Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: She Matters: A Life in Friendships
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on February 1, 2013
YIKES!! I thought this would be a great book about female friendships. Unfortunately, it was all about the author's multiple needs. I'm not sure there are enough friends in the world to fill the void the author seems to need filled. To be fair, there were bursts of good writing in the book. However it was difficult to get beyond the cadre of friends who all appeard to have the lifeblood sucked out of them in the name of "friendship". One has to wonder what the females profiled think about the author's assessment. Many sounded like they had the patience of Job and were kind beyond belief. I would guess they have their own tales to tell! I would not recommend the book.
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on February 3, 2013
All of the author's relationships seemed the same...high expectations fading away to the reality of human flaws and disappointments. As a reader I wanted her to figure out that you can only expect so much from friends.
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on January 9, 2013
I read this book as an Advanced Reader's Copy and have had to wait months to comment. I am delighted to see it getting some great reviews as it comes out to the world today. There is so much to admire here. It's unlike any memoir I've read, a story of one life told through the memoirist's examination of her relationship to others. Full of insight into both herself and the nature of friendships, SHE MATTERS feels, like the best memoirs, much bigger in scope than the individual events it takes up. It's also beautifully written, like all of this writer's work, with an unflinching eye toward her own complexities, even when they are difficult or potentially shameful. Were that every memoir as honest, bracing, well-crafted, and nuanced as this one. Highly recommended.
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on January 27, 2013
Like the author, I was born in 1965, went to summer camp, boarding school, lived with a French family and had many roommates and friends throughout childhood, college and working years. Like the author, I am a mother and shared and continue to share friendships through playgroups and postpartum, toddler years and birthday parties. I do not, however, think that makes a book for me...or her. It seemed very self-indulgent to describe and reveal personal, intimate details of all of these friendships. I think the idea was that others can see themselves in the specifics she lays out but, by the end, I really started not to care (especially by the time we got to Flora, the masseuse). I think she has some lovely images and turns of phrase but I thought I was going to run out and buy this book for all of my close female friends. Alas, I am not.
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on October 27, 2013
Given the fantastic reviews this book received, I was ultimately disappointed. On the positive end, Sonnenberg has a way with words, and every once in a while she captures a moment or turn of phrase that is memorable. However, the individual stories of each of the failed female friendships are told in a superficial and overly predictable fashion, showcasing a confused sexuality and sense of self. The disjointed presentation creates a confusing timeline, and other than the fact that Sonnenberg cannot understand why each of these relationships stop working, it becomes tedious and depressing. While I admire Sonnenberg for her courage in exposing the more vulnerable aspects of her life, I had a hard time finishing the book, and was left with the hope that if even 50% of the facts of the stories are true, that the author is getting therapy.
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on January 10, 2013
Sonnenberg's recollection of friendships she has shared, past and present, is blatantly honest and humorous. She uses vivid colors that saturate her canvas as she paints a picture we probably have all seen before whether we'd like to admit it or not. If you look up the word "friend" in the dictionary, it provides several definitions. Each one perfectly fitting, depending on which friend one may be referring to of course. One defines a "friend" as a member of the same nation or party. Now, personally, I consider some of my co-workers friends just because we share the same office, a nation. But, I can recall quite a few harrowing days that I know I wouldn't dare reach out to them for advice or looking for a shoulder to cry on. Another describes "friend" as a person who is on good terms with one another, one who is not hostile. The author has told a couple of stories where she is on good terms witha friend, but she described them to be people who are almost the complete opposite of hostile.

In this memoir, she goes on to explain that throughout life, we all need friends as we grow. Whether we actually want them, or have time for them, the need is still in abundance. Sometimes pals stick around for a lot longer than we expected, and some of the times they vanish before we even realize they've been drifting apart. Either way, Sonnenberg has penned the truth and perhaps will open readers' eyes a little wider to recognizing that it's more important for ourselves to be a chum, rather than depend on another.
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on May 25, 2013
Totally disliked the format and writing style. Nothing seemed to be truly developed. Friendships all seemed superficial from the author's point of view. Still do not understand how these friendships mattered to her at all in the deepest sense of friendship.
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on February 1, 2013
I was disappointed in this book. I expected a celebration of the unique aspects of women's friendships. Instead, this is the story of a self-centered, materialistic, personality-disordered woman who manages to drive away almost all of her friends. I will give the author credit for being so candid. However, because of her neediness and relative lack of
empathy, she seems to miss the depth and meaningfulness of true friendships. Maybe the author needs to quit complaining about her mother and look at her own behavior.
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on July 31, 2013
I had high hopes for this book. I don't know if I had confused the author with someone else, and I did find her parental nightmares heartening as it makes my family look a little less dysfunctional. I found her relationships based on what a person could do for her versus her putting in the time with a friend. I had read an Anne Lamott "Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith" and learned a lot more about a tough life and deep friendships.
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on September 15, 2013
There was no story in this book, only a seemingly-endless timeline of failed friendships. It was as though the author completed several dozen assignments from the same writing prompt: "Describe a disastrous friendship in your life." This author's life is chock full of them! To break up the monotony the author mentions her sexual affair with her English teacher, her abortion, and her extramarital affair, but even these add-ins to the friendship timeline cannot redeem the book. I could not figure out who this woman was because I had only her viewpoint and voice throughout the book. I was rooting for the women who ditched her. I doubt that's what the author intended.
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