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.
(319) Laurie Wiley
Wed, 23 December 2009 18:10:22 +0000

Thank you for this book. I share an almost 40 year friendship with my BFF, Lori. Lori and I are like sisters and I have been a member of her family since 1974. We share an on-going friendship with two other BFF, Teresa and Melissa. The four of us get together at least twice a year. This last time, we stayed in a restaurant talking for five and one-half hours. Yes, we closed them down that day.

This Christmas I am giving my BFF, Lori the book. It doesn't matter that she has already read it. Here is how I want to use this book to honor my long-term friendships. I have signed the front cover, "given to Lori from Laurie, 12/25/09". Now she will pass it on to one of our other long-term friends , and so on. I want to see the beauty of this book and the celebration of women friendships shared from one BFF, to another, by having each successive person sign the book. I have asked that an email alert be sent to me as well when it has been passed on to the next. I can't wait to see the friendships that have grown out of my long-term friendship with Lori.


Laurie Wiley

(318) Susan Shelden
Mon, 21 December 2009 10:41:47 +0000

I finished the book and loved it. I plan on buying copies for all of my friends. Those I do not buy a copy for I recommend they read it! It was wonderful. I really connected with the girls in many ways. One, I was born in April, 1963 and two, I am a Chi Omega. In the end we are all sisters!
This is a must read for all women!!!

(317) Lorraine
Thu, 10 December 2009 15:46:45 +0000

I had heard about this book a little over a year ago. I had read just a small advertisement about it. I had bookmarked it for a later date to buy for my 3 friends. I purchased 4 copies in the last few weeks, without even reading the book. Of course, one copy was for myself. I have since read the book in 3 days. It is a phenominal story and I absolutely loved the book. It is a great book for women to read. Thanks so much for sharing your lives and to the author, for writing this book. My friends will be crying when I give it to them. Of course, I will put my own dedication to them on the first blank page. Thanks again. I would like to know how Kelly and Angela are doing today, please.

(316) Tricia Dickens
Mon, 7 December 2009 18:20:24 +0000

I have 8 friends getting this wonderful book for Christmas. We are similiar in many ways as the Ames girls. We grew up and attended school together in Lawson, Missouri. We graduated in 1985. Each Christmas starting with the one right out of high school, we hold a Christmas get together. I have never missed one, and as mentioned in the book, you do not want to they might talk about you! I do believe I have heard that comment with our group through the yrs. About 11 years ago we started trying to get overnight get-aways each summer. These were very hard to fit in as we all are mothers like the Ames girls, but how I needed those and loved every minute. At times reading this book, brought me to tears. Some things just too close to home etc. We have a Kelly, we have a Sheila, and many more of the personalities of this group, but we never had to experience the losses that this group has. Except the loss of the parents.
I see myself when I look in my friends eyes, and I know they know me like very few people can. We were friends back when you didn't feel as if you had to be guarded or reserved, and when I am with them I am truly true to myself. Thank you for the great entertainment and for helping me realize what we have is extraordinary and special and worth all the hard work of keeping those friendships going for another 40 yrs. at least! Thank you. Tricia Letcher Dickens

(315) Connie Stuart Grimes
Mon, 7 December 2009 06:14:20 +0000

I just finished reading The Girls from Ames and was moved by the story so like my own. I've bought 10 copies of the book to share with my girls. I feel fortunate to have note one, but two sets of "girls". The first, the girls from KCK or the dotte, have been my friends since grade school/ junior high, and the second, my girls from nursing school. These women know me and although we don't live in the same town, when we get together, we don't skip a beat. We finish each other's sentences, laugh and cry together, and support each other through ups and downs. We all are blessed by our friendships and I am so hoping that I am the first to introduce them to this wonderful book!

(314) Pam Kline
Sun, 6 December 2009 23:46:50 +0000

I purchased this book for 3 of my very good friends. 4 of us became friends when our children were in preschool together. The 4 kids "graduated" preschool together and although they did not go to the same schools throughout their education, the moms and the kids did remain friends and all graduated high school in May 2009. We had a "preschool reunion" dinner to celebrate. The mom's knew we had a good friendship but it became very obvious to the kids at this dinner how important their friendships had become.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and especially could relate to items discussed on pg 267 ("In their forties, several .....") and pg 269 ("By their mid-forties, women know ....." and "Middle aged women also start to have a clear ....").
I have hosted a "girls weekend" (also in NC) for the past two years and this book really hit home for me.
Thanks for a GREAT read and for pointing out the obvious. My friendships are the best!!!

(313) Jody Talintyre Berry
Sun, 29 November 2009 03:11:47 +0000

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this book. I have just finished it. It made me laugh and cry. I too was born in 1963 and can relate to all the girls from Ames. I come from Sydney Australia but girls are girls the world over. I have had a best friend since I was 3 years old. We have shared the ups and downs of our lives for the past 43 years. We have been there for the good, the bad/sad and the ugly but we wouldn't change a thing. I have a successful 20 year marriage and three beautiful children. But I agree with Jeffrey Zaslow - there are still things only your girlfriends understand. Sharon knew me when I was a small girl and just Jody - not someone's wife or mother. She is a sharer of childhood memories, teenage memories and present-day memories. I hope that Angela and Kelly stay healthy and go on to lead full and long lives. Thanks for the update on the website. I know that all the girls will support each other just like Sharon and I will always support each other. Thank you again and love and best wishes to all the girls from Ames.

(312) Kathryn Hopper James
Sat, 28 November 2009 01:16:12 +0000

Difficult to know what to write. I am in Melbourne, Australia and although so far from Ames, it is amazing how life,relationships and love are the same the world over. I must say just how much i enjoyed meeting you girls and sharing your life and frienships! Thank you! Stay well and stay beautiful!! Kathy. Age 49.

(311) Teresa Slowey Whitham
Mon, 23 November 2009 05:40:40 +0000

"The Girls from Denison," yes indeed. I completely concur with Amy Willroth Klein. She was class of '86. I was class of '87. We both are blessed with the magic of growing up in small town Iowa with an amazing circle of friends that are every bit as meaningful as those Mr. Zaslow has written about in his book.

It has been just a few days since I finished the book and met Jeffrey Zaslow in person. I was invited to the book talk by many, many of my friends here in OH who know I am originally from Iowa. They understand that my annual get togethers with my girlfriends I grew up with are my fuel for the year. Especially this year, as we all turned 40.

It was such a pleasure to read this book. It was as if I was able to blow off steam and recharge my battery just like I can do during a Girls Weekend.

Thank you Girls From Ames for sharing your stories. Thank you Girls from Denison for sharing your lives with me. And thank you Mr. Zaslow for writing personal messages in all those books for me. It meant so much to be able to tell you how proud I am to be from Iowa too!

(310) Teresa Martinek
Sun, 22 November 2009 06:21:49 +0000

I just finished the book. I enjoyed it. I kept thinking about a couple of my friends that I met in Ames when I was a freshman at Iowa State in 1986. I have only seen Jo & Angie a couple of times since I graduated in 1990. We dont talk or write or email much. But they are often in my thoughts and prayers. I will always be greatful they were part of my life.
Teresa Martinek

(309) Julie Ryan Lindstrom
Thu, 19 November 2009 04:48:34 +0000

The minute I started reading reviews for "The Girls From Ames" I knew I had to read it. I knew before I read it that there would be parallels to the friendship that I share with 7 of the most amazing women I have ever known. Like the Ames girls we all grew up in Sedalia, Mo, a small town in the Midwest. Some of the girls have been friends since grade school, others began their friendships in junior high. I came into the circle the summer before my sophomore year when I transferred to Smith-Cotton High School from a Catholic high school. I found to my amazement that I was so graciously accepted within the group and I realized that God led me to them for a reason. These are the girls who defined me. They are the ones I "cruised the strip" with, laughed with, cried with, fought with and shared my dreams with. Our high school class of almost 300 was a very close knit class and we all had friends outside the group, but it is these 8 women who I have maintained a 30 year friendship with. Our friendship has taken many twists and turns along the way, but not a day goes by when I don't think of one of them or all of them. I enjoy being the "keeper of the flame" and have worked hard to keep us all in the loop and in touch. Each month we do an update about our lives and what is going on then hit "reply all." I recently went through a painful divorce. Each and everyone one of "the girls" sent me words of encouragement and pep talks that kept me moving forward. At times, I thought they had secretly talked to each other and planned out who was going to reach out to me next because each new message I received was from a different one of them. I finished your book how much it hit home with me. Friendships sustain you and if are fortunate enough to have ones that stand the test of time then you are one lucky woman. To my Sedalia girls, thank you for your love, support and strength. I am a better person with all of you in my life- you are my blessings!

(308) Cheryl
Mon, 16 November 2009 03:09:03 +0000

Initially, I purchased this book because my husband grew up near Ames in Boone, Iowa. I was curious to see if he would recognize any names and places mentioned in it. However, reading this book brought me so much more than just some passing remembrances for my husband.
After having laughed and cried while reading the book, I could not shake the realization that I had lost something very precious along the way through my life. There were 7 of us girls who had attended High school together in Onalaska, WI. We graduated in 1965 and 1966. We all had decided that we wanted to become Lutheran school teachers. In order to do that, we had to attend Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. Although we had different roommates at first, we were finally able to all room togther in the ustairs of a large old house.
After we all had graduated in 1969 and 1970, we had several reunions and tried to keep in touch with a Round Robin letter. Unfortunately, everyone's life seemed to get in the way, and our correspondence had fallen off to sporadic Christmas letters. A few of us who lived relatively close saw each other at times, but we have not had a reunion of everyone for 18 years.
After reading "The Girls From Ames," I decided that we needed to regain the support, encouragement, and enjoyment that we had lost. When I contacted everyone, they all agreed and we began making plans to meet. I am writing this after having just returned from a weekend with my 6 friends on November 13, 14, and 15. I cannot adequately describe the delight that we all felt in connecting again. We're all past 60 now and 5 of the 7 are grandmothers multiple times, but we laughed and talked for hours like young girls. I got thatnked many times for setting up the weekend, but I must thank Jeffrey Zaslow for putting the idea into my head. Thank you for the wonderful book and all of the reunions that it will inspire. You've made the world a better place, and that's not an easy thing to do these days.

(307) Pamela
Sun, 15 November 2009 01:42:00 +0000

Your story really touched me. I too am an Iowa girl (Burlington) and have two friends from high school who are still my closest and dearest friends. Only one of us still lives in Iowa, I am on the east coast, the other gal on the west, but we have maintained our friendship for more than 30 years. Through good times and bad, happy and sad, they are by far my "best friends". I found myself laughing at parts (detasseling corn), and near tears at others. I look forward to our get-togethers every year or so, usually in Iowa, to laugh and reminise. It's like it's 1978 again and we're back in high school. Thank you for sharing your story.

(306) Flavia
Sat, 14 November 2009 04:03:24 +0000

I just finished your book, which I read in the span of 2 days. I could not put it down. My husband is from Traer, IA and I love that little town. It is so different to raise children in a big city, I live in PHX and my daugter will never know the benefits of living in a small town. I am envious and at the same time so happy for the relationships you have built over the years. I too have a BFF that I have know since JR. High and we have this incredible friendship that can never be replaced. Thanks for your incredible story.


(305) Amy Willroth Klein
Fri, 13 November 2009 20:50:07 +0000

I just finished The Girls from Ames. It may just as well have been titled "The Girls from Denison". A friend recommended the book to me because I went to Iowa State, grew up in a small town just 80 or so miles west of Ames and have 7 girlfriends from high school (class of 1986, so just a few years younger) with whom I get together with annually for a few days. We call ourselves "The DHS Girls". I was so moved by this story because it so closely mirrors my relationship with these women...their emotions, their thoughts on the importance of their "old friends" versus "new friends", their fights, their differing views on marraige and religion...I could go on and on. I started to cry so many times while reading it...I don't think I have ever related so well to a book. It really hit home. It made me even more thankful for those relationships in my life. Thank you, Mr. Zaslow, for writing this book. I am sending a copy to each of my "DHS Girls" and cannot wait to share their thoughts as they read it.

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