Tuesday, January 19, 2010

more of the same...

... and i mean that in a good way!

i just was ordering books this morning, and came across this one:
a fortunate age by joanna smith rakoff.

powells.com said, "Like The Group, Mary McCarthy's classic tale about coming of age in New York, Joanna Smith Rakoff 's richly drawn and immensely satisfying first novel details the lives of a group of Oberlin graduates whose ambitions and friendships threaten to unravel as they chase their dreams, shed their youth, and build their lives in Brooklyn during the late 1990s and the turn of the twenty-first century."

i'm excited to get into this one... and all of the sudden, this apres college genre is making me think of st elmo's fire. the person you were in college doesn't always translate into the "real world." and what a slap in the face that is... but you're lucky to have friends to help you thru.

and again, speaking of friends,i just finsihed a year on ladybug farm by donna bell. three friends buy a house and promise to spend at least a year there...which challenges their preconceived ideas, their bodies--but never their friendship.

they are older (than me), they are a widow, divorcee and single gal, who left the comfortable life in baltimore to fulfill their dreams. and just like life out of college never seems to be what one would hope, these gals realize that they didn't lose their dreams, but the dreams they brought with them to ladybug farm, changed and grew with them during the year.

life has a way of doing that. i think my buddy mick said it best when he said, "you can't always get what you want... you get what you need"

happy reading, my friends

*there is a sequel to a year on ladybug farm, called at home on ladybug farm...but it's on the back burner because my reading buddy (can i say your name?) and i are about to jump into drums of autumn!

Monday, January 11, 2010

friends... what a lovely idea

ok, there is just something about cornwall that calls to me...

and while the way we were was a great read about families, friends, secrets and cornwall, it was not quite pilcher's duplicate... but then can anyone really fill those shoes? i think not. it may even be a debilitating curse, if you thought about it...

so about a third of the way thru the book, i decided to stop comparing and to enjoy it for what it is-- another book by a lovely english woman who also writes equally lovely books about cornwall. if you can separate the two, you will enjoy this book.

i'm hopeless with female friendships, and so i read about them! julia and tiggy have one of those envious friendships that surpasses their school days and went into their adult lives. it happens that tiggy finds herself pregnant and very alone in 1976, and she turns to julia--who, with her three children, is also a bit alone with her naval husband at sea. over the summer, the family pulls tiggy in tight... along with all of her secrets! then 30 years later, those same secrets become dangerous to all of them!

* * * * *
speaking of female friendships, i also just finished beach trip by cathy holton. this one was set in another favorite place--north carolina coast. four friends reunite after 20 years! i can't even imagine! so much drama, and yet they all agree to meet at one of the four's beach "cottage"... is everyone in the carolinas fabulously wealthy?! it seems like every book i read, there is a lot of money and these beach "cottages" that are coastal mansions. hmm... i was just wondering...

so, this one is also told in the "then and now" flashback approach. things start out so confusing with pieces of the puzzle missing, and then the story progresses with the flashbacks mingling with the present and things start to make sense... it's one of those books that you have to speed thru just so you know the whole story!!! but this concept of friends reminds me of anne rivers siddons outer banks (also set in north carolina with wealthy people), mary mccarthy's the group and beth gutcheon's the new girls (both new england old school money).

in the beach trip, there is so much pain among the friends that is just swept under the rug. there are betrayals that they just overlook. and there is so much unhappiness... WHY WOULD THEY DO THIS? but they do. they make the plan, spend a week together and in the end {teensy spoiler alert} they come out as better friends than they were when they were in college... it's baffling to me and yet i want it!! so then i start thinking about who i'd like to spend time with after a 20 year separation... or if i'm friends with that many people for that many years?! i can think of only one person i've been friends with for that long... weird. and then to dredge up the nastiness of youth... i'm not sure there's enough firefly to make me want to do this! hmm...

so i ask you...
what's your favorite "friend" book?
would you take a "beach trip" with people you haven't seen in 20 years... or is keeping up on facebook good enough?!?

happy reading, my friends!