The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship
Jeffrey ZaslowPenguin Group (2009)
Reviewed by Laura Johnson for Reader Views (6/09)
Karla, Kelly, Marilyn, Jane, Jenny, Karen, Cathy, Angela, Sally, Diana, and Sheila are the girls from Ames. For many that statement might not mean anything, but once you read “The Girls from Ames” by Jeffrey Zaslow, you will wish you were a member of their group. Zaslow’s book is a heartwarming, true tale, of eleven girls from Ames, Iowa that can only be described as a biography of friendship. The book chronicles a 40-year journey of friendship that is deeply moving, emotional, and honest.
Not only does Zaslow tell their story, but he mixes in statistics on friendship to show what a powerful affect friendship can have on a person’s life. It made me evaluate the friendships I have had, still have, and those that are yet to come in my life. Yet, it also made me evaluate myself in a way that I had not done before. I found myself thinking about what kind of friend I am, but most importantly, what kind of person I am and how I want my journey in life to be seen, shared, and remembered by others. I laughed, I cried, and by the last page I felt as if I was an unofficial member of their group.
It is surprising that a male author was successful in capturing the true spirit of women and their friendships. Yet, the author did just that in “The Girls from Ames.” Jeffrey Zaslow’s book is geared towards women, yet I would recommend this selection for both women and men. Women will relate and rejoice, while men will better understand women and their bonds.