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The Girls from Ames    by Jeffrey Zaslow order for
Girls from Ames
by Jeffrey Zaslow
Order:  USA  Can
Gotham, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

The Girls from Ames is the true story of eleven friends who grew up in Ames, Iowa in the 1960's and formed a very special bond. As young women they moved around the country to attend college, pursue a career, and eventually marry and raise their children. They always stayed connected to each other and shared in each other's joys and sorrows. As in any relationships, the road could be rocky at times but they never lost sight of their true feelings for each other.

The author, Jeffrey Zaslow, who co-authored The Last Lecture, focused on a few of the eleven women. He writes in some detail of straight laced Marilyn, fun loving Karla, outspoken Kelly, and beautiful Sheila who died a mysterious death at the age of twenty-two. He spent time with the women, meeting their families, looking at their photos, reading emails and their teenage diaries. By doing all this he got to see first hand how close the women were to each other and what their friendships meant as the years went by.

The women discuss the different journeys they all took in life, and how they always supported one another in good times and bad. Like everyone else, this group of women had the joys of relationships, marriages, and the births of their children. They also suffered when Sheila died tragically and there were so many unanswered questions. Two of the women battled breast cancer in middle age but all the others rallied round, reached out and supported them. Some also had to deal with the death of a parent.

The Girls from Ames is a very enjoyable read. Zaslow explores women's relationships and the impact it has on the lives of all involved. Women need each other in good times and bad and this is a great book to share with a mother, sister, daughter, or aunt and friends. Some bonds can never be broken.

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