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Best Friends

3.2  ·  Rating Details ·  5,964 Ratings  ·  625 Reviews
An unlikely friendship between women that spans two decades drives this unforgettable first novel.

Oberlin College, 1973. Clare Mann, the daughter of a Protestant working-class family from Ohio, has never met anyone like her new roommate, Sally Rose. Wealthy, pretty, and Jewish, barely emancipated from her close-knit Los Angeles family, Sally has led a sheltered life. Still
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 4th 2001 by Riverhead Hardcover (first published 2001)
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Carol Hunter
Mar 21, 2008 Carol Hunter rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 04, 2009 Rachel rated it it was ok
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.

Nov 18, 2007 Karen rated it it was ok
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
Oct 08, 2010 Rita rated it it was ok
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
Aug 11, 2011 NATUI rated it liked it
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
Sep 05, 2007 Katherine rated it liked it
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
Apr 26, 2010 Nina rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 26, 2008 Amy rated it did not like it
One of the most boring, lame ass books ever!
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
Erika Nerdypants
Jul 18, 2011 Erika Nerdypants rated it liked it
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
Jul 31, 2011 Joy rated it liked it
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
Mar 23, 2016 Elise rated it did not like it
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
May 22, 2016 Jenna rated it liked it
Shelves: own
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
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.
Katherine Owen
May 12, 2011 Katherine Owen rated it liked it
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.
Mar 25, 2016 Amanda rated it it was ok
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.
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.
Jan 14, 2008 Paula rated it it was ok
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.
Jun 21, 2007 Nichole rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: women
Great book. It reminds me of "Summer Sisters" only it follows the friends much further in life.
Jennifer Friedrichs
Apr 24, 2011 Jennifer Friedrichs rated it really liked it
I loved this book. So true about any relationship....the dynamics change, people change.
Feb 17, 2010 Robby rated it really liked it
I have never had a best friend. My whole life, I have had friends who I have spent almost all of my time with, who I have told things that nobody had known before that one moment. I have had friends who told me things about myself that I had never realized, things I had never seen. And I made mistakes, with these friends. I lost them or they lost me or we just grew apart.
Now, I have a few best friends. I love them with everything I have, even if I don’t see them every day. There are things I don
Dena Smith
May 31, 2017 Dena Smith rated it liked it
Loved the progression of the story thru time. Didn't like Sid.
Jun 20, 2017 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, 2014
Rebecca McNutt
Not a bad book, just incredibly preachy and sappy. I loved the retro Seventies setting but otherwise it's a story we've all heard before in one way or another.
Eugenie Job
Jun 16, 2017 Eugenie Job rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
The story goes well, but then goes out into left field.
May 11, 2017 Tricia rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2015 Mazy rated it liked it
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
Laura Carollo
Mar 09, 2017 Laura Carollo rated it it was ok
This book seemed to be about 200 pages too long. I wanted to like it, but there was just so much going on, yet nothing at the same time.
Beth Moran mehling
Good, but sometimes tedious

I loved the story of friendship, but found myself getting mad at the characters and the decisions they made throughout the book
May 19, 2010 Joanna rated it it was ok
Shelves: 100-books-2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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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