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A ruthless and illuminating exploration of the friendships that dominated, influenced, nourished, inspired, haunted - and sometimes tore her apart - Susanna Sonnenberg has written a book as searing and superb as her first book about her mother, Her Last Death. Childhood friendships, friendships with older women, friendships that play out with the passion and intensity of love affairs, the friendships between new mothers - each has its own subtleties, its own lessons that Sonnenberg examines and understands with astounding acuity. Sonnenberg's style is investigative and ruminative; the result is candid and fearlessly observed portraits of the nuances and complexities of friendships that become universally recognizable.
For women of all ages, She Matters is testimony to the emotional significance of the sometimes intense and powerful bonds of female friendships - and their essential role they play in our journey to adulthood, and our deepening humanity.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Pamela Harvey on 01-13-13
I applaud the unusual theme and structure of this book, written as a series of relationships between women, not necessarily in chronological progression, but unusual and valid in its exploration of female bonding. Many books explore this theme from a male-female angle, but this is my first encounter with an essentially all-female memoir.
I've always been interested in the life cycles of relationships, how they begin, how they maintain, what leads either to their demise, or to their success. While we always seem to want success for all relationships, it's the downside, the failures, that make the good story. And as I am a bit challenged in the "good friends" department, this book had immediate appeal, so I gleefully grabbed it from audible's digital shelf.
But while I value the book's premise as a good thing, I think the author lets the reader down by lack of detail. In many cases I was left wondering "what happened??" and "why"?? I kept re-reading to see if I missed anything, and never found the over-rated "closure" or even a resolution to the issues. Perhaps such details were considered but sloughed off as interfering with the smooth flow of the writing, and I can see how that would happen - Sonnenberg is a gifted writer with a musical sense of pace - but I learned absolutely nothing about what makes a friendship fall apart, other than the typical divergence of interests that happens between two people as they enter different life phases. We all know that one.
The reader, at least this reader, could have benefitted from the back story of the initial rift between Sonnenberg and her mother. It's a possible imprint for the series of broken ties between women, and perhaps I need to go back and re-read "Her Last Death" to re-acquaint myself with this abortive relationship.
So I would proceed with caution with this book. It's good reading, good writing, and good narration, but something's missing that left me frustrated.
16 of 20 people found this review helpful
By suzanne on 02-09-13
Any additional comments?
She Matters is an unmistakable friend to the listener - an enduring companion to one who wonders about the nature of those who come close. I was profoundly touched. The way I was invited to experience the transient seemed only to intensify intimacy and as I neared the end of this tender, blazing and sometime wearisome relationship, I did not want to say goodbye. I have returned to listen again. Thank you Susanna Sonnenberg.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful