Monday, June 29, 2009

The Girls From Ames

My heart goes out to everyone that lost a loved one this week. Several people around the world are grieving and I can't help but be reminded of how precious life really is. I could keep going and blog about all the death that touched my life last week, but I am not going to.

Instead I want to tell you about this amazing novel I discovered this weekend.

It's called The Girls From Ames and it's by journalist Jeffrey Zaslow. This book tells the story of a forty year friendship between eleven women. The women (or "girls") are from Ames, Iowa which is the home of my alma mater, Iowa State University. They all met as children and to this day are still close friends although they are now into their mid-forties.

The book was given to a good friend of mine for her birthday, and after hearing about it I knew I had to go buy it. I bought it Saturday morning and am already almost halfway through it.

On several levels these girls remind me of my own circle of girlfriends, but on several other levels it reminds me of how different we are from these women. I can only hope that our bond withstands all of the struggles we are going through, like the girls from the book, but sometimes it's hard to be optimistic.

From what I have read so far it seems that the girls struggled the most through their twenties. During this time they are figuring out who they are, what they want and where they are going. This is the time where we, as women, are most selfish and put ourselves first. Maybe because we know that this may be the only time in our lives to do so, being as after marriage and children your own personal well-being isn't the most important thing in your life anymore.

Regardless, during this selfish phase we call our twenties the relationships with our close girlfriends tend to suffer. Hurtful words are thrown and unconditional love is taken for granted.

It's difficult moving down the totem people on the level of importance you are to someone else. Being replaced with husbands and children can be heartbreaking and confusing, but so far this book is teaching me that we're not being replaced in our girlfriends eyes. We still fill a place in their lives that can only be filled by the women in your life called your friends.

I am the youngest of my group of friends, and many times it is very evident. I'm not ready to give up our carefree ways and I'm definitely not ready to take a step down. This book has come along at the perfect time for me.


Pursuit of Matching Accessories said...

I am definitely going to have to check this book out! I have to agree with you, I feel that the 20's are so defining.

Lesli said...

I have been wanting to read this book - I heard about it somewhere, but i had no idea it was actually based on women in Ames, Iowa--too cool! On my list.

Heidi said...

my book club is reading that this month - i read the amazing article in the WSJ by the author and it was just...awesome. incredibly inspiring. Let me know what you think of it! :)

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I'm going to have to check this book out. It sounds amazing!

Shoshanah said...

I've been seeing this book around and have been thinking about picking it up. Glad to know its worth it!

Amber said...

I'm almost done with it and I love it. It might just be all the references to things relating to Iowa, but it's a great (and accurate) book about friendships from the time we are children to middle aged women.