The Girls from Ames

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Obviously, since this is a special week, Suggestion Saturday is temporarily suspended - but it will be making its triumphant return next week.

I'm rather stunned that's its only seven o'clock and I'm already working on my blog entry. I decided, for once, to actually apply myself and get the book done early. Although I did take some time out of the day to talk to my sister a few times - one of those times being when she called me from a bookstore, which she reports is "like walking through your blog." Everywhere she turns she sees a book I have read. In fact, my obsessive reading has had the effect where she no longer asks me if I've read a book, but just assumes that I have, "How was A Year in Provence." That statement was followed by, "Do love how I didn't even have to ask if you had read the book, I just assumed that you had." For the record dear readers, I do love that.

Today's book, "Meet the Ames Girls: eleven childhood friends who formed a special bond growing up in Ames, Iowa. As young women, they moved to eight different states, yet managed to maintain an enduring friendship that would carry them through college and careers, marriage and motherhood, dating and divorce, a child’s illness and the mysterious death of one member of their group. Capturing their remarkable story, The Girls from Ames is a testament to the deep bonds of women as they experience life’s joys and challenges -- and the power of friendship to triumph over heartbreak and unexpected tragedy."

I've been hearing about today's book for quite some time now - and I've heard a lot of good things about it, so I had high expectations. Unfortunately, I didn't care for it all that much. I really don't care for the writing style of the book - there was an awkwardness to it that made me feel like I could never really get into the story. And I didn't care for the way the book jumped all over the place - I would have preferred a story that was told in chronological order.

It's seems impossible for me to read a book that talks about any one's childhood or adolescence without having a few flashbacks of my own:

  • The highlight story - which brought my biggest hair mistake of all time careening back into the foreground of my memory where it has been haunting me all day (note to self: really dark hair, with blond highlights is wrong and bad and should never be attempted under any circumstances, and I owe every person who had to look at me during that time a huge apology.)

  • The mention of slumber parties - I don't know why, but every slumber party I attended as a child ended with a huge 2 a.m. fight that wouldn't exactly be bad enough to qualify as a brawl, but was two short steps away from it. To this day, I can't even think about slumber parties without shuddering just a little bit.

  • The stories of the friends coming to each others' defense - This reminded me of what I call "The cafeteria incident" from junior high, in which someone was being mean to one of my friends and I started yelling at him and told him that I was going to make him a list of all the things he was going to do to make it up to her (which I was only half-way serious about anyway - okay, well maybe I wasn't half-serious since I did, in fact, write out a list.) To this day I'm still amazed that he actually did all of the things on the list. I'm also really annoyed that I didn't save the list because I think it would be entertaining to look at now. Let that be a lesson to you dear readers, annoy me and I will make you a list, because that's just the kind of petty person that I am.

So, overall I would say you're better off skipping this book. It just wasn't interest enough to hold my interest, and I probably wouldn't have finished it if I hadn't been reading it for the blog. Although I did enjoy the reference to Dallas and the "Who shot J.R." phenomenon. I always love a good reference to the kind of crappy TV I love to watch.