- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (March 16, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061661279
- ISBN-13: 978-0061661273
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 60 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,121,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Best of Friends: Martha and Me Hardcover – March 16, 2010
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From the Back Cover
Set in a world of luxury and power, this is the story of two remarkable women and a friendship that changed both their lives forever.
For more than two decades, Mariana Pasternak and Martha Stewart were nearly inseparable. They first met over a garden gate in Westport, Connecticut, two suburban wives wedded to successful men but with grand aspirations of their own. Their bond only deepened after their marriages ended in divorce. Struggling as a single mother, but drawn into a seductive world of privilege and adventure, Pasternak watched with admiration as her friend built an empire that would make her one of the richest women in America.
A European émigré with sophisticated tastes, Pasternak helped to smooth Stewart's rough edges, while Stewart drew Pasternak into a rarefied world, where together they navigated the sometimes hilarious and often difficult challenges of being single. The depth of their friendship not only benefited them both but also influenced how they defined themselves, through good times and bad. Friendship between women is never simple and this one was no exception.
With Stewart's newfound success and Pasternak's zest for adventure, the two women's friendship was based on their mutual quest for wonder and discovery. They rode horses through the desert dunes of Egypt, hiked the winding Inca Trail to the mysterious Machu Picchu, paddled at night in dugout canoes through the Amazonian jungle. They toasted the good life with thin-stemmed champagne glasses and sipped “jade dew" green tea in Martha's Turkey Hill kitchen. This was no ordinary life.
As time passed, money, men, and the arrogance of wealth frayed the bonds they had built so carefully over more than twenty years. The final break came when Pasternak was called as a witness in the high-profile trial that brought about Stewart's conviction and prison sentence. Pasternak's deeply personal memoir tells the story of their friendship with honesty and candor, reflecting on the power of such intense relationships to change our lives, and the devastating aftermath when those relationships end.
About the Author
Mariana Pasternak grew up in Romania and immigrated to the United States as a political refugee. The mother of two daughters, she has been a biomedical engineer and has held other positions involving computer-based research and development. For the past twenty years, she has been working as a realtor in Connecticut, where she lives.
Top customer reviews
I feel the author held back on dishing the dirt and did not go into great details when she did spill some of the beans on Martha. Why and why now did she write this book? Was it to improve her self-worth and get the old Mariana back? She enjoyed the crumbs from staying friends with Martha; however I feel she was constantly trying to "keep up with the Joneses", which was financially impossible. Martha is a truly unique individual, constantly striving for more -- a difficult, if impossible, act to follow.
For Martha fans, I would recommend reading this book. I am a fan of Martha and haven't changed my opinion toward her. The relationship between the two reminds me of someone losing themself when enveloped by a strong, controlling personality -- you do eventually lose yourself, and it takes a long time to "come back." So who really lost?
Many famous people have difficult personalities and bend the rules a little. Martha was just one of them who got caught. There are many guys running around on Wall Street and in our banking systems who actually really hurt The USA. Martha wasn't one of them. However, she broke the law and served her time. Would that we could get everyone who does that into federal prison.
The author of the book had a strange dependent relationship with Martha that could be labeled as pathologic for both women. How many of us would hang around to be used and abused for friendship? This went on for years. There was obviously a payoff for her in some way that let her continue to be a whipped puppy.
So we have two people in this story, one a frequent friend abuser and another staying around to be abused. Both lived the high and interesting life. That's what makes this story so interesting. I'd like to see someone make a good accurate psychological drama out of this book. It would be amazing!
This was very well-written and rings true on all counts.
I believe this woman's close relationship with Martha S. began as a solid foursome, when they both were married; and people still try to retain their friendship, even after the marriages broke up.
I think that being a refuge in this country from Communism, Mariana cherished the contacts that she made in this country, without other close relatives to fill that void.
Martha comes across as cold and at times, without the ability to care what other people think. One example is that she just got up from a table of people and walked away. I guess when something doesn't sit well with her, she has no regard for the others in the friend circle.
The author came across as very believable and if any of you have ever had a close friendship and stayed with in, even through the bumps in the road...you will realize that even in the last couple of years, she felt that she wanted to pull away from Martha, but still stayed as her friend. But things were wearing thin.
What I like about the author is that she mentions all of the quirks and things that were strange or unbelievable about Martha's actions, and yet she still does not regret the time spent with her, and considers the many adventures that they had together as something she still holds dear. I think she was a devoted friend, who always tried to sidestep Martha's self-centered, odd behaviors at times.
She credits Martha with helping her open up the world of travel, etc..for her two daughters, who loved Martha.
I can't get why Martha never returned precious photos from the author's home country and why she didn't return the wedding dress, which was precious to the author. Even if she detested her after the court trial, I would think that she would ship Mariana's belongings to her as a final goodbye. Nope.
Most recent customer reviews
This was a very interesting story of a one-sided "friendship.Read more