Sometimes timing is the difference between a friendship that lasts a lifetime and one that fades, but as everyone who has let a friendship lapse knows, it's also a matter of effort. A friendship is a lot like romance--in the beginning all chemistry and luck, but then come commitment and dependability and other words that don't scream "fun." And as any old friends know, it keeps getting better if you hold on through the bends and curves. After more than 25 years of friendship, Ellen Goodman and Patricia O'Brien share their own story, the stories of other women, and plenty of insight from psychologists and students of human nature in I Know Just What You Mean. The two recount their first acquaintance from separate perspectives and make it clear that neither felt a transcendent bond about to form. (No eyes meeting across a crowded room, no knowing nods exchanged: "Yes, I am a divorced mother and journalist, too. Let's talk.") And here they ask, "What is it, really, that friends do for each other?" Give advice? Listen and nod? Bring a covered dish? Sure, friends do these things, but above all, they know you in a way most people don't. Many readers will recognize Goodman's name from her syndicated column, O'Brien's from her novels and nonfiction. Aside from its merits as a piece of writing (Goodman and O'Brien live up to their mutually high standards), I Know Just What You Mean makes you think about your friends and friendships, past and present. And perhaps the best testament to what these two old friends have created is how much you want to pick up the phone and tell a friend about it. --Gwen Bloomsburg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In this warm, honest and engaging book, Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe columnist Goodman (Value Judgments) and novelist O'Brien (The Candidate's Wife) use their 27-year friendship as a starting point for reflecting on the importance of women's camraderie. Platonic friendship, they write, matters a great deal: "Women today--with lives often in transition--depend on friends more than ever." Starting with the moment they met (in their 30s), when they were both mid-career journalism fellows at Harvard, the authors take turns at the keyboard, telling their story. O'Brien, a Chicago-based mother of four, didn't graduate from college until she was 30; Goodman was a single mother and Radcliffe grad. The women remained crucial in each other's lives after returning to their respective careers and cities, and helped each other through career changes, parenting and remarriages. Beyond their own relationship, they examine those of other women: including Oprah Winfrey's friendship with Gayle King, Susan B. Anthony's with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the bonds between more ordinary folk (welfare mothers, college students, preschoolers). Along the way, Goodman and O'Brien discuss how women listen, talk, care for and empathize with their women friends--and how they compete with and betray one another (viz. Linda Tripp). The result is a skillful, unsentimental tribute to the strength of the authors' relationship. Heavy on insight and light on psychological jargon, this book is an intelligent, observant read--and sure to get a lot of attention in the coming months. Agent, Esther Newberg. 8-city tour.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Sometimes you read a book that returns to you time and time again. This is that book for me. It is a book i search for and give to people in my life more often than not. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Casaross
Very insightful. Beautifully written. A real testament to the sensitivity, power and strength of women's friendships. Would definitely recommend this book!Published 23 months ago by Carol Judith Noye
I had forgotten just how important my girlfriends are. It brought back lots of memories. I picked up the phone and also started emailing immediately.Published on April 26, 2013 by musician
always interested in books about women who like, love and admire one another. i'm going to a lecture series and ellen goodwan is one of the speakers.Published on December 11, 2012 by martha a farkasovsky
Excellent book and was not only purchased for myself but also for my best friend. At first I bought myself a copy, and after reading it, decided that I must get a copy for my... Read morePublished on January 10, 2012 by NAOMI
This book was selected for my women's book club. We expected a great forum to discuss womens relationships. Read morePublished on October 18, 2005 by Reader Martha
I read this in one weekend. I loved the relationship between the two women. It came to me that the relationships that a woman holds with her female friends is so important. Read morePublished on February 23, 2003
I am lucky to have some wonderful, long-standing friendships. However, over the last few years I have not given them the time and attention they deserve. Read morePublished on May 7, 2001
What a delight it was to come across this terrific book! I think the authors were able to capture something many women feel throughout their lives but sometimes have difficulty... Read morePublished on May 7, 2001