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To My Dearest Friends
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To My Dearest Friends

2.92 of 5 stars 2.92  ·  rating details  ·  393 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Alice and Nanny have never met before, but they have one thing in common: their late friend Roberta. Alice is the prim proprietor of a chic Madison Avenue shop, while Nanny is a sharp-eyed Manhattan real-estate broker. This New York odd couple is thrown together when Roberta trusts them with her last request—that together they open her safe-deposit box. What they find insi ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2007)
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2.5 raised up to 3 because I liked the beginning.

Maybe because I read this piecemeal, this felt choppy and disjointed. Sometimes I just need to get a big chunk of time to read.
Mar 05, 2009 Heather rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather by: B&N Bookclub
This book was a literary mess. From a disfunctional plot line to confusing dialogue and irrelevant tangents, it was barely readable. Do not be fooled by the synopsis! The book is incapable of living up it's description.
Jan 23, 2008 Lucy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all woman who love their friends, New Yorkers, readers who want to know what life in NYC is like
Shelves: justread
This was a fresh look at a familiar theme, woman friends and their special connection. Alice and Nanny are quite dissimilar but they share a mutual friend, Roberta, who has just died of breast cancer. The surviving friends seem to have been the companions to complement the disparate sides of Roberta's personality. At the end their is an unexpected third character who reflected yet another, more hidden, side.
The portrayal of daily life in Manhattan is so vivid I began to consider NYC as a charact
I learned about this book from Head Butler and bought it while visiting a dear friend at her daughter's wedding in Denver.

Two weeks after Roberta "Bobbi" Bloom dies, her lawyer calls her two best friends, Alice and Nanny, to his office. Why? Because Bobbi has given them keys to a safety deposit box. And the lawyer now has a letter for them from Bobbi:

Dearest Nanny and Alice, Dear Dearest Friends in No Particular Order, Please go now to the Chase on Fifty-eighth and Madison. Open the box togeth
A woman dies and in her will leaves something to two of her friends that have never met. The book has these two friends trying to figure out the intent of their dead friend in bringing the two of them together and why she left them what she did. It's definitely a discussion book when u get to the end as u need to see if others felt the same when they finished it. Volk's writing is wonderful.
A woman in her fifties dies and leaves a safe deposit box key to her two best friends (who don't know each other), with the instruction "You'll know what to do" about its contents. The box contains one passionate love letter to the woman, whose friends (and presumably her husband and daughter) had no idea of the affair. The woman's two friends, whose personalities and circumstances are as different from each other's as possible, try to figure out what their late friend would have wanted them to ...more
Two very different women share a friend, who at her death shares a secret relationship by having both women—who never knew each other before— together open a safe deposit box that contains a letter. The rest of the book details the daily minutiae of Nanny and Alice as they cope with their own changing lives and puzzle over how to handle this Roberta/Robbie's suddenly shared secret. I just returned from a trip to New York, and I enjoyed traveling through a New York I will never know—the one New Y ...more
Beth Gordon
A quick, enjoyable read about two separate friends of a recently deceased woman Roberta who are left her safe deposit box in her will. The book is a little scattered. It rotates narrators, which is fine, but the chapter headings don't typically denotes whose view it is. The book is mainly about the individual friendship each of the main characters, Nanny and Alice, had with the deceased. But it also speaks to the individual struggles each one has in life. The underlying "mystery" is why what is ...more
Jen Squire
Great NY fun with some unforgettable lines - "Marriage is like liver. It regenerates." - and plenty to think about while you're smiling.

I picked it up in the library, knowing nothing of it, and look forward to reading more Volk.
Sep 09, 2008 Hannah rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vacation readers. It is not-taxing.
I can't explain why I liked it. Not a great plot. Not great writing. I took 3 books and stacks of The New Yorker on vacation with me, and although the other books are very good, this is the one that I could not put-down once I started it. I did not like "Stuffed"-- Volks other book. (So much so that I did not even finish it.) But this took me less than 24 hrs to complete and I read it at the expense of tending to my 3yo and other important things. One could write about this book and be a big spo ...more
Could not get over the writing style. Even if could get past it, I didn't like the characters, who were no relatable in the least.
Plot starter without any spoilers: a lady dies and as part of her will, gets two of her best friends together to solve a sort-of mystery. The two friends don't really know each other and they are almost total opposites. It's interesting to see an outside look at how the different kinds of friends you have serve you in different ways, but there was some excessive sub-character development and a few random tangents. I did enjoy it and it was a perfect way to amuse myself while sitting on a plane o ...more
Okay. Funny in parts, annoying in others. not much of a surprise ending.
Just - The romance reader
I give this book two stars only because I somewhat had the desire to skim through and find out how it ended, which I did not actually do. Otherwise, the book would have gotten one star. The storyline sounded interesting enough that I wanted to read the book, but less than one chapter in and I was losing interest, two chapters in and I was downright disinterested, but I kept on for one more chapter thinking maybe it was a slow starter. And maybe it was, but if so it was slow enough I couldn't bri ...more
Entertaining and the characters are quite good. I liked Nanny.
I don't feel a great deal of connection to the women in some ways as the lifestyle in New York seems pretentious and isolated at times. The idea of focusing on shops, theatre, movies not particuarly interesting, but it is handled well and the relationship that develops between Alice and Nanny is the high point, although I wish Alice had become warmer - somehow she never reads as approachable enough to like.
I think Volk is a good write
This book reads like a disjointed episode of Gilmore Girls, if the Gilmores were 50-year-old women. Volk provides us with a glimpse into the minds of older women with an insight that is, at its best, quite piercing. Unfortunately, my enjoyment of this reassuring and heartwarming novel was marred by its more saccharine, perplexing, coy, and platitudinous qualities. The overly clever inner monologues annoyed me to no end. And yet, inexplicably, TO MY DEAREST FRIENDS left me with a warm fuzzy feeli ...more
A woman named Roberta dies of cancer and leaves a letter to her 2 best friends Alice & Nanny. Alice & Nanny never knew each other, but are brought together by their friends letter.

She leaves them a love letter that was written to her; what is shocking is that both alice and nanny believed that Roberta was happily married, and they never suspected she had an affair.

The story follows alice and nanny as they get to know each other and as they go through their own problems in their own live

When a dear friend dies and leaves a legacy to you and another dear friend, how do you solve the mystery that comes with the legacy? Should you accept what you learn, reject it, or act on it? Can you and your new partner in this mystery do anything? Lives and reputations could be at stake.

This story is probably the warmest I've read of friendships and the love between friends. It is witty in places, but always, always deeply connected to love. Guess what? I deeply loved it!
This was a nice quick read about a woman who dies of cancer and leaves her two friends to ferret out answers to a couple clues she left in her safe deposit box. Somewhat predictable in that at first the two woman don't really like each other, but gradually grow on each other and in the end become good friends. Oh..they also find out the "mystery" of their deceased friend...that was not as predictable, which was good! Nice a light for a winter's weekend read.
I loved reading this book. It is so much more than just a story of friendship and "what would you do if...?" It is a story of women,fear of the unknown, friendship, life, growing old, sharing your life with others and aging gracefully (or not) with each other. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the changes in the characters relationships and lives as the moved through adulthood and into 'middle-age'. As a 50 something woman, I can relate!
This was a book group read. I am curious to see if it had any interest for younger women, as it is about older women. A woman dies of cancer, and two of her friends are called to her attorney's office. They are given the key to a safe deposit box and instructions that they are to open it together. And what is inside? The contents of the safe deposit box drive much of the rest of the story. This is about lifelong Manhattan women.
Just couldn't get into the story. Stopped reading about page 60.
This book was... ok, to say the least. I knew going in that it would be a quick read - given it's not very thick. The story seemed rushed, and I story wasn't coming to a close (and I was almost done with the book - 1 to 2 chapters to go!) The story did end, on a good note but it was rushed and not that much thought seemed to go into the ending.

I most likely wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
This book grew on me as I read - I wasn't sure about at first, and it was kind of slow getting into it. I suspect this may be true of Volk's memoir (Stuffed), as I ultimately set it aside for awhile because it wasn't holding my interest. Now that I've read this book & become familiar with her writing style, I find that I like it & will probably enjoy her memoir much more now.
After her death, a sends her two best friends (who don’t know each other) a letter from her secret lover. The friends, who are very different from one another try to figure out why she would have left them this legacy and in doing so discover truths about. What I liked about the book was the development of the friends and their unlikely relationship with eachother.
May 29, 2008 Shelia rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: probably 40+ since the characters are a bit older
Recommended to Shelia by: Linda M.
Another novel about women, friendship, and perhaps, expanding your own horizons by letting go, moving on, and accepting that people are not always what you think they are.

To My Dearest Friends brings two very different women together because of a shared friend. This story did make me think about what one gives and gets from different relationships.
Aug 21, 2007 Linda rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 50+ year old women with insomnia
Two women who don't know each other receive a dying request from their mutual best friend and together they open a safe deposit box and learn a secret the friend's been keeping from both of them.
I liked these women, the book is fluff, but I want to read Patricia Volk's memoir now so -- I guess it was my cup of tea (as we women of a certain age say)
I was a little confused in the beginning. Having said that, I was also hooked from the start. Once Nanny and Alice decide what to do with what they were given I couldn't put it down. And the outcome was a surprise.

For a shorter book the characters were very well developed. I felt like they were real people. It was a fun light read.
This is light fare but pleasant.I like that it concerns older, middle aged women and is about their committed friendships. At my age (65) this is important reality. The questions posed: how well do we know anyone? How do we move forward in mid-life? are also worthy of consideration. KInd of thin narrative but the story stayed with me.
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Patricia Volk is the author of the memoir Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family and four works of fiction. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she has taught at Columbia University, New York University, and Bennington College, and has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Yorker and Playboy. She lives in New York City.
More about Patricia Volk...
Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me All It Takes White Light The Yellow Banana

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