She Matters: A Life in Friendships

She Matters A Life in Friendships 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 su

  • Title: She Matters: A Life in Friendships
  • Author: Susanna Sonnenberg
  • ISBN: 9781439190586
  • Page: 408
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 loveA 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.

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    1 thought on “She Matters: A Life in Friendships”

    1. The reviews I read on this book had me thinking it would be a great commentary on female friendships and how strong and necessary they are. I was very disappointed. The author's view on female "friendships" mostly consisted of what SHE could get out of the friendship. Before I was done with the first chapter, it was clear to me the author was not someone I'd like to have as a friend, and she (whether knowingly or not) painted a truly selfish, narcissitic picture of herself throughout the book. S [...]

    2. Though I thought it ended rather abruptly, I truly enjoyed this book by the end. I must admit to being attracted to any story that involves a level of dysfunction. I also found myself fascinated by her ability to break down each friendship and see it for what it truly was/is, with an honesty that I marvel at. I found the very frank moments kind of refreshing and I would be a liar if I said it hadn't got me thinking more about the friends I have had. I am now reflecting on what they meant to me a [...]

    3. I tried to separate the writing from the writer. After reading her first memoir, I wanted to like both. The writing depended on a lifetime of failed friendships, and ultimately, the writing failed because the writer relied on the stories writing themselves. I didn't finish the book because I lost interest. I rolled my eyes a lot and felt that her narcissism got in the way of any real growth, in both the writing and her own development.I kept thinking she would be happier and better off with a wo [...]

    4. Susanna Sonnenberg isn't perfect. She Matters: A Life in Friendshipsis. Sonnenberg didn't have a conventional childhood: She was privileged. There are mansions, boarding schools, a life she didn't choose. Would she have it all again? That's her business. As a writer, she has the responsibility of total honesty. Few consider readers have responsibility as well. When we slap down $24 for a hardcover, an open mind is necessary. The nonfiction contract is she will be honest and we will listen.This i [...]

    5. Female friendship can be every bit as complex, intense and rewarding as a marriage. Having had many ups and downs with female friends, I was excited to see Sonnenberg's memoir, which delves into more than a dozen different relationships the author has had with women, in an attempt to unpick some of the themes and needs that bring women together and drive them apart. Certainly, Sonnenberg is well-qualified to write this book. She has had every variety of female friendship: older friends/mentors, [...]

    6. Update: I finished the book so I could participate in book club. I walk away with a few thoughts:1) having a maternal role model is very important in a young girl's life; without one, as a girl matures, she makes fruitless attempts at replicating that missing role through failed relationships;2) I am forever grateful that my mother was (and still is) an incredible role model for me and my sister;3) I will strive to be a role model for my daughters and count my blessings that my daughters also ha [...]

    7. This was her second memoir -- mentions a number of times the first one, which apparently focused on growing up with an extremely irresponsible mother. In this one, lots of her difficulties with female friends get attributed to her issues with her Mom.On the plus side, she has a way with words and makes some vivid observations of people (e.g about how disconcerting it is to re-meet someone as an adult whom you knew as a child) and places (e.g Missoula, Montana, where she lives).The pluses are, ho [...]

    8. I loved Sonnenberg's first book, an account of growing up with a troubled and abusive mother. And while I enjoyed this book at first, I eventually put it down out of sheer exhaustion. The author is like a blood-sucker, needy and selfish, wanting more from her friends, while refusing to give anything in return - I was so sick of her! No wonder all her friends leave her, she's like a carbon copy of her crazy mom!

    9. This is a GoodReads First Reads Giveaways review. Sonnenberg's recollection of friendships she has shared, past and present, is blatantly honest and humorous. She uses vivid colors that saturate her canvas as she paints a picture we probably have all seen before whether we'd like to admit it or not. If you look up the word "friend" in the dictionary, it provides several definitions. Each one perfectly fitting, depending on which friend one may be referring to of course. One defines a "friend" as [...]

    10. Sonnenberg’s recollection of friendships she has shared, past and present, is blatantly honest and humorous. She uses vivid colors that saturate her canvas as she paints a picture we probably have all seen before whether we’d like to admit it or not. If you look up the word “friend” in the dictionary, it provides several definitions. Each one perfectly fitting, depending on which friend one may be referring to of course. One defines a “friend” as a member of the same nation or party. [...]

    11. I heard about this book on NPR one day and immediately went home and got it on my Nook. I can't say it was a great book, but it was really a very good book. It actually is not just about friendship, but also about boundaries and personal growth. Susanna Sonnenberg took a good look at herself over the years and delivered these stories with a very honest dialogue about herself. She owns her shortcomings and failures and is completely unapologetic about her faults. I know in my lifetime I've had a [...]

    12. I find it astonishing that reviews of Susanna Sonnenberg's searingly honest memoir about friendships are so divided. Then again, maybe I shouldn't be surprised: Women are emotionally complex, so it makes sense that our friendships are, too. Our friends are mirrors, showing us different sides of ourselves, and our relationships with them transform as we march through the different stages of our lives. The biggest life events like motherhood, marriage, divorce, grief and love have the potential to [...]

    13. This is a beautiful look at how women are friends. Susanna Sonnenberg is strikingly honest and the writing is beautiful. I found myself remembering old friends that had been long forgotten as I read through the snapshots of her relationships with various women throughout her life. I liked that not every detail was explained, that she didn't try to reason out why her friends behaved a certain way. You just saw her side and she didn't try to give you others'. If you treasure the women in your life [...]

    14. What a refreshing way to write a memoir: by detailing friendships one has had over the course of one's life. While reading Sonnenberg's accounts, readers will be hard-pressed not to examine their own friendships; their evolutions and endings. While at times Sonnenberg may leave the reader questioning her role in the demise of certain relationships, she also evokes sympathy given Sonnenberg's distant relationship with her mother, which, it appear, is detailed in another memoir, titled Her Last De [...]

    15. I'm trying to separate the actual book from the hype I heard about it, but it's hard. I expected a book about the fortifying nature of female friendships, but most of the stories were about disagreements and friendships that didn't last. I don't think a friendship needs to last to be valuable, but that didn't seem to be the focus. I don't know, Sonneberg writes well, maybe it just wasn't my thing.

    16. I so appreciate the intent behind writing an entire memoir based on one woman's friendships with other women. A somewhat tone-deaf and troubling pattern emerges after the third or fourth account of how a friend became an ex-friend, but even including those stories this is a really interesting and honest account of how much of your life is defined by your relationships -- and how much of that can be circumstantial and kind of random (we were roommates/we studied abroad together/our kids were in t [...]

    17. I felt conflicted after I finished this essay style tell-all from Sonnenberg about her past female friendships. While I devoured her writing, which I thought was open, honest, and even dangerous, this book ended up not being what I'd hoped it been. Which I think actually ended up being a good thing. She Matters doesn't offer the cookie cutter version of female friendship that is often portrayed. It's so raw that it often made me uncomfortable. Sonnenberg is about 25 years older than me, so I've [...]

    18. I read this book with great eagerness as I wanted to know if I was the only one who sometimes struggled with the "girlfriend" relationship and I now know, at least two of us in the world have that issue:)Sonnenberg's ledger of bff's was considerably more varied than mine but I totally understood all the places in which she found herself due to the vicissitudes of the friend terrain. In the beginning, we naturally fall into situations with people at school, church, or in the neighborhood. And we [...]

    19. This is the truest account of friendships between women that I have ever read. Susanna can write about anything and I'll just swoon over her poetic voice but this book exemplifies what it's really like to be a woman looking for kinship in this generation. She has a plethora of people who come into her life at various points and she recounts with great detail the occasions that brought them together, what kept them afloat and then more often than not what broke them up. Some of it is sad, some tr [...]

    20. I don't think I've ever read a book that so thoroughly examines the nuances of friendships between women. Susanna puts her relationships under a microscope and the results are fascinating. But I'm a person who also puts all her relationships under a microscope. I can see some people being bored by such close scrutiny of 20 relationships. Not I. I love reading how each relationship affected the author. But the book is more about friendship. It's also about self awareness. The three sections are e [...]

    21. I was very curious when I first heard about this book, which I understood to be an examination of the rich and complex topic of female friendships.40 pages in, however, all I've experienced is detailed descriptions of some of the author's friendships. While there are a couple of brief flickers of insight in the opening chapter, the author seems far too absorbed in the telling of her own story to offer much in the way of universal illumination about the greater topic. Perhaps this changes as the [...]

    22. I really wanted to love and be able to recommend this book to my girlfriends, unfortunately, I won't be doing so. It was painful to read through the author's recollection of the sheer number of failed friendships - not just friendships that fizzled out - but crash and burn failures. I found myself feeling grateful to not have a friend like her, and hoping she had changed her friend's names, on their behalf - as she doesn't always write gracefully about them (which I know is her truth, and not to [...]

    23. I appreciated the author's ability to see the friendships that fade, break and flourish. I also thought there was an honesty in her presentation of her side. She owned her own "poor" behavior and also was vulnerable enough to admit a friendship that imploded (but she never understood why.). I saw myself in some of these and friends in others. Also, she conveys how much she cares about these friends regardless of what happened after. An interesting emotional examination of the complexities and be [...]

    24. This is incredibly raw, a completely honest telling of her experiences and I am awed by how much she bares her soul. A fascinating insight into her friendships but with so many parallels to my own experiences & highly likely most women's. At times quite sad to read the stories of lost friends, makes you recall similar experiences in your own life which is not the most pleasant way to spend time. But it does lend itself to possible insights that could be helpful. It may even offer the possibi [...]

    25. I was expecting a feel good book about friendships but I found this book somewhat depressing. I had a hard time getting into it and every chapter was a new story of the "friends" she encountered during her life. I know friendships can't always be happy and carefree and the author does write with humor and honesty, I just didn't find it that great.

    26. I too loved her first book, Her Last Death, but this one left me feeling sad. I think that her relationships with her friends were effected by the relationship she had with her mother. So many of them end so badly, it was rather sad. It makes you wonder just what the other person in that relationship thought.

    27. I love this book. The author tells the stories of her close friendships with women, starting as a young child and moving up to her mid-life. Each friend/relationship is told in one chapter. The author is an emotional, introspective, needy, and extroverted woman, whose relationships are shaped, tainted and in reaction to her very difficult relationship with her crazy mother. Sonnenberg grows through these relationships - through hard work and sheer grit, sometimes - and gains insights into how to [...]

    28. A beautiful and ugly book of the complexity of female relationships. I enjoyed it plan on reading Sonnenberg's other book in the near future.

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