alone in my early twenties with two young children. I did so in part because I had to. The other part was that I needed to prove to myself, to my children, and to the world that our lives weren't throw-away lives. That we were still worth something. That we were just as good as the ones who lived in houses they owned and who drove cars without rusted floorboards. Just as good as those with dads."

If the first story thread is Cathie's successful determination in raising her kids, the second thread is that of Beck now in her late 30s; a young woman with her Masters degree in Russian Literature, her two kids now in college. She wants to experience life without being "responsible".
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Hi there! I'm the girl-next-door -- I'm your neighbor -- I'm the gal you went to grade school with.

I have, at various times, worked as a cocktail waitress, a secretary, a baton twirling teacher and a writer.

In other words -- I'M YOU!

Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship is my first book -- a memoir -- a true tale of "best girlfriend-ship" and THEN some :).

You can keep up with all the juicy "Cheap Cabernet" happenings (there are a LOT) at www.facebook.com/cheapcabernet.

Here's some reactions to it so far. But DO come tell me YOUR reactions at www.cathiebeck.com.

Cathie Beck's wonderfully told and achingly poignant memoir will remind every woman to call her best friend right away to tell her how important their relationship is, and how she couldn't survive without it And, by the way, to run out and buy the heartbreaking book, "Cheap Cabernet."

~ Iris Rainer Dart, Author of Beaches

Cathie Beck's Cheap Cabernet is a bracing story of a woman who took the crappy hand life had dealt her and turned it into a big win. With an awe-inspiring stamina, she kept going long past the point other people --like me --would've quit. I devoured this empowering and very funny memoir from the first page.

~ Julie Klam, Please Excuse My Daughter

This is a beautiful book about two remarkable women. I read Cheap Cabernet in one breathless sitting. I gulped it down and then I sat there and let the taste of love and sorrow and redemption linger for a long time.

Alison Smith Name All the Animals

A lively, pull-no-punches storyteller, Beck writes with great affection ... Beck proves most effective when drawing on vivid, heartrending scenes from her past (fertile ground for future memoirs) to illuminate the present. As Beck blossoms from tentative and fearful to confident and composed, we come to see how, under Denise's influence, she has traveled from there to here.

Booklist -- American Library Association.