Tell Us About Your Friends

We invite you to share your thoughts here on the Ames girls’ story, or to tell us about your own group of friends. (If there’s a follow-up project, we may be back in touch for more details. Thanks!)

Click here to share your thoughts.
(484) norma mcclintic
Sat, 16 October 2010 23:34:44 +0000

Your book is wonderful and I continue to think about although I read it months ago.I want you to know that(not surprisingly)this camaraderie amongst "girls" extends over the world. I have a group I grew up with in Scotland and our core story is very similar in that we get together and start talking as if we had seen each other yesterday. I have lived in Virginia for many years and most of "the Group" are still in Scotland but even with me who they see every 3 years or so we just take off as we were!
We all have gone through trials and tribulations, as everyone who lives to 70 or so does,but we are there for each too. Despite an ocean apart I still consider them some of my VERY BEST friends.
Two of them are twin sisters who have never married, like two of the Ames girls, and I have a paperback copy of the book to send to them for Christmas. I told them about the book when my husband and I were in Scotland recently.
You hit a really special Women's issue with this book. However I know many people who do not have such a group even if they have never left their hometown..I feel so sorry for them because I know the specialness of their friendship.
Thank you.
Norma McClintic

(483) Felicia
Mon, 11 October 2010 16:48:11 +0000

I just finished the book and loved getting to know these 10 women. We had a group of 10 in high school as many parallels with the Ames girls. We were in DeKalb, Illinois, another college town surrounded by corn. Many of us detasseled as well (we graduated with Cindy Crawford, with whom Cathy "talked corn"!). I moved to town in 1978 and have been friends with most of these girls ever since.
About seven years ago, one of the group lost her husband to Cystic Fibrosis, so several of us gathered for the funeral. Just two years later, we were gathering for her wedding to a wonderful man she had met, & all but one of us was there. Six of us roomed together and had such a wonderful weekend that we have been gathering as much as we can ever since. We even formed a Yahoo Group so we can "talk privately" without constant emails. We call ourselves "The Third Tier", in reference to our perceived position in High School. We weren't popular, but we weren't completely at the bottom of the totem pole either!

When I got to the part of the book where Kelly gets breast cancer, I thought "There, I am....I'm the one taking it for the team!", as I tell the other girls. Then, when I read that Angela was diagnosed as well, I thought "Crap! Only ONE is supposed to get it!" My one friend had lost both parents within six months of each other and just six months before my diagnosis. Her comment? "What the hell is the point of me having the worst year of my life if bad things are going to happen to my friends?!" We all want to protect each other from the same problems and heartaches, yet we all want to be there for each other. Because of her fragility during her parents illnesses and just after their deaths, plus my surgery and chemo schedules, we haven't been able to gather as much as we'd like, but they've sent me treats and I've sent them pictures of me in the hospital & they have truly kept me going. As with the girls from Ames, I believe we will continue beyond our current 30 years and into old age. Thanks for the lovely tribute to friendship.

(482) Renee
Wed, 6 October 2010 01:50:13 +0000

What a wonderful story - no - life experience. Even though I have four years on you all, it was enjoyable to meander back to the late 70s/early 80s and remember those special younger years and friendships. While my experiences from back then were different than yours' - (in that I was more comfortable with a couple of close friends as opposed to the big group - that unfortunately I have lost touch with), over the years I have learned the importance of maintaining female friendships and relationships. While my I love my husband dearly, my girlfriends are the ones I need to be my friends and ultimate support system. I am also lucky enough to be experiencing the friendships of my 20-year-old daughter from a parent's perspective. Similar to the girls from Ames, she has had a close knit group of friends since about 3rd grade. In High School, they ended up being on one of the top performing volleyball teams in the state, which brought them even closer together. Now, in college, with every break they all congregate as they used to at each other's houses to get caught up on their lives outside of our small town. I still connect with the other parents - all of us have many 'adopted' daughters... Eva, Lindsey, Laura (Education major at Stonehill - btw Jane!), Liz, Jess, Jenny, Julie, Stacey, Courtney. I am so anxious to see how their lives remain connected as yours' did over the coming years. Best wishes to you all!

(481) Cary Reichardt
Thu, 30 September 2010 23:05:49 +0000

Wow- what a find this book was! It had been a tough summer for me emotionally on many levels, and I stopped at Barnes and Noble to pick up a few "good reads." I became so involved in your lives- you girls from Ames, who have shared so many life-altering experiences together! how fortunate you all are to have enjoyed such a siterhood for so many years- such friendships are so rare and far between. Although I have tree or four girls like that among my own friends- they are not all friends with one another.The closest that I can get to such an "inner circle" is with my two daughters- who really ARE my best friends, but then again, your daughters are still your children, and you can't share EVERYTHING with I consider myself fortunate to have my "girls" the ladies that I lunch,laugh and even cry with...but oh, how I wish that I had the close "group" friendship that you all have- enjoy each other for many, many, more healthy and happy years! g-d bless you and Jeffrey Zaslow for going public and reminding us what the word "girlfriend" truly means!

(480) Shelly
Sun, 26 September 2010 16:09:54 +0000

Wow-what a find! While on a trip to Davenport, IA to visit our son and see him Coach running backs at St Ambrose University, my new daughter-in-law & I headed for Barnes & Noble, while my husband yet again diagnosed car troubles for our son. After privately tearing up when seeing (literally) the one shelf of large print books, like I needed a reminder of how rare my disease was, I accidentally picked up The Girls from Ames. Great job! You each made us all better,more appreciative friends & people. Thank you! Wishing you all good health, & strength when it's not ;)

(479) Elizabeth Lawlor
Thu, 23 September 2010 01:41:02 +0000

I am enjoying the book now. I was born in 1961 in Ames and grew up in Madrid. Dr. Walsh was our dentist and Dr. McCormack our pediatrician. He saved my life. I am a travel nurse in Connecticut now and Jane if you read this, I would love to meet you and perhaps you can share some great places for me to visit in Boston. I envy your long term friendship. What a 'magnificent' thing!

(478) Kerin
Sun, 19 September 2010 20:28:38 +0000

What a beautiful story, and what an amazing gift to have your friendship immortalized in this book. I am part of a group of 10 friends for over 35 years. We are 41 this year and graduated from high school together. Some of us were in pre-school together and most of us still live in the same town we grew up in. Our children now attending our same schools, and sometimes same teachers! A few have moved away, and one has moved back. When we turned 40 last year we decided to take a trip and went on a cruise together. It was an amazing vacation filled with laugher and good times. We decided we need to do this more often and are planning our next trip. I had expressed at that time how lucky we were to still be friends after all the years. I was and still am aware of how rare this gift of friendship we share is. Through college, and time and distance we have grown closer over the years. Broadening our circle to include siblings, cousins, and outside friends. We have also lost parents, a child, suffered miscarriages, survived cancer and other health scares. We are there for each other through it all. Your book is a wonderful reminder to us that we are special. Thank you for sharing your stories!
Shoreham, New York

(477) Christina
Wed, 15 September 2010 20:09:41 +0000

This book has really opened my eyes to how friendship can shape you. It was so touching and I laughed and cried and hope this will be me later down the road. Even though I am only 27, I have seen how some of my friendships have gone down hill due to distance, growing up, etc. I still remain best friends with my childhood friend..going on 25 years of friendship now. She is the one that I know will be at my side when I get married, give birth,become a grandmother,etc. Her mother was the first one to hold me when I was born and her brother was babysitting me at the time of her birth. It reminded me of how some of you were connected when you were born. Your book was so inspiring b/c I cannot imagine how that would feel x 9. Your bond is so special and I am so amazed at the dedication you all put forth to keep it going. I loved seeing the photos of all of you from then and now! It made it that much more genuine. I remain best friends with 3 girls from college. Five years ago I met them and even though it was not from nursery school or girl scouts, I feel that we were meant to meet and that our friendship will be one I carry with me until my forties too! Best wishes to all of you and congratulations on such a best-seller.

(476) Lynne Sherman
Sat, 11 September 2010 14:27:59 +0000

September 11, 2010.....a day for many types of reflections. I just finished the last lovely page this morning. Ames girls, thank you for your courage in allowing your story to be told and for telling it so respectfully and compassionately, Mr. Zaslow. The book was highly recommended to me by my close adult friend. Upon hearing that I had recently reconnected with 7 high school friends from 40 years ago, and hosted them for 4 days in a small 2 bedroom townhouse, Michelle said "You've got to read this book!" I have turned down so many pages where there were connections in my life...adoption, shyness, loss of child & parent, celebrations, illness, disappointments, uncertainties, close friends to keep you going etc. My adult friends from the last 20 years in Chicago have been so essential to me. And when I connected to the Michigan gals this August, we had made some different choices in life, but that common thread of growing up together with midwestern values came shining through. My gratitude to all of you. Each time I host my book club, it's fun to sprinkle images at our gathering. I'm off to find maxi pads. Thanks for the tip on extra length and for touching so many women's lives in such a positive way.

(475) Kris Edlund
Sat, 11 September 2010 05:40:16 +0000

I'm just coming off a weekend with my "Girls" I so enjoyed reading this book. I laughed, cried and really felt connected and could relate to these women and their friendship. I have 8 "Sisters" that I am blessed to have in my life. We have been friends for over 20 years ~ We met at our first job in Ft Lauderdale, FL - Being so far from our own families we became a family to each other. (two from Iowa, 2 from Minnesota, 2 from Wisconsin, 1 from Michigan and 1 from West Virginia) We have since moved on from that first job and some out of Florida, but we still share this special friendship and try to get together as often as we can. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world!

(474) Kim
Tue, 7 September 2010 03:50:10 +0000

I was given this book by the first gal I met on my first day of university almost 30 years ago. Through the course of those many years, we have managed to stay connected and have effortlessly found time to share despite our distance. We found a deeper understanding of life and its importance through our friendship while she grieved the suicide of one of her best friends and I the death of my 32 year old husband.

As I read the book, I began to think of the wonderful friends I have known over the past 4 decades: the high school friends I still see, and those I don't have to but know I can count on; the university friends who helped me share my 'coming of age'; the friends I had as part of a married couple, the friends who helped me move forward after my husband's death, the friends I have made through my children and their friends.

Some of these friendships have enveloped others, some have overlapped but always, I feel blessed to have a wonderful base of 'girl friends' who have helped me my life as I hope that I have shaped theirs.

Thank you to the girls from Ames for sharing and reminding the rest of us that no matter the distance or the time, true friendships always touch our lives. Best wishes to each and everyone of you.

(473) Carly
Fri, 3 September 2010 04:12:46 +0000

I was in a Borders store in Chicago and saw this book and it looked like a good read. I grabbed it for the plane ride I was going to take to Grand Cayman Islands. I'm still only in my teen years, but this story touched me and made me laugh and cry. It was truly one of the best books I've ever read. I, myself, have a close group of 5 friends. We have a Diana, a couple Marilyns, a Kelly, and a Jane. They've been with me since middle school and we all love each other unconditionally. We support each other through thick and through thin. We are also probably the only ones in high school not getting involved in sex, drugs or alcohol. Maybe that's why we were drawn to each other. I hope to live out my life in the company of my four best friends, hoping that one day, we'll be old ladies in a nursing home together. This book was truly inspirational to me. Job well done!

(472) nancy martinez
Mon, 30 August 2010 05:53:03 +0000

My friends - There is 6 of us as a group. Friends forever it feels like. We are all very different women now and we joke we likely would not all be friends if we had to choose each other today. Stephanie and I have been friends since birth. We are 3 months apart and grew up in Orange County, CA - 4 houses between us on our block 43 years ago. Kathi and I met in 1st Grade and lived a block over from Steph & I. Becky & Cheryl met us all when the elementary school Kathi, Steph & I attended closed down & we entered their school. I met Becky in 2nd Grade- Cheryl in 4th Grade. Lynette joined the group the latest when we all metin Junior High School..Her locker was always near mine as it was alphabetically assigned by the school. Becky never married and has no children..Cheryl & I are both divorced with no kids. Stephanie has one child & in her second marriage. Kathi and Lynette both have two kids each & still married. Lynnette moved to Nevada- Kathi is in San Diego, I am in L.A. and the rest remained in Orange County..We gather twice a year- no husbands or kids- to reconnect & have a slumber party to get in as much time as possible..When Steph's brother died- we all dropped everything & flew to be by her side at the funeral in Arizona. They are my sisters more than my friends- we may not talk all the time but I know if i needed them- they would be there...and we joke that some day - when we are very old- we will love together in a big house, taking care of each other to the end.

(471) Anne Varney
Sat, 28 August 2010 11:49:17 +0000

I belong to a group of friends that we simply call Club. The core group were all sorority sisters at Wayne State University in Detroit but over the years , we've picked up additional people and we're now about half and half.
We've been friends since the fifties and all but one of us, are in our seventies now. Unbelievable. There is a regular group of 13 of us who have stayed in this area but we also hear from and see fairly regularly a friend who lives in Grand Rapids,Mi, another in Traverse City, a girl in Colorado and one in S. Carolina.
We've been through many things since our college days... weddings, three divorces, one death, deaths of two husbands and two children. Some in the group are closer to certain people than others but, as a group, we have a great time.
We have gotten together once a month since the early 60s when the last girls graduated... now mainly for lunch and gossip. We have a Christmas party with the husbands and boyfriends ( yes, three of us do have them!) and try to take an occasional trip together. One of our best trips was to Florida where three of the women have winter places in the same area.
Women's friendships are so unique. It bothers me that neither of my daughters have really close women friends. They are missing out on so much.
I loved The Girls from Ames. I laughed and I cried. What more can you ask?

(470) Joanne
Thu, 26 August 2010 18:58:21 +0000

My best girlfriend from nursing school handed this book to me as I packed my car with my six children...her nieces and nephews..after our annual summer visit. She married my brother 24 years ago and what a blessing their marriage has been to our friendship. She and I both were reminded of our group of friends that formed when we were young nurses working together in the intensive care unit in Houston, Texas. We are a smaller group but still remain close at heart and have been through so much together--always just a phone call away in a time of need or a time of joy. Thanks for sharing; you will all be in my prayers.

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