Monday, June 7, 2010

The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women & a Forty-Year Friendship, by Jeffrey Zaslow










How close are you to your closest friends? Did you meet them in college, high school, or grade school? Not many people can say they are still friends with the same people they met up with in grade school, let alone have a strong lasting bond with a group of friends for a long period of time. Most of the time when we attend a different school or even go away to college, the bond that was there, slowly dissipates. And other times when we become married we start a new life with our “new” family and we slowly see things starting to trickle away. But there are some people who can actually make it work and keep a strong bonding friendship for years and years and years. And that is what happened between Angela, Cathy, Diana, Jane, Jenny, Karen, Karla, Kelly, Marilyn, Sally and Sheila. The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women & a Forty-Year Friendship, by Jeffrey Zaslow.

Every so often, the girls from Ames get together and reminisce about the past and engage in conversation about the present. When they are together at these reunions, they feel as though they are still those young girls in the pictures that they pull out to look over. And throughout this book, we are taken on that very journey with them as they discuss how their lives began and what they went through that led up to such an incredible bonding friendship.

It all started about forty some years ago when two of the girls were born in the same hospital days after each other. Little did they realize, they would become great friends later on. Some of the girls met up in kindergarten or first grade, whereas, a couple of them were pulled in by being friends with some of the girls already a part of the group or living next to them.

As they started to mature, they began going to formals and on dates, of course, some more than others. They experienced their first concerts, parties, hair changes, first jobs and even ostracizing. After growing up some more, they headed off to college. This is where you would suspect that their friendships would start to break off, but it didn’t. They maintained a steady friendship through letters and later on emails. Marriages, kids, health scares, divorce and even deaths couldn’t keep these girls friendships from separating. And to this day, they are still just as close.

Throughout the book we also learn about the benefits of women having close friendships. There are different studies on how close friendships can lead to women living a longer happier life. Some of the research showed that people with friends tend to be a lot healthier than those who didn’t have any. Another research showed that women with strong friendships tended to have better marriages.

While reading this book I learned a lot about the benefits of having lasting friendships. It made me want to call or write my friends and thank them for being in my life. There is nothing that can replace the closeness of a friend and this book proves it. I highly recommend this as a must read.