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Best Friends

3.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,635 Ratings  ·  597 Reviews
Before arriving at Oberlin in 1973, Clare Mann had never met anyone like Sally Rose. Rich and beautiful, Sally is utterly foreign to a middle-class, Midwestern Protestant like Clare—and utterly fascinating. The fascination only grows when Sally brings her home to L.A. Mr. Rose—charismatic, charming, and the owner of a profitable business shrouded in secrecy—is nearly as co ...more
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Published December 24th 2007 by Tantor Media (first published June 4th 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Carol Hunter
Jun 02, 2008 Carol Hunter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the title I thought this would be a really light-weight book, however, the depth and complexities of 2 women and their friendship over time were thoroughly explored. This is an edgy friendship book.
Rachel
Apr 08, 2009 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
OMG! This was the book that wouldn't end. It said some relevant things about male/female relationships as well as relationships between women, but the plot twists were odd and pointless.

Karen
Jun 02, 2008 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a downer
Having a group of women friends I call my best friends - women I have known forever - "celebrate a 40th birthday in vegas" best friends, this book was certainly a let-down. It will create some good discussion at my book-club next month, though. It has lots of "themes" woven in and out of the lives of the two main characters (the "best friends"), interesting themes worthy of book club discussions. But I would never suggest any of MY best friends read this, because the way these women treat each o ...more
Rita
Got the book in a big box from a friend, Kay, and wasn't going to read it but then did anyway. The interest to me is its generation -- main characters are my sister's age, and it's a reminder of how things were in the 60s - California was THE place to be/go, it had such a reputation in the rest of the country at that time. Well, it still does, but then it was so clear-cut, California was sun and fun and way-out unconventional behavior where more or less anything goes. You could go to Calif. to s ...more
NATUI
Aug 11, 2011 NATUI rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can only give this book three stars and am pissed I have to do so. It started off SOLID. As the plot line progressed, it got darker, more convoluted, and more irritating. I am absolutely one for a dark story. Usually even in darkest character one find a quality that is redeeming enough to continue the read. As much as I loved the girls in the beginning, their life choices continued to spiral out of control, and all you could do was sigh and think "For the love of Pete, will one of you stand up ...more
Katherine
I'd really like to give this 2.5 stars, and then some specific parts 3.5 stars, but I guess I have to be decisive. This is a fast read and was good for my purposes (vacation reading), but I'm not sure I'd recommend it. The one aspect of women's friendship that I think the author did a good job of capturing though, was that even when someone is indisputably your best friend, you can still sense a fragility there. That is, because the loss of the friendship would be so devastating, fear of that lo ...more
Nina
Apr 26, 2010 Nina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, I was surprised that so many people didn't like it. Whilst Sally and Clare are deeply flawed characters, I enjoyed the book for its honesty and realistic portrayal of the complexities of life, relationships and friendships, none of which are ever perfect.
Amy
Aug 26, 2008 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most boring, lame ass books ever!
Erika
Aug 02, 2011 Erika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Come on! To begin with, this was the author's first book. I can think of many authors who have made less credible attempts at first novels and have gone on to become well read and respected novelists.
Who ever said protagonists had to be likeable? Both Clare and Sally were multi-dimensional characters, and that's what you want in a good book. I agree that at different times while reading this I found it difficult to like either Clare or Sally. Clare seemed self-absorbed and egotistical for much
...more
Joy
Jul 31, 2011 Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that you might give up on before it gets good. For me, it took at least 100 pages before I really got into it. And then, all of a sudden, I was flipping through pages like a mad woman, staying up late when I should have been sleeping.

It's the story of two girls who meet in college, and it follows the ebb and flow of their friendship as they become adults. I've read a few reviews and some trash the book because it seems impossible that these women go through so much, an
...more
Florinda
Mar 01, 2012 Florinda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Based on some of the info in Martha Moody's online bio, I infer that that this book has certain autobiographical elements; like Clare, Moody is (was) a physician, and she has had the same best friend since college. I hope there aren't too many similarities other than that - if you choose to read the novel, you'll see what I mean, but I don't want to give any spoilers.

For the most part, I found this book rather irritating. The writing was pedestrian and I didn't like the characters very much, but
...more
Elise
Apr 25, 2016 Elise rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I put this on my "read" list because, technically, I did read almost 50% of it. After 208 pages, I just had to stop. This story has no plot, no storyline and utterly uninteresting characters. After the first 100 pages, I thought, "Maybe if I keep reading, I'll see where this is going." Nope, because as far as I can tell, it's going nowhere. If it does somehow manage to pick up after page 208, then shame on the author for wasting 200 pages of drivel to get the reader to the point. The book is 483 ...more
Amanda
Mar 31, 2016 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm about half-way through. The author is a good writer and the story is interesting. However, I do not care for the characters and I'm not finding much that is uplifting or redeeming. I don't think it's worth any more of my time.
Jenna
May 27, 2016 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. not spoiler-free.

this book was alright. my aunt read it and gave it to my mom and i found it one day and decided to read it. it didn't suck. can you tell that i don't really know what to say about it?

it didn't really have a plot. it was just about these two best friends throughout like 20/30 years of their lives together. the protagonist wasn't very good, like as a person. it read well. i got through it quick and i understood everything.

things i liked: clare was an aids specialist in
...more
Mazy Luellen
I liked this book and want to give it four stars. But I also didn't like this book and want to give it three stars. Honestly, it should be around 3.4, 3.8, but I can't grade it that way.

What I didn't like:
1. I didn't like the title. In fact, I put off reading this novel for a long time because of the title and the review on the front cover calling it a "valentine to the staying power of women's friendships". I thought it would be sappy and boring. Right off the bat it didn't seem very clever or
...more
Mary
Oct 31, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
Oberlin College, Ohio, 1973 - When Clare Mann arrives at Oberlin, she is absolutely ecstatic to be on her own finally. She lives in a small Ohio town somewhere between Akron and Youngstown, but the novelty of being even an hour away from home thrills her. Clare first meets Sally Rose - a transplant from Los Angeles - at freshman orientation and they are basically thrown together as college roommates.

Clare, the daughter of a Protestant, working-class family from Ohio, has never met anyone like h
...more
Shannon
Feb 28, 2015 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid 3.5 stars and definitely worth taking the time to read. This is certainly not a light, airy story...probably not something you want to bring on vacation; it is emotional and the themes are heavy. I feel the author solidly captured the many complexities of give and take behind relationships, whether it be between parents, siblings, lovers, spouses, children and of course, our friends; not mere acquaintances, but true friends. Though her characters sometimes feel askew and unpredictable, M ...more
Nancy
Jan 06, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to open minded people who like to read about relationships
Recommended to Nancy by: no one
At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to get into a book that was 483 pages, but once I did, I really liked it. Martha Moody is an excellent writer, she has the kind of phrasing that makes you pause every so often and appreciate her way with words. I really looked forward to reading Best Friends every day for a while now and I have a feeling I will miss Clare and Sally.
April
Jul 01, 2014 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book chronicles the friendship of Sally and Claire from the time they meet in college through their coming of age, getting married, and having children. Sally is an L.A. girl who grows up to be a lawyer. Her fascinating family has several issues, which Claire has a front row seat for. Sally marries twice and has six children. Clarie becomes a doctor who specializes in Aids and has one child that she raises as a single mom. Both girls face their issues with bravery and strength and find the ...more
Katherine Owen
There are a lot of aspects that I like about this book. It's realism in terms of two women being friends is great. Even the way Moody deals with the longevity of time and its evolution between these two women is satisfying. I probably just didn't like the ending as much and the story may have gone on a little too long.
Robert Palmer
Clare Mann from Ohio meets Sally Rose from Las Angles at collage in 1973 , they become close friends,their friendship lasts--- well forever,through good times and bad,but mostly not so good. Just about everything that could go wrong in this novel--- go's wrong. Clare becomes a Doctor specializing in people who are HIV +, Sally becomes a lawyer and a women's advocate. Sounds good so far. I will just give a short list of the many things that happen in the lives of Clare and Sally.two embezzlements ...more
Kelly McCloskey-Romero
I started out loving this story. I am such a sucker for tales of female friendship. This one was certainly unique, as it focused on the narrator's obsession with her college best friend and her family. I say obsession because sometimes it was a bit much, and as the years went on, Clare (the main character) doesn't really develop her own life. In turn, the book is mostly about Sally, her best friend, and her rich and eccentric family in California. I was a little disappointed that Clare didn't de ...more
Julie Stoehr
May 20, 2015 Julie Stoehr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My friend, Kelly Keiko Louie, gave me this book and told me that it was one of her favorites. It was a great read but I don't really know why. It just easily chronicled the lives of 2 best friends through the joys and sorrows of life. I liked it because it was so relatable. The story undulates between successes and failures, relationships, and twists and turns of family life. What one sees through 20 year old eyes ends up being totally different through retrospective 40 year old eyes. Quite fran ...more
Tamar
My cat thought this book would be about dinosaurs. Boy was she shocked to learn the truth. Overall good read. Interesting enough to make me want to finish. I thought the girls would end up as lovers in hippie Idaho but I was wrong again.
Kirsten
May 14, 2015 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A finely drawn account of two college roommates, Sally and Clare, who become best friends, though their relationship is tested and strained by all kinds of external factors, including the men in their lives, and the secrets of Sally's family. I loved the way the characters started as naive college students and then grew up, based on their experiences, etc. - it was very believable and realistic. I see that on Amazon this book got a lot of negative reviews - perhaps because it isn't a fuzzy feel- ...more
Nicole
I genuinely thought this would be quite a fun and introspective read. The title was so simple, two words but it seemed to mean alot. Sadly, I found myself dragging myself through the 400 pages of this book. The reviews as usual were fantastic which made me skeptical.

This is a story of two girls who meet in their first year of college as room mates and they are exact opposites in self and character. But they carry on as close friends till their forties. Clare from Ohio is fascinated by the LA Cal
...more
Kelly
Mar 02, 2015 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so-so. I was excited to read about a friendship that spanned decades, especially when I have been best friends with my bff for 25 years.

It started out very interested and held my attention, I was excited to pick it up every night. One day I just didn't have the urge to read anymore. I don't know what happened, I think it just drug on entirely too long.

I loved the way the writer jumped around, but not in a way you couldn't understand. She did a decent job considering it was her fi
...more
Erin
May 30, 2014 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Giving up! This book wins my own personal prize! The one novel that was SOOO damn DULL and BORING that I gave up 4 chapters in and tossed it across my bedroom with a sigh. It was going nowhere really. The characters were as annoying as nails on a black board or scratching chalk. The narrater was dull and cocky, the best friend was sooo freaking annoying, in speech, description, everything. The "plot" was dragging in slow motion and so trite! This is NO Blume's Summer Sisters, Weiner's Best Frien ...more
Paula
Jun 02, 2008 Paula rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because it was a gift... and only because it was a gift. Maybe I am jaded, but the "dark family secret" didn't even phase me.
Bonnie
Jun 27, 2014 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twists and turns in the main character's lives lead (sometimes) to interesting events; sometimes they don't and it gets a bit tedious. Some things (I won't say what as it would be a spoiler) lets us know who the father is before the author wants us to know which was confusing. I guess I believe that two well-educated women should be able to make better choices in their lives (as well as know where Utah and Idaho are). The book had some deep thoughts in it that a bookclub might like about what co ...more
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“Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.” 8 likes
“When you're in college you haven't had that much life. Parents, school, assorted youth activities—that's about it.” 6 likes
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