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The Best Of Friends: Two Women, Two Continents, and One Enduring Friendship [Paperback]

Sara James

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Book Description

June 16 2008

Transplanting Southern roots to southern Africa, Ginger Mauney has earned the acceptance of a troop of baboons, unraveled mysteries of life and death in an elephant herd, and raised her young son in the wilds of Etosha National Park. During her career as a television journalist, Sara James paid her own way to cover the war in Nicaragua, exposed slavery in Sudan, plunged to the grave site of the Titanic, but struggled to balance work with marriage and motherhood. Though the two lead seemingly opposite lives, there is much they share. A hometown in Richmond, Virginia, an attraction to life on the razor's edge, and a past. Now, in this heartfelt memoir, Sara and Ginger alternately narrate the story of their twenties, thirties, and forties through the lens of a friendship that has spanned thousands of miles and more than thirty years, and reveal how they dared to reinvent their lives, just as it seemed that everything was falling apart.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (June 16 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060779497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060779498
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 13.6 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,250,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Mauney, a freelance wildlife filmmaker based in Namibia, and James, a news correspondent for NBC Nightly News, Dateline and other programs, have maintained a remarkable friendship since they were both 12-year-old girls growing up in the genteel circles of Richmond, Va. While their mothers' generation was expected to marry socially suitable husbands, their daughters grew up with wider possibilities. Mauney left Richmond to become arm-candy for a world-class tennis player, who dropped her just when she was beginning to look for a wedding ring. James was too busy building a career in broadcasting to put much energy into finding a man. It wasn't until Mauney's romance hit bottom that the two became close again. In alternating chapters, they record their unfolding lives from their mid-20s through their 40s, with Mauney working in rural Africa and James in fast-lane New York City. Their divergent paths turn out to be quite parallel in the end, as they contemplate their children's developing friendship. By giving sensitive support to each other at key moments, these two women both found their way to balancing marriage, motherhood and creative careers. Their book—a sweet summer read—pays tribute to the advances that feminism brought to a generation of young women and to the enduring value of female friendship. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

As teenage girls are wont to do, James and Mauney first bonded over shared dreams of lives that would take them far from their hometown, lives that would combine challenging careers with travel to exotic locations, where they would court danger, and fall in love with men who carried well-worn passports and spoke with foreign accents. Such dreams, of course, are typical of young girls everywhere, yet James and Mauney made good on their promises, though the paths they took were not always smooth and straight. James would live in the lap of urban comfort in Manhattan, where she would become an award-winning journalist for NBC News, while Mauney eked out an unsparing existence in desolate African outback base camps as a wildlife documentary filmmaker. Through 30 years, they would see careers explode and relationships implode, and though they often experienced life's sweetest successes and harshest tragedies separately, emotionally they were always together. With candor, insight, and wisdom, James and Mauney joyfully celebrate the inspiring essence of friendship. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read July 11 2007
By William Coles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It's a great read - the intertwining lives of two childhood friends and how they have cleaved together over the decades. What's rare about this book is that each woman has her say and tells her own story - yet the sum is much more powerful than the two parts. Wonderful to see how these two young girls evolve into women as they nurture each other along the way. I loved it.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars longtime meaningful friendship Aug. 1 2007
By Mrs C - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read this book because these authors went to school with my daughters. As I read, my interest went far beyond my connection. The candid sharing of both triumphs and let-downs of each woman was unique and interesting.
The lessons learned, the sacrifices and wisdom gained from following their dreams was fascinating. I highly recommend this book and hope they will continue writing.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Friends! July 23 2007
By SH - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
How refreshing to read about two loving, smart, independent women and how they realize the need for loving interdependence between friends! The idea of writing a book together over time and many miles is a perfect illustration of their connection. Their stories of being there for each other -- in spirit and when possible in person -- through the best and worst of times are inspiring. They remind us that the realities of adult life are best viewed through loving eyes -- our own and those of our friends and families. I have read it and shared it with friends with joy and confidence that they will enjoy it as well. Definitely add it to your summer must read list.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully refreshing tale of women and the meaning of friendship! July 10 2007
By D. M. Stuart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
How great to pick up a book and be reminded how women can be so supportive of one another! James and Mauney show how years can pass, people and their locations can change, but friendship can always be called upon to steady ones course.So many times we think that others live lives seeming to have it all,and these women candidly reveal bumps in the road that many of us can relate to. It may be siblings, love life or children that cause the bumps, but both Mauney and James show that by sharing our lifes trials with friends, truly halves the pain and doubles the pleasure!Bravo to a page turner that at the end, makes you want to share it with your own friend!!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy read. July 8 2007
By Andrew's Mommy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was prepared to LOVE this book but ended up just liking it and skipping through alot of it. I would have preferred to read 2 separate autobiographies frankly. Seems like the phone calls/emails/visits between the two women were played up b/c of the book's title. Interesting story and I'd like to read more about the two women individually but the book itself didn't WOW! me like I was hoping. Worth a read though.

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