Sunday, April 25, 2010

Book 23: Best Friends Forever

Yes, yes. Book 23 was supposed to be the Biography of Mark Twain.  I will eventually finish it.  But, I had a crazy week, and I suddenly wanted Fiction. Part of the reason I'm reading these 52 books is to go through ones I had bought and not finished yet.  Yesterday was rainy and dreary and just cried out for a good story.  Jennifer Weiner's Best Friends Forever fit the bill.

The thing I like about Jennifer Weiner is that she writes about real women. Women who aren't the epitome of beauty as defined by any number of magazines. But also women with real insecurities, a real sense of humor, with things they love and hate about themselves. Women with gumption.

I've had the same best friend since I was 15 years old. While the adventures in Best Friends Forever feel somewhat surreal and beyond anything I can imagine experiencing with my own best friend, the authenticity underlying the friendship between Addie and Val is striking. The sense that there is nothing that can destroy your friendship. The sense of that one person who is there for you, no matter what.   

In this story, Addie and Val's friendship suffered for 15 years, after Val betrayed Addie in high school.  Their lives took very different paths, and on the night of their high school reunion, an accident brings them back together.  Despite the hurt feelings, and despite the betrayal, despite fears about what might happen, Addie and Val are able to resume their friendship and set off on an quirky adventure.

That's the kicker for me.  I have that kind of best friend. I've mentioned her before in other posts, and we've never had an incident between us like the one that ripped Addie and Val's friendship.  Still, there's the comfort in that relationship, that even when we go months between visits, this friend is still the one I first want to tell happy and exciting news. Or the one I want to talk to when I need additional insight somewhere.

That sense of enduring friendship, is, I think, one of life's greatest treasures. I love an opportunity to read any book that celebrates that kind of relationship.

By the way, Good in Bed and In Her Shoes are also excellent reads by Jennifer Weiner.

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