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The Best of Friends: Two Women, Two…

The Best of Friends: Two Women, Two Continents, and One Enduring…

by Sara James

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786154,388 (3.5)5



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
A format not often seen: two autobiographies in alternating chapters of one book. Maybe the reason for the paucity is that it doesn't work well. It seems the publisher and authors are always trying to find links that will justify the title. Mauney is a filmmaker who worked in Namibia for sixteen years while keeping up her friendship with James, a news anchor in the U.S. There are interesting details in each of their lives but their stories would have been served better with separate books. Inside the dust jacket the publisher claims that the book "uses the example of their lives to explore such universal questions as: When your heart is broken, how do you heal? How do you realize your dreams without compromising yourself? And what does it mean as an adult to be a "best" friend?" In my opinion, stretching the topic somewhat to fit the title. I was looking forward to reading this book and tried hard to like it, but in the end found it disappointing. ( )
1 vote VivienneR | May 10, 2013 |
Two women who live on separate continents and live completely separate lives and manage to stay friends over the course of their lives. The only thing they have to tie each to the other is a high school friendship and the love they have for one another. I really love that the women stay friends over the years, but found that most of the book was not about the friendship, but about their separate lives and occasionally tying the women together. ( )
  bookwormteri | Nov 8, 2007 |
An engaging memoir about two best friends from high school whose career paths lead to exciting jobs--one an NBC/Dateline correspondent and the other an African wildlife photographer. ( )
  RavenousReaders | Sep 19, 2007 |
I took a sick day off work yesterday and while I was lounging in bed I read this entire book. I guess that means it qualifies as a page turner...

Like others, I found the writing between the different narrators similar enough to be disconcerting/jarring at first. Also I found the "story of their friendship" was mostly lacking explicitly in the book. Most of THAT story was told in subtext and inference. The unspoken nature of the friendship in the book was a good choice in my opinion...it prevented the book from becoming saccharin sweet and mirrored the unspoken nature of their deep friendship.

I also have very close friends who live very different lives than I do. My life isn't as high profile as either of these women, nor are my friends. I guess that's what makes their lives "memoir-worthy" and mine just my own. I did, however find their relationship highly relatable.

I found the book to feel rather dry in style for the first 50 pages. It took at least that long to be interested enough in the lives of Ginger and Sara to be engaged. Additionally I found the parade of "minor characters" difficult (and unnecessary) to follow. People drifted in and out as friends or friends of friends and I had no idea who they were but it just didn't seem to matter. I wonder if they belonged in the narrative at all if I could just ignore them... alternatively, if they DO belong in the story, a better introduction would have been appreciated.

I have already recommended this book to a very close, long term friend of mine who lives overseas. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did. ( )
  mreade | Sep 7, 2007 |
I wanted to love this book. It had everything I love, travel, especially in Africa, journalism, a story of friendship and adventure and yet I just didn't. Part of it was how the two women switched narrators every chapter, but overall it was a dry read, which is sad because both women lead such interesting and extraordinary lives. ( )
1 vote bookstar | Aug 13, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
The women tell their stories in alternating chapters, each covering a year or two and filled with details of daily life and concerns about love, work, men, marriage and motherhood. They are supportive of each other, sharing each other’s trials and triumphs, visiting when they can and telephoning and emailing frequently. The strength of their mature friendship, which seemed rather tenuous at the beginning, is unmistakable, and these warm, southern women—Richmond, Va., is their hometown—talk freely and often about the depth of their feelings for each other.

A warm, fuzzy read that, with its insights into the often complicated lives of career women, could be a favorite of women’s reading groups.
added by VivienneR | editKirkus Reviews
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060779489, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

An NBC news correspondent and a documentary filmmaker trace the story of their long-standing friendship and their many shared interests, from their childhood hometown and choice of on-the-edge careers to their love of children and similar tastes in men.… (more)

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