The Best of Friends: Two Women, Two Continents, and One Enduring Friendship Paperback – Jun 24 2008
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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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
I am a member of a book club, and we have theme parties at the conclusion of each book. I chose this book, and set the scene in Ginger's African bush, (our first out door event). We had a bon fire, and after discussing the book, talked about girlfriends, old and new. I intentionally took some of these "city" women out of their comfort zones by serving foods I described as "jungle stu" "bird on a spit" and so on. Finishing out the evening with making smore`s over the campfire, as some had never even heard of. (They thoroughly enjoyed it, by the way).
It's not a complicated book, it's more of a comfortable, wrap up in a blanket, grab some tissues, and get ready to experience the extraordinary ups and downs of two lives, but a steadfast friendship every woman desires.
I would recommend buying the hardback copy so you can share this book with your friends. Besides, the graphics on the cover tell a wonderful story all on it's own.