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Into the Tangle of Friendship : A Memoir of the Things That Matter Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; First Printing edition (September 14, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618033874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618033874
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,019,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Kephart, a National Book Award finalist for A Slant of Sun, meditates on circumstances that promote and encourage friends to find each other, stay together, or drift apart, beginning with observation of her son interacting on a playgound: "Friendship is a benefaction and a weight?an instruction and a tool, a risk, a therapeutic, a happenstance, a philosophy. I must find the words to teach my son." Inspired by memories of childhood friends who opened her up to experiences beyond her family and neighborhood, she renews old bonds amuses no their meaning. As she relates details of her own intercultural romance and marriage, Kephart discusses friendships across cultural, ethnic, and language barriers. Remembering a former neighbor's encouragement early in her writing career, Kephart, painfully aware that she can never fully reciprocate this past kindness, offers support when this woman's husband is dying overseas. Unlike Ellen Goodman and Patricia O'Brien's I Know Just What You Mean (LJ 5/1/00), in which women share stories of friendship, Kephart in a single voice, lyrically and poignantly explores the dimensions of friendship. Recommended for public libraries. Kephart, a National Book Award finalist for A Slant of Sun, meditates on circumstances that promote and encourage friends to find each other, stay together, or drift apart, beginning with observation of her son interacting on a playgound: "Friendship is a benefaction and a weight?an instruction and a tool, a risk, a therapeutic, a happenstance, a philosophy. I must find the words to teach my son." Inspired by memories of childhood friends who opened her up to experiences beyond her family and neighborhood, she renews old bonds amuses no their meaning. As she relates details of her own intercultural romance and marriage, Kephart discusses friendships across cultural, ethnic, and language barriers. Remembering a former neighbor's encouragement early in her writing career, Kephart, painfully aware that she can never fully reciprocate this past kindness, offers support when this woman's husband is dying overseas. Unlike Ellen Goodman and Patricia O'Brien's I Know Just What You Mean (LJ 5/1/00), in which women share stories of friendship, Kephart in a single voice, lyrically and poignantly explores the dimensions of friendship. Recommended for public libraries.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Beth Kephart is my friend. After reading her soaring meditation on friendship, I have come to understand the vast extent of my good fortune. For Beth, friendship is more than casual sociability: it's a gift, it's an art form, it's a righteous cause, and it's civilization's unifying force. She writes with winning passion; her sentences are crafted from measured complements of love and intelligence." -- Ken Kalfus

"Beth Kephart's flawless, tensile prose speaks to us with immediacy and grace." --Jayne Anne Phillips, author of MotherKind

"Beth Kephart's writing is dazzling, her reflections restorative." --Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here

"Kephart...lyrically and poignantly explores the dimensions of friendship." --Lucille M. Boone Library Journal

"With grace and quiet wisdom, with lyrical prose and astonishing insight, Beth Kephart...embarks on a journey..." --Jan Winburn The Baltimore Sun

"Kephart's meditation will trigger poignant memories in her readers, who may feel moved to find a lost friend..." --Donna Seaman Booklist, ALA

"Invigorating...earnest and endearing. Kephart succeeds at drawing a stirring picture of our humanity through the prism of her... relationships." Salon

"Kephart is nothing short of a virtuoso when it comes to dissecting the many friendships people experience." --Doris Bloodworth Orlando Sentinel

"Kephart's writing is luminous, filled with phrases so precise that they are worth committing to memory." Publishers Weekly, Starred

More About the Author

Following the publication of five memoirs and FLOW, the autobiography of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River, I've had the great pleasure of turning my attention to young adult fiction. UNDERCOVER and HOUSE OF DANCE were both named a best of the year by Kirkus and Bank Street. NOTHING BUT GHOSTS, A HEART IS NOT A SIZE, and DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS were critically acclaimed. In October YOU ARE MY ONLY will be released by Egmont USA. Next summer, Philomel will release SMALL DAMAGES. I am at work on a prequel to DANGEROUS NEIGHBORS, a novel for adults, and a memoir about teaching. Please visit my blog: http://beth-kephart.blogspot.com/

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This beautifully written book inspired me to look back over a lifetime's worth of friendships, and to finally see all of these relationships in a whole new light. Beth Kephart is amazingly honest about the joys and pains of frienship, especially between women--the ways we support each other, and the ways we sometimes let one another down. When I finished this courageous, deeply felt memoir, I felt compelled to take the time to really reach out to those people who have proven themselves to be my own true friends. It is so easy to take our friends for granted, to let friendship turn into quick phone calls, or two-line emails. But our friends are so much more important, and they deserve more from us, as Beth Kephart reminds us in this richly woven tapestry of friendships of many colors and textures. She has not just been lucky in friendship, she has given deeply of herself, and she has been blessed in return with soulmates who have stood by her through thick and thin. This is a book for friends to give, to share, to read together; it's the beginning of an important conversation; a reminder to pay attention to the people who really matter in our lives.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was astonished by the beauty of this book. The prose is luminous, and the subject matter is certainly universal, but Beth Kephart takes such a refreshing and unorthodox approach to the topic of friendship that I was startled in the best sense of the word. I'd never really thought about how strange, how oddly buoyant, friendships are. I've given this book to several friends (close and not so close) and the response has been electric. We have all succeeded and failed at friendship. Now that I've read Kephart's book, I will, I hope, never again be timid in the face of a difficult relationship. I will carry Kephart's wisdom and generosity with me always.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Carol Lieto on April 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Beth Kephart's book, _Into the Tangle of Friendship_, is a wonderful book that should be given to every friend we have in our own unique circles. It is not a suspense novel, and not a book to be taken lightly. Kephart gives words to the emotions we all have and feel about our friends. She manages to do the impossible, give voice to our emotions. Friendship is an indefinable part of our lives, and each friend provides, as Kephart says, a unique thread towards the fabric of the quilt that defines our lives. This is more a sociological treatise than a novel, and readers who buy this book must realize that fact. It is a wonderful book that can be read whenever, chapter by chapter. Each chapter can be read independently, though together the book follows a logical sequence. Thank you, Beth, for giving us the words that do not flow easily from our hearts. The poetic language and the allusions to literature are just one added bonus to the gift of words given to the reader by this author.
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By CK on October 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I couldn't really get into this book enough to finish reading it. But you may love it. We are all different in our taste, right?
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