Publication Date: June 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: Hardcover, 304pp
(Received for an honest review from Dutton/Penguin)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Sarah Strohmeyer on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter
Excerpt from Kindred Spirits
When life gives you lemons, call your best girlfriends and whip up some lemon martinis. Such is the mantra for the Ladies' Society for the Conservation of Martinis, which was established after one fateful PTA meeting, when four young mothers-Lynne, Mary Kay, Beth, and Carol- discovered they had more in common than they ever thought possible. Meeting once a month, the women would share laughs and secrets and toast to their blossoming friendship with a clink of their sacred martini glasses. The Society was their salvation, their refuge, but when life-shattering circumstances force the group to dissolve, their friendship is never quite the same...until two years later, when a tragic event puts the Society back in session.
When Lynne passes away suddenly, she leaves behind one simple request: that her old friends sort through her belongings. Reluctantly, the women reunite to rummage through her closets. There's nothing remarkable; no kinky sex toys, no embarrassing diary. But buried deep within Lynne's lingerie drawer is an envelope addressed to the Society. And inside they find a letter that reveals a shocking secret and a final wish that will send the women on a life-changing journey...proving that nothing is more powerful than the will of a true girlfriend and a good, strong martini.
Sarah Strohmeyer, brings readers a tale of friendship and secrets in her latest novel, Kindred Spirits. This book celebrates the friendships between women and bonds they form. Readers will love the The Society for the Conservation of Martinis. Strohmeyer's trademark humor and sharp wit will delight readers as they meet, Lynne, Carol, Mary Kay and Beth, four friends who share the best and worst of times with each other. A great summer read about the power of friendship!
Four young women become fast friends when a shared PTA meeting shows them how much they have in common and The Society for the Conservation of Martinis was born. Through the years, Mary Kay, Beth, Lynne and Carol have stood with each other through the best times in their lives, when joy was the emotion of the day and again in the worst of times when tragedy was close. Even after life caused them to move in different directions they still got together once a month for conversation and great martinis. But in recent years their friendship has started to wane, until sadness brings them together once again. Lynne has fought a hard battle with cancer and finally succumbed and she has two dying wishes that she needs her friends to handle for her. The road trip that follows brings the three remaining friends a sense of peace, as they reflect on their friendship and on their lives in this tale of love and abiding friendship.
Sarah Strohmeyer takes a look at women and the friendships they form in her latest novel, Kindred Spirits. Strohmeyer gives readers four interesting and multi-layered characters to focus on and shows the reader how the friendship between these women was formed, what made it endure and why it was so important to them. It is no secret that women seem to form long and lasting friendships. The bonds that are created can sometimes last a lifetime and I think Strohmeyer does a fantastic job of allowing the reader to feel the deep love and respect these women feel for each other. Each one of the women has her own life, her own secrets and yet they still need and love each other. It's a very special bond that I hope every woman is able to experience in her life. Strohmeyer gives readers that inside glimpse into what it's like to have great girlfriends.
Though the book opens with the death of one of the women, Lynne, who had battled cancer for some time, it is not a sad story. I did shed a few tears and had to keep the Kleenex handy the first couple of chapters, but after that the mood of the book lightens and readers begin to see hope as the remaining three friends set off on a road trip to complete the tasks that Lynne left for them. Lynne was keeping secrets, from her husband, her friends, from everyone and now she needs the help of her friends to make things right. I liked the idea that Strohmeyer came up with for this plot. These friends were so connected and so in tune with each other, that they did not hesitate to take on their friends dying wish. I liked the fact that Strohmeyer shows how this last request changes them and makes their friendship even stronger.
Each of the women had her own story, her own secrets to sort through as they took on the task. But as things went along we see each of them reflecting on their lives and where they are. Do they have the lives they want? What changes do they need to make to give them the life they've always dreamed of... I thought Strohmeyer brought home the idea that life is short and that people focus too much on things that are not important when they need to see life through different eyes. See the things that really matter and the people they share them with. This is a great book about the power of friendship. Everyone needs a friend and this book shows that to have friends it takes work. It's not something that just happens. I loved all of the characters and their own lives.
This is a fast paced book, that will leave readers feeling like their heart strings have been tugged on. If you have close girl friends you'll love this book, if you don't have them, it will make you want to go out and find some. It's a story that will make you cry little, laugh a lot and try your hand at mixing a few martinis. There are some great recipes in this one as well. I recommend it all of my female readers! If you don't have friends like these you don't know what you're missing!
Kindred Spirits is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Sarah Strohmeyer is a bestselling and award-winning novelist whose books have been adapted to television. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The Plain Dealer and The Boston Globe. She lives with her family outside Montpelier, Vermont.