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.
(199) Annette Heath
Tue, 21 July 2009 00:42:09 +0000

I just read the book...I loved it. I also grew up with 5 other girls who were all born in 1963. Our parents worked with each other and bowled together while pregnant with us, therefore we shared a connection since birth. Now, as adults, we talk to each other almost every day and love one another like sisters and our children are all growing up together as we did. Your book inspired me to write our own book so we can share yet another memory in our lives. I have 6 rocking chairs in my backyard for them to share when they are here.

I have purchased the book for all my friends with a special note to each of them written inside. I wish you ladies well and a huge SALUTE to all of you for hanging in there and being there for each other through everything...unconditionally.

I don't know you but I love you for the strong women you are and the courage you have shown through it all.

God Bless


(198) Terri Nunn
Mon, 20 July 2009 23:31:02 +0000

I was looking for something special to give to my friends, lovingly referred to as the Fab 50. I found this book and could not have picked a better gift.... I have never tagged pages in a book, but this one was special. I cried, I laughed and cried some more. We have all taken different journeys in our life, but one road always
comes back to each other....
I was asked by a friend of my daughter, she said "is that the book where all those girls get together"? I said yes, but its not just that they get together, its the love, joy, support and the safety they feel when they get together....I have that with my my friends... and I am buying the book for her and my 3 daughters....
Thank you for the story, we are so truly blessed......

(197) Jan Wallerich
Mon, 20 July 2009 22:54:02 +0000

I couldn't resist replying with my thoughts. I have loved reading this book. It had been calling to me from every book store shelf for weeks. Knowing nothing about the context, I reserved it at the local public library, and have loved every page of it.

Interestingly, I told a friend of 62 years (we're 62) a few years back that we should write a book about women's lifelong friendships. We are the "next step", one more generation tacked on! Our friendship group began the day my mother moved from the exciting city of San Francisco with my father to a little Iowa farm and was introduced to another small group of women. They had Tuesday Coffee every other Tuesday until my mother went into a nursing home at the age of 89. She was the oldest one in the group.

All of their daughters continued the tradition and now we range from 65 to 50 something, still maintaining our lifelong friendship. We were potty trained together, gave birth together, raised children, dried tears, buried our mothers,buried husbands, and now are trying to outbrag each other about our grandchildren.
It is a most precious relationship, spun from the threads of post WWII mothers' hearts who showed us how to maintain a friendship that could never die.

That is why I have loved the book so much. Let me ask this....could it be Iowa?


(196) Marian Kromberg
Mon, 20 July 2009 12:26:29 +0000

Just finished reading the book and am about to email my group of high school friends to recommend it. Although we are 20 years older than than the Ames girls and didn't grow up among cornfields, (Class of 1960 from a smallish high school in NJ)there's something about longterm friendships among women that is unique and important. Thanks to the internet we were able to reconnect with two of our group and for the past several years, 9 of us have met in NYC in the spring for lunch. We talk and talk and talk and none of us wants to miss these gatherings, also traveling long distances to do so. Thanks to Jeffrey Zaslow for shining a light on the importance of such friendships.


(195) Pat Hilliard
Sun, 19 July 2009 02:12:31 +0000

I'm having a reunion with my college friends the last week of July. Five of us have kept in close contact through the years - oh yea - it has been 40 years since we met one another! We all studied to be teachers and 2 are already retired. Two more are still in the classroom and one taught for a year and then began raising 4 children - full time job right there!

I'm having a 40 year class reunion in October of my high school class. My golf partner and I were in first grade together. I've always valued my friends very highly. One high school friend and I have written letters to one another for 40 years - what a collection that would be! She has since moved within 40 minutes of me, but we still write. We call them our "therapy sessions" and agree we have saved a fortune in psychiatric bills. One dear friend moved to Texas 2 years ago. I miss her every day - email just doesn't do it. I have a strong bond with my friends as I'm divorced and my children are grown and making their own lives. I'm going to encourage my book club to read this book as I think we will have a wonderful discussion about it. Before I read it, I mentioned the book to the group and one member shared with us the unshakable friendship her husband formed with men who were in Vietnam with him. As I said - it is all very thought provoking!

(194) 193 Jennive
Sat, 18 July 2009 02:25:34 +0000

Friday, 17th of July,

Just finished the book Girls from Ames, what a delight!I feel that I have a little bit of each girls personality in me. I am around their age, I grew up the same time as they did. Its funny me growing up in Ga. I could of been in the group, because I have so much in common with them, even to this moment in my life. I told my best friends about the book, It is a MUST read!I always tell them men may come and go, but your girlfriend will always be there and Never leave you!!

(193) Karoll Kyle
Fri, 17 July 2009 16:54:30 +0000

Loved the book. I grew up in Laurens, Iowa a small town of 1500 people. Class of '64. My highschool friends somewhat lost touch until the internet put us back in touch. Many of us got together for a class reunion in 2005 and decide that we should celebrate our 60th birthdays together, we met in Florida and have been traveling together every year since. Will be in Spirit Lake to celebrate our 45th class reunion. So it is never too late to pick up those friendships again. Reach out and touch a friend from long ago. You will be amazed how much you have to talk about.

(192) Maria
Fri, 17 July 2009 00:36:21 +0000

Wow...I finally finished the book. I loved it. You would think that being born and raised in Brooklyn, New York would have led you to having 50 friends. However, I have 5 friends who are amazing. We are all in our 40s and have shared many experiences. We don't even see each other often but we know how to reach each other when we need our "girlfriends".

While I read, I laughed, cried, and truly felt the bond the Ames Girls shared. Amazingly July 16th I was reading pg 157 when Diana was reporting to Jane in Spain. The news about Michael Jackson getting burned during the Pepsi commercial...WOW, that was just all over the news today! It was such an odd moment!

I can probably go on and on....I just wanted to say thank you to the Girls from Ames for sharing such details. Thank you to my friends for their friendship and I hope and pray my daughter Victoria will have the opportunity to experience the true gift of friendship and love.

Mr. Jeffrey Zaslow this was GREAT! Gracias!!!

(191) Shelley Woontonq
Thu, 16 July 2009 16:14:44 +0000

I have recently read this book and was so moved by the relationships between all of the Ames girls. It just struck me that they are all so capable of being non-judgemental (overall) and accepting of each other. I let all of my high school and most of my college friendships go and I am regretting it deeply in my 40's. I recently reconnected with some high school friends via Facebook and am enjoying getting to know them again. Since reading this book it has made me want to get together in person with them, which will not be an easy feat given that we are all over the country. However, my soul is yearning for female connection and the story of these women confirms for me that we need each other more than we admit.

(190) Melissa Cain
Thu, 16 July 2009 02:52:31 +0000

I am girl from Hinton, Iowa. I was born in 1980, and I went to a K-12 community school all the way through high school. I knew every single one of our 43 high school graduates of 1998. Of my high school friends, I only have 2 close friends that I am still in close contact with. I admire the Ames girls for their continued bond and their large numbers. I hope to have that continued friendship throughout my lifetime. And I understand how difficult it is to find new friends of the same caliber as my two best buds.

I also am VERY familiar with Ames, IA as one of my close friends is an Iowa State alum (class of 2002) and I spent many a weekend roadtripping to Ames - experiencing Veisha, etc, etc. I also have 2 younger brothers who also are Iowa State alum (class of 2004 and 2009). *As I write this, I have an Iowa State T-shirt on.

I now live in Sioux City, IA. I didn't move away from the great state of Iowa as my family, as well as my husband's family, are very close and live in this area. I graduated from Briar Cliff University and have my MBA from the University of South Dakota.

I value my Iowa upbringing and the close friendships that I have to show for it.

Thank you for writing this book as it is a testament to the value of friendship and the importance of the strong bonds that women have.

Thank you.

(189) Sivan
Thu, 16 July 2009 02:23:36 +0000

I also read this book for summer book club with some new friends I have made since moving from Chicago to LA 4 years ago. At 28, I closely keep in touch with a few girls I have known since age 5 and 14, and there truly is something special about a lifelong friend that knows you to the core and who you were as a young child.

Now that my friends and I are getting married, having children,and many with careers taking off, I am starting to see where life is headed, and part of me is sad to say goodbye to the old days and there is also the thrill of the future experiences to come. I can see myself and my friends in many of the dynamic gals from Ames. And I'm proud to say that I actually drove to Ames in 2005 to visit one of my close friends going to vet school there (through tornadoes and storms) and made it for a wonderful weekend!

I understand what it's like to be touched by breast cancer, as my aunt and grandmother both had it, and my mother and I both (me very recently) underwent prophylactic mastectomies and reconstruction (looks great too) to prevent getting this aggressive cancer ourselves, due to our risk. This experience is one that bonds women in unimaginable ways. Kelly and Angela are in my thoughts.

I never write responses to books, so this must have been a great one!

(188) Mary Kay Hogan
Tue, 14 July 2009 18:43:23 +0000

My 19 year old daughter is a student at Drake University in Des Moines. She came home and kept talking about this book ' "The girls from Ames" so I bought it and she let me read it first. Now, for starters, I graduated from HS in 1978, so I was so familiar with lots of the things I read about ( I liked Rick Springfield and Rod Stewart too. .. ). The pictorial images of the girls growing up could have been lifted from my own yearbooks and I really enjoyed that part of the book. But. . .the surprise came when I found myself so involved in their growing friendship and how it evolved as they reached their 40's. I could not put it down. I surprised myself by crying as I read the final pages on a plane ride home from Boston. I was so deeply touched. I want all my friends to read this. But my main reason for writing you today is to thank the 'girls' and the author. I will treasure Kelly's words in the last of the book. . .about enjoying who you are right now - self perceived flaws and all - because it can all change in an instant. I have lost a brother and a sister and another sister had breast cancer last year. Last week, I just got my 'all clear' letter on my most recent mammogram and I told myslef, "Okay, God willing, you won't have to worry about waiting for this letter for another year so go out there and enjoy this year you have been given. Live it." I will no longer worry that I am showing signs of aging and not exactly looking as great as I would like - I will enjoy my healthy functional body and I won't wish for more. Thank you Kelly for this. Thank you all for sharing. You will never know how much it means.

(187) Wilma Ervin
Tue, 14 July 2009 17:58:02 +0000

The book was great! However it could not express the magic that a group of long-time friends (Sisters of the Heart) hold for the ones of us who have been so blessed.
We were 10 from about 4th or 5th grade, but had been groups of 2 or 3 since pre-school. We will begin to turn 73 in September and are only 9 as of Feb. 2008 when we lost one to lung cancer. We only lost her body as she is still very much in our hearts.
We ar all still married to our first husbands-except me who am a widow. We have 24 children among us. We live in 5 different states and now try to get together about once a year.
We did not see each other often as we were in our child raising years but kept in touch through our parents if not through letters. (We were pre e-mail girls!)
Small town Tennessee where we grew up taught us the same values the Ames Girls learned in the midwest but we were a whole generation back. However, time does not change the wonders of a Friendship bond like we have. It is a gift, a blessing and a miracle that not everyone gets to have. I thank God that my Angel Sisters have been in my life.
For the record--we are the Zig Zaggers--we were always zigging when we should have zagged.

(186) Gay Isis
Tue, 14 July 2009 17:22:42 +0000

I recently bought the book as a birhtday gift for my girlfriend who is from Ames. She moved to Colorado wtih her friend from Iowa in 1980 and we have been friends ever since. I actually read the book (am still waiting to give it to her) because I am intriged by the concept of the importance of female friendship, especially the longevity.
As I am reading the book my thougts keep going back to not my girlfriends so much as my cousins. I was born July 19, 1954 the baby of "The Crop of 54" as deemed by our famimlies. 4 girls were born that year starting on Valentine's Day, then March, June and then myself in July. Our family history is intriging in that my paternal grandmother died in childbirth (rumor has it the child died too) and my father was left to raise 4 children on his own in rural Ohio.
The 4 of us grew up very close, active in family activities and reunions even though one of the cousins lived in Western PA. she always came in for summer church camp. As we grew older we moved in different directions, chose different careers but when we turned 40 we decided that we would reconnect every 5th birthday. Our 40th we celebrated in Vail, then 2 years in Hawaii (one of the cousins was a professor at the University of Hawaii) and this year we have to push back to next year but are going to pick another great place. 2 are married, 2 are not and we are lucky in the fact that only 1 of us has lost both parents and one of us has lost her father. We have a special bond that our other family members are quite envious of ( I've been told). We always shared those special secrets and moments as described in your book of the Ames girls. I know that our special bond will never go away and hope that we will be able to celebrate our birthdays into our 90'S. Thank you for helping me recognize and be grateful for the fact that the "Crop of 54" truly do have a special female bond!

(185) Marcie Ryan Adams
Tue, 14 July 2009 17:16:25 +0000

July 14, 2009
My book club, which is made up of "new" friends made in my adult life chose this book as our summer selection. It inspired me to write to some friends from childhood and ask for their email addresses, hoping that maybe we will be better at communicating that way. I have heard back from one so far and we have already shared several emails. It makes me very happy.

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