Saturday, May 13, 2006

Lit Chicks Book Report

This month, we had an amazing Lit Chicks meeting. We read a compilation of non-fiction short stories called The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away. It was the first book of short stories I've read in quite a while, and I found that I really liked it. If one of the stories was not to my liking, I could skip over it and just go to the next one.

I have to confess, I sat down and made a list of my own "friends who got away" after reading the book. I came up with 10 or 15, only 5 or 6 of whom I genuinely wanted to hear from again. Kerriann was one of them. Vicki, Margaret, Anna, Christina, Stefanie, if you're out there, drop me a line! (Yes, sorry, no men made the cut--our fizzling out was just too complicated, confusing, and/or painful for me to want to talk to ex-male friends again.)

Each of the stories was unique, from the obligatory "I slept with my best friend's boyfriend" to "I was the only black girl in my school till the second one moved in and invaded my turf and then moved out"... There were also stories from when the women were children to when they were adults, and one was very tongue-in-cheek (when you become my best friend, don't worry about cancelling till the morning of, I can always find something to do with myself when you bail on me, etc. etc.)

The book led to fantastic discussion about our friends who got away, and even a few tears. We discussed how applicable it was, how screwed up some of these authors must be (!), each of the stories, and each of the friendships. One of the best sets of stories, in my opinion, was that they published one from each of two friends whose friendship fizzled.

If you're interested in non-fiction or short stories and want to ease your ladies' book club into it, this is a definite contender. I wouldn't recommend it for clubs that are just starting out where people don't feel comfortable sharing their personal lives. But if you all know each other, it can be a sort of catharsis to talk about those relationships in the course of the book discussion.

0 pearl(s) of wisdom: