Dear ones—

For many years, I have wished that somebody would write a truly honest book about female friendships. The bonds between women are (rightly) so often celebrated as perfected models of emotionally supportive true love, but we all know that there can be a dark side to these bonds, as welI. Female friendship can be just as often marked by competition, resentment and disappointment as by affection and loyalty. Moreover, I don't know a single woman (myself included) who has not suffered through at least one absolutely agonizing break-up with a dearly beloved friend over the years. These break-ups can be just as painful as any severed romantic relationship, but they are often even more shameful and secret, because we don't really have a common societal language with which to discuss the sense of shame and loss that comes with these failed unions.

So for years and years I've been wishing that somebody really smart and really intuitive would take up the subject. The gifted memoirist Susanna Sonnenberg has just done so in her new book "She Matters: A Life in Friendships". Since this seems to be Book Recommendation Week on my Facebook page, may I offer this one up as very good and very important read?

I read "She Matters" just this week with such a keen sense of recognition, seeing myself (and my own mistakes and victories) repeated in so many forms through the female friendships of her own that Sonnenberg examines so eloquently in these pages. I learned a great deal. Like all of us, I want to do better. I think (hope) this book can help.

Yes, I have always said that I wished somebody would write a book just exactly like this—yet you will notice that I never wrote it myself. To be honest, I would not have had the courage to be as honest and searching as Sonnenberg has been here. I admire her greatly for it.

What about you all? How have you managed the sometimes rocky waters that can rise in the emotionally complex cartography of female friendship? Let's discuss!


She Matters
The New York Times called Susanna Sonnenberg “immensely gifted,” and Vogue, “scrupulously unsentimental.” Entertainment Weekly described Sonnenberg’s Her Last Death as “a bracing memoir about growing up rich and glamorous with a savagely inappropriate mother.” Now, Sonnenberg, with her unflinching e…

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall