From Publishers Weekly
The reasons are myriad: one friend slept with the other's boyfriend; money caused an argument; friends became romantically involved with each other; lives and priorities changed; a bond simply "unraveled." For the women who contribute to this thoughtful anthology, the end of friendship--no matter its cause--is often distressing, and that feeling always lingers. Yet such a bleak subject has yielded a trove of mostly inquisitive, mindful writing, a selection of very personal pieces about a painful and fairly universal experience. Some writers remember childhood friendships: Diana Abu Jaber recalls her trials as an expatriate kid in Jordan, torn between a playmate who spoke her language and another whose words she couldn't understand yet with whom she felt closer; Nicole Keeter writes of her connection with and later break from the only other black girl in her fifth-grade class. Others evoke friendships from college and adulthood, such as Heather Abel and PW
Forecasts editor Emily Chenoweth, who, in separate essays, delve into the circumstances that led to their friendship and its demise. "For a long time... my love for Heather was a piece of glass in my heart; it hurt every time I moved," writes Chenoweth. Though often sad when read in succession, these pieces are deeply affecting. Montaigne said friendship "feeds the spirit"; the same applies to this engrossing collection.
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Editors Offill and Schappell offer ostensibly the first book on lost friendship between women: 20 accounts of bonds that faltered, snapped, or slowly disappeared. Some of them are torch songs; some express anguish on a par with that of divorce; some are sly, tongue-in-cheek explanations of "lifelong" friendship's tenure. "I do not believe in . . . Meaningful Talks, except when they relate to . . . hair or makeup," opines one woman. "Otherwise, confrontations, in my opinion, serve only to make the plaintiff feel better for making the other person feel bad. I hold those I am really fond of to a lower standard than I do other people." Another contributor, one of a trio of friends, finds that her three miscarriages ruined the mythical story ("that wildness of being the same") of the threesome's bond. By breaking the silence about failed friendship so literately, this book appeals to many more readers than just students of interpersonal psychology. Whitney ScottCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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