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.
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