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Girls Most Likely: A Novel Paperback – July 25, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: One World/Ballantine (July 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345464761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345464767
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,682,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Williams (On the Right Side of a Dream) delights in this chronicle of the evolving friendships among four African-American women from fifth grade through their 30th high school reunion. In a black Ohio community in the early '60s, bookish Vaughn Jones is rescued from an elementary school bully by pretty, popular Reenie Keller, who introduces her to angel-voiced Su Penn. Joined in junior high by seemingly flawless Audrey Taylor, the girls nurse one another though a litany of typical coming-of-age events: the death of relatives, troubled parents, boyfriend stealing, teen pregnancy and eating disorders. Later years find the four professionally successful, but still fraught with man trouble and family issues. Narrated in turn by each of the four characters and buoyed by vivid dialogue, the roster of obstacles rings true. While her first three narrators—Vaughn, Reenie and Su—sound similar, Audrey's neurotic voice shines: raised by a military father who demands perfection, Audrey is critical, driven and surprisingly funny. Despite a few anachronistic details (Starbucks in 1970s Ohio?) and a glossing-over of race issues, Williams's sustained portrayal of female friendship, with its loyalties and betrayals, is extremely entertaining. (July 25)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Of four friends who have seen each other through college, marriages, divorce, and children, Vaughn Jones is the girl mostly likely to write the great American novel. She has a love of words and an appreciation for literature that the others do not understand. Audrey Taylor is the girl mostly likely to run the world. Her father demanded perfection, and she has spent her life working to surpass his expectations. Susan Penn is the girl mostly likely to be famous. Her mother was a model and dancer, who instilled a love of the arts and glamour. Her struggle with alcoholism became Su's embarrassment and heartbreak. Irene Keller is the girl most likely to marry a prince. When she becomes pregnant by Su's high-school boyfriend, the four have their first conflict. Over the years their friendship has withstood many obstacles and tests. At their 30-year high-school reunion, they put all of the past hurts and misunderstandings aside and enjoy being the girlfriends they have always been. A well-constructed story. Lillian Lewis
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

native of Columbus, OH now proud resident of KY; former corporate borg turned writer-teacher-family tree hugger!

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CJCS Mom VINE VOICE on July 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Vaughn, Reenie, Susan, and Audrey are life-long friends who are more like sisters than friends. A friendship started in the 5th grade that has lasted over 5 decades. Despite the different directions that life has taken them, they find an opportunity to reconnect at their high school reunion. Vaughn is the bookworm. She is the glue that holds everyone together. Longing to be a successful writer one day, she is the one everyone depends on to be levelheaded in a crisis. But when life throws a curve-ball at Vaughn, will she be able to hold it together? Reenie is the girl that every boy wants and every girl wants to be like. She is keeping a secret that will not only forever change her life but create a betrayal that will cause a rift between the girls. Susan is the determined one. She is determined to be better than the ones who laughed or talked behind her back. She will rise to fame but will she ever be able to forgive her alcoholic mother who abandoned her? Last but least is Audrey. Audrey is the perfectionist. The one who is determined to succeed no matter who (her family) or what (her health) it affects. But when the price of success becomes too much to pay, Audrey will be forced to determine what's more important: her career or her sanity? Girls Most Likely is a heartwarming, touching, yet humorous story about the bonds of friendship and sisterhood. Ms. Williams has written characters that are so realistic, they could be your friend, sister, or maybe even you. An entertaining story that will make you laugh and cry as you join Vaughn, Reenie, Susan, and Audrey on their journey of self-discovery and womanhood. It is the essential book club read. Reviewed by Shay C of PeoplewholoveGoodBooks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ratmammy VINE VOICE on September 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
GIRLS MOST LIKELY by Sheila Williams

September 2, 2006

Rating: 4 Stars

I'm finding that I REALLY enjoy books by Sheila Williams. She has a way with words that I find unique. This is the second novel I've read by her. Each of these novels had a certain tone to them, a somewhat gentle prose, but the characters she depicts in her books are stand out characters that are not always conventional, but are often strong and determined people that know what they want and where they are going.

In GIRLS MOST LIKELY, Williams tells the story of four women who are best friends from childhood, and each character is given a chance to narrate part of the novel. Each woman is different from the others, but something special ties the four together and even after a betrayal that occurs between two of them, the friends find a way to re-unite many years later.

I won't go into detail of each character and what made her unique, but the book itself covers decades of living and ends with their 30th high school reunion. The book also depicts the social changes that occur through the years, especially for Black women. I found it interesting to see things unfold, watching as these four characters react to the changes over the years. GIRLS MOST LIKELY is recommended to readers who enjoy books focusing on women friendships and are nostalgic for days gone by.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terri Rowan on July 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
For many people, life-long friendships transcend some of life's most profound experiences. This is true of Vaughn, Reenie, Su and Audrey. Four decades of good and bad times have created a bond none of them imagined possible when they were kids.

Nicknamed the "Girls Most Likely," they became a close-knit group legendary among their peers--the kind of friendship that exists in every school, where classmates cannot imagine one girl in a room without the others.

Vaughn is the Girl Most Likely to publish an unforgettable novel. Reenie is the Girl Most Likely to marry a prince. Su is the Girl Most Likely to be famous. Audrey is the Girl Most Likely to rule the world.

The history of this friendship is told through the eyes of each woman, from their perspective as fifty-somethings today. Rather than alternating sections, as is increasingly common in this type of fiction, each woman tells her view of the story in one section. It begins with Vaughn's memories of how the friendship began. Reenie continues the story, relating the effects of betrayal and loneliness. Su continues with the meaning of adulthood and moving on. Audrey has her say as the group moves into the twenty-first century. Finally, and as the writer she is, Vaughn will finish out the story.

The writing in this novel is moving, insightful, and often hilarious. While it is ultimately about the importance and significance of lifelong relationships, it also addresses very real issues--issues that MUST be addressed in the course of a person's life if they intend to truly live it. Race, loyalty, faith, love, health, family, and more are lovingly woven into an extraordinary look at a seemingly ordinary phenomenon.

Friendship on this level is a sacred thing, as it should be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pretty Brown Girl VINE VOICE on July 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Vaughn, Reenie, Su, and Audrey have been friends for over forty years. An unpredicted invitation to their 30-year High School reunion sets in motion a series of flashbacks that takes us back to fifth grade where they first met, and it is here between the pages of their collective trials and tribulations that Girls Most Likely emerges into a wonderfully charming story -- one with a fresh outlook on familiar themes of friendship, sisterhood and loyalty.

The four girls possess distinguishing qualities when combined propelling them to the heights of popularity and envy at school and will ultimately lead them to success in their chosen careers. However, behind the walls of confidence and bravado lie insecurities and pain stemming from domestic childhood problems. These issues left unresolved will continue to grow and manifest themselves into life-threatening conditions in adulthood. The girls must rely on inner strength and each other to weather the storms that surface as they enter college, marriage, and motherhood. The four girls must deal with alcoholic, overbearing, and absentee parents, intimate betrayal within their circle and among their spouses. There is also the overwhelming societal pressures to be the "good girls" and live up to the ominous yearbook declarations of the "Girls Most Likely", to write the great American novel (Vaughn), to marry a prince (Reenie), to be famous (Su), and to run the world (Audrey).

Williams's story is filled with sweet memories, laugh out loud humor, painful heartbreak, and sisterly love. She blends in the societal pressures and events of the late 1960's (JFK, RFK, MLK assassinations) and 1970's (ERA, Affirmative Action) to expertly tell a believable story filled with amenable characters who I hope we will see again in future novels. Fans of the author will not be disappointed with this offering.

Reviewed by Phyllis

APOOO BookClub

Nubian Circle Book Club
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