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Kindred Spirits Hardcover – June 30, 2011


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All the Single Ladies
Three extraordinary middle-aged women in coastal South Carolina are bonded by a remarkable woman's death. Learn more | Learn more about the author, Dorothea Benton Frank

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Strohmeyer's lackluster foray into more serious territory (after The Penny Pinchers Club) follows a group of four women who call themselves the "Ladies Society for the Conservation of Martinis" (cocktail recipes are indeed included) in a small Connecticut town. When society member Lynne succumbs to cancer, her three closest friends set out to fulfill her dying wish: to locate her estranged mother and the daughter she gave up for adoption when she was 18, and deliver letters to each containing her last words. The 40-something women—Beth, her father ill and her marriage dull; Mary Kay, who has been lying to her fiancé about her biological baby-readiness; and Carol, who has left her husband to live a more independent life—spend much of the novel on a road trip in search of Lynne's past. Their friendships steady and solid, their emotional stakes never convincing, the women arouse little interest in the reader as they sip their way toward a happy conclusion. Strohmeyer's fans will miss her trademark humor, and readers of women's fiction will find nothing new in this bland tale. (July)

Review

"An engaging story of love and loss and the power of women's friendships, but beach readers beware - you may find some tears mixed with the sand on your beach towel." - Library Journal


"Strohmeyer offers a sweet, uncomplicated, and touching work of women's fiction about friendship and forgiveness." - Booklist

"Strohmeyer has written a compelling and compassionate story of the ties that bind female friendships. An absolutely moving heartfelt and warm story to fill the soul." - Fresh Fiction

"This is both a heartwarming and heartbreaking story, which shows the true power of friendships, even ones that have seemingly fallen apart, and of course, the power of a good martini." - The Chicklit Club

"Sarah Strohmeyer hits all the right notes in Kindred Spirits, but manages to avoid making readers feel like they've heard all of this before. ... An ideal summer read about friends, families and the untold things that hold them together." - Shelf Awareness
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (June 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525952225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525952220
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,436,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

After being placed on other "must read" YA lists, SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT has recently been chosen by Texas school librarians for the 2013 Lone Star Reading List, a great honor since Texas is a BIG state. Thank you, librarians!
It's also my fourteenth novel, but my first for young adults after writing mysteries and stand alones, one of which, THE CINDERELLA PACT, became the Lifetime Movie - LYING TO BE PERFECT. Of all these, SMART GIRLS has been my favorite to write because not only was I a "smart girl," but so were my daughter and her friends who, like me, grew tired of playing second fiddle. I figured the time had come for our kind to receive the kudos, the attention and the boys. The bad girls had hogged center stage long enough.
Before I wrote novels, I was a newspaper reporter of questionable talent for twenty years, never quite serious or responsible enough for the duty of recording all the news that's fit to print. (My definition of what was fit to print and my editors' often clashed. Apparently, it was not necessary to describe certain cops as "super cute.")
Some novelists begin their careers by winning literary contests or writing their first manuscripts while pursuing a masters degree. I began mine by placing Barbie in forty contemporary and historical settings with photos taken by my friend (and awesome photographer) Geoff Hansen. BARBIE UNBOUND: A PARODY OF THE BARBIE OBSESSION became a cult hit, landed me on CBS This Morning and USA Today. It was, briefly, the most shoplifted book in America.
After that, I wrote the Bubbles Yablonsky mystery series featuring a bubble-headed blonde ditzy - or is she? - hairdresser with a gift for gossip who becomes a newspaper reporter. Kind of like a memoir, sure. And then a bunch of novels about women.
Today, I live in Vermont with my husband, a lawyer, and son, Sam, an upcoming high school junior. My daughter, Anna, is a senior at Bryn Mawr College where there are A LOT of smart girls. Also, there's Fred, my five-year-old basset hound and between you and me, the love of my life.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By CatS on July 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A few years back I was in the bookstore looking for something to take to the beach with me, when the title Bubbles Ablaze caught my eye because, really, how could it not? I devoured it, and quickly whipped through the rest of the Bubbles series which is how I became a fan of its author, Sarah Strohmeyer. So when she offered an advanced copy of her upcoming novel, Kindred Spirits, for review, I jumped at the chance, and I'm so glad I did.

The book's opening chapter focuses on the end of Lynne Flannery's eight year battle with cancer. Although it is sad, Lynne faces her final hours with grace, dignity and even a little humor. Through Lynne's eyes, we get to know her three best friends; Carol, Mary Kay and Beth. The longtime friendship of these four woman began in young adulthood, but had waned somewhat in more recent years.

Lynne leaves a letter for the other three women, asking them to do something for her she was unable to accomplish before her death. The three of them of them loaded up in a car to drive from their home in Connecticut to western Pennsylvania in order to fulfill their friend's dying wish. While they explored this unfamiliar part of the country, they also explored parts of themselves and their friendship that were also previously unknown to them. Along the way they share laughter, tears and martinis. Over the course of the trip, it is apparent that by asking them for this favor, Lynne has actually done them an even bigger favor because their friendship strengthens.

It may start with a death, but Kindred Spirits is truly a celebration of life. Sarah Strohmeyer is able to weave together the separate stories of these four women into one story about the life affirming power of friendship. It will remind women to nourish friendships because those friendships are what helps us through the trials of life. And do I even need to mention the great martini recipes?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By LisaS on June 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I am slightly biased because I have known Sarah since we were 5 years old and been a huge fan of her work since she started writing, I still have to say I absolutely loved this story. It is a perfect summer read with everything you want; love, loss, laughter, a girls-only road trip, delicious martini recipes, and ultimately a happy ending. And who doesn't want a story with a happy ending these days! Pick it up, you won't regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Erin Groner-nelsen on July 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved this newest book by Sarah Strohmeyer! The touching story of decades old friendship, support and dedication is inspiring. The lessons each of the remaining three friends learns on their journey to carry out their dearest freind's last wishes gives hope that love will always persist, even after one is gone. Keep your klennex and martini shaker close!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debs on July 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Earlier this year, I received a special package in the mail. In this package was the newest (KINDRED SPIRITS) from Sarah Strohmeyer, after a long wait and multiple rewrites. And let me tell you, it was worth the time that she took to get it perfect. This is her best yet.

Cried in the first chapter, as it reminded me of what my brother was going through before he died. So there, that was the hard part, getting through that first chapter while wondering if tissues should be kept handy. Lynne had fought her fight, and then had made the final decision.

However, there was something that she needed her three best friends to do for her, that she had been unable to accomplish before her death. And so, these three start the journey whilst fulfilling Lynne's request that they partake of a different martini each night. There was much laughter as they remembered the good times they had shared, and there are tears for their friend. As they take this trip, they also learn more about themselves and what love means.

The love these friends shared was the hook that got me. None were perfect, but it was the love that shone through. It was sentimental without being sappy. Loving and funny, without detracting from the loss of their dearest friend.

So now, I sit and contemplate what book to read next. There are many from my Mount To-Be-Read that I could consider. Or maybe start reading the books that I will be judging. But really, I just want to sit and absorb and think on how wonderful this book was..and maybe even read it again.

Now, I eagerly await the official release of KINDRED SPIRITS by Sarah Strohmeyer, as this is definitely going to be my gift book of choice this year. Besides wanting the final version as my own keeper, I also have dear friends and loved ones who will appreciate it.

This is definitely a book to share with your dearest friends, as life may be short, but the love continues to grow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on July 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
KINDRED SPIRITS is a book that will stay with you long after you've finished it. Filled with emotion (keep a box of tissues by your side), it's a story of friendship and loyalty, and what four friends go through when one of them loses her battle with cancer.

Carol, Mary Kay and Beth --- the three people closest to Lynne --- go on an adventure they will never forget, and it's all because of their love for a woman who changed their lives. Readers are introduced to Lynne in the very first chapter, which is beautifully written and gives us a sense of calm. It's a lovely fall afternoon in New England; the leaves are turning, and change is in the air. We feel that Lynne is in a good place. She's humming to herself "Girls just want to have fun." She's cleaning the house, getting rid of things she no longer needs, thinking of the future she will not have and the grandchildren she will never know.

And, with a blink of an eye, she's gone.

Lynne has left one last request for her friends, a somewhat daunting task. In a letter that was to be opened by the three women upon her death, she reveals a huge secret that no one knows --- not even her husband. Now is the time for things to be made right, and she knows she can count on her best friends. This secret, once it comes out in the open, will change the lives of many, including those closest to Lynne. It's a secret that should have come out years ago, but for many different reasons, Lynne kept it to herself, never confiding in anyone. It's up to the three ladies to bring things full circle.

While they are reunited in their quest to complete Lynne's dying wishes, they look back on the years they spent together and the death that brought them back together again.
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