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The Best of Friends: Martha and Me
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The Best of Friends: Martha and Me

2.86  ·  Rating Details ·  162 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Set in a world of luxury and power, this is the story of two remarkable women and a friendship that changed both their lives forever.

For more than two decades, Mariana Pasternak and Martha Stewart were nearly inseparable. They first met over a garden gate in Westport, Connecticut, two suburban wives wedded to successful men but with grand aspirations of their own. Their bo
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Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 16th 2010 by Harper (first published August 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Randee
Wow. This is really mean-spirited. It appears the only reason Mariana Pasternak 'wrote' this book was to throw shade on Martha Stewart, her once-upon-a-time friend. I think it only makes Pasternak look jealous, envious, disloyal and possessing a mean streak.

I've had my fights, betrayals, hurt feelings, etc. by people I considered friends, boyfriends, relatives and even a husband (lol) that have resulted in a breach or permanent end to our relationship but I would never write a book vomiting out
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Beth
Apr 19, 2010 Beth rated it it was ok
I have to admit that I skimmed a lot of this book. I found the writer to be pretentious (look how smart I am quoting Haldane and Fitzgerald)and utterly unlikable (woe as me, jet-setting around the world even though I continually say I don't have much money because I'm a single mom). I assume I was to feel some sort of pity for this woman, but she sounds just as dreadful as she makes Stewart out to be.
Jamie
Jul 02, 2010 Jamie rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, memoir, audiobooks
I bet I could read the Sarah Palin bio and not hate her as much as I hate Mariana Pasternak!
Here comes the swearing!

With friends like this, who needs enemies?
OR : Who gives a fuck what you think? - Freddie Kreuger.

When she meets Martha, it's clear she's crushing on her husband.
When Martha gets divorced, Mariana does too.
Then, Mariana hangs out with her, taking all the benefits that being Martha's friend entails, great vacations.
Then, Mariana, who came her as a "biomedical engineer",suddenly chuc
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Julie
Apr 20, 2010 Julie rated it it was ok
I finally finished this book! Boy this was a painful read. I like how she acted like she never really did any wrong. It was all on Martha. Now, let me clarify, I am not a Martha Stewart fan and this book did not change my opinion of her. With that said, I do not buy the perception the author tried to built of herself as being "perfect" or that she could never be "mean" like Martha. Don't waste your time reading this garbage.
Diane
Dec 05, 2011 Diane rated it did not like it
This is rather dreadful on several levels. First, I'm not sure what the point of the book is. It's not a hatchet job and it's not a tell all so consequently she gets mired in irrelevant details and oh lord, it's just so painfully full of name- and product dropping, you just want to say, "Lordy, work it out on the couch already."

This woman comes off as a whoring, needy, dependent. I really don't have a strong opinion either way about Martha Stewart and picked this book up because I'm on a WWII r
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Pbwritr
May 09, 2010 Pbwritr rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
A look at Martha Stewart over a 20-year period through a woman who says she became Martha's closest friend. Although the friendship ended because of Martha's trial, Mariana still delivers a very sympathetic view of Martha and a not-always-great one of herself. It seems to be a pretty balanced book. Both women went through divorce, but Mariana was the only one whose finances suffered. They traveled the world together and their families were close. A fascinating look behind that steel Stewart ...more
Chantae
May 11, 2011 Chantae rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle
Over complicated writing and references to movies, books, artists and architecture that has relevance to the author, but not the story or the reader for that matter. Made it a tedious read that took forever to get through. It gave insight (possibly fictional) into Martha Stewart, but I found her faults weren't as bad as the writer made them to seem and if I felt that way about my "best friend", I hope I would walk away before it took a grand jury testimony to break us up.
Mlg
Apr 01, 2010 Mlg rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Pasternak's story of her friendship with Martha Stewart. Here's the gist: They meet, Martha loans her money and takes her and her children all around the world, she testifies against Martha at the trial, loses her house and their friendship. Not much here. Neither one of them seem to be people you would want to befriend.
Lisa
Jun 10, 2010 Lisa rated it did not like it
Shelves: didnt-finish
Gave up at page 72. What a bunch of whiney, sniveling crap. Let us all cry for you in your wealthy Connecticut neighborhood and how fabulous your lifestyle is. Seems like the woman didn't really even like Martha and is always ragging on her. Obviously she was just out to make money on Martha's name when the whole investigation/prison thing came down. Save your money and time on this one!
Karen
Jul 04, 2010 Karen rated it liked it
Ugly but readable in some strange sort of way. Both women come across as entirely unsympathetic; I think they deserve each other!
Diana
Jun 01, 2010 Diana rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish this book. It came across as the author used her friendship with Martha as a way to write a memoir about herself...and not a very interesting one at that.
Becky
Jun 28, 2015 Becky rated it did not like it
What a load of...well, being a lady, I will say "fertilizer". This book is written by one of the most narcissistic, pretentious, spoiled, did I say narcissistic(?) people I've ever read. To read it, one would begin to believe that Mariana Pasternak wasn't actually present in her own life. That she is a mere victim of circumstance and happenings in a world that made decisions for her. Poor poor Mariana. Bleck! Again, I say, what a load of horse manure. The entire book has an air of "I've done ...more
Jen Lawrence
Sep 11, 2014 Jen Lawrence rated it really liked it
The book is written by Mariana Pasternak, Martha Stewart's former best friend and witness for the prosecution in the stock trading trial that landed the domestic diva in jail. The book is riveting, not only because it provides a fascinating glimpse into the rarified life of Martha and her people, but also because Pasternak is such an unreliable narrator. Sometimes she is almost unbearable in her narcissism and other times you cannot help but cheer for the single mother who, after fleeing ...more
Joy
Jul 10, 2010 Joy rated it liked it
This book is about the friendship of twenty years between Mariana and Martha Stewart. Mariana and Martha and their husbands were all friends, then M & M continued their friendship with each other after their divorces. They lived in a world of luxury and power and hobnobbed with the rich and famous. Mariana was a European immigrant with sophisticated tasted who helped to smooth Martha's rough edges; Martha introduced Mariana into a world of travel, adventure, and big-money people. From the ...more
Laurie
Sep 21, 2016 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yep, that's Martha Stewart. Whether you love her, hate her, or don't really care, it's always tempting to read what someone has to say about her. Mariana Pasternak has quite a lot to say, though this book often reads more like a luscious travelogue, opulent menu, and curated list of antiques, not to mention McMansions and bothersome name-dropping. I enjoyed reading of Pasternak's childhood in communist Romania, and her eventual escape and resettlement in Connecticut. I also found the whole ...more
Chase
Oct 03, 2010 Chase rated it liked it
Interesting read about a long and very close friendship and how it's ending can have pretty devastating consequences. The book is relatively well written but tiresome at times. Although I was intrigued in the beginning about her escape from Romania, I got tired of the author's literary, scientific and historical references (not to mention a ton of named-dropping) as if she feels compelled to demonstrate that she can hold her own compared to her famous friend Martha. I didn't read this book to be ...more
Barbara
Mar 29, 2010 Barbara rated it liked it
I never meant to read another Martha Stewart expose, but I picked this up on the new book shelf at the Library for some reason. It is written by Martha's next door neighbor in Westport. They becom best friends and Mariana is swept away and by Martha's lavish lifestyle, n fact she seems to relish it; it even costs her her marriage. She portrays Martha fairly I believe...the good and the bad...Finally we get to the charges against Martha and the Trial. Mariana testifies and the friendship is ...more
Frani Hahn
Jul 03, 2010 Frani Hahn rated it really liked it
They say "you can't choose your family but you can always choose your friends.

Very dishy & contrary to other's opinions, I really enjoyed her writing. I felt sad for Pasternak's co dependency on Martha and even sadder after M put her in an uncompromising situation. I can understand Pasternak writing the quaint memoir after she lost everything because of Martha's mistakes. Martha should have looked after her friends instead of expecting them to perjure themselves or her fame. I have a feeling
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Lora
Apr 13, 2011 Lora rated it really liked it
I was impressed that the author took herself to task for buying into what Martha was selling and acknowledging that it was difficult to extricate herself from Martha's life. Power and luxury are seductive and she knows it. I had an opinion of Martha before I read the book (don't we all?) and I must say that the book validated my own feelings. While I think what Martha has done for domesticity is a "good thing", I've always felt that she considered herself above us average people. Her coolness ...more
David
Nov 09, 2010 David rated it did not like it
This unfinishable book (go ahead, I dare you to try -- 395 pages of unfunny prose in which almost nothing happens)could I guess be of interest if you are a major Martha Stewart fan/follower. As a celebrity gossip generalist, not unduly interested in Martha Stewart per se, I found it wanting. Martha's a control freak, self-absorbed, name drops, calculated her rise to the top of the lifestyle industry, likes parties, hob-nobs with very rich people -- check, check, check. No kidding! I demand ...more
Rae
Dec 20, 2013 Rae rated it it was ok
Fascinating to read about one woman's perspective on her relationship and experiences with, and perceptions of, Martha Stewart. The writing became repetitive though (one party or event after another) and there were many sections in the latter part of the book that I skipped because it was tiring slogging through detailed descriptions of another event similar to so many others that had come before, which is why I rated it at a 2. If the writing had been tighter, I would have given it a 3.
Lara
Aug 12, 2010 Lara rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting account of what it was like to be friends with Martha before she went to jail. I think that I already sensed much of her personality from what I've seen of her on TV but it's a whole different experience to read about it with multiple examples of her behavior. I cringed a lot while reading. Also fascinating to read about the parties and dinners and weekends and vacations with the extremely rich.
Melissa
Sep 14, 2010 Melissa rated it did not like it
Some shocking facts in Pasternaks book:
Martha Stewart is a control freak.
Martha Stewart isn't that friendly/warm/or nice.
Martha Stewart is shrewd.

It seems Pasternak's version of Martha is exactly how I expected her to be... and I like Martha. She's tough, self made and has a lot of guts. Her friend on the other hand is a real piece of work...
Joy Perry
Mar 15, 2011 Joy Perry rated it really liked it
If you only believe half of what Mariana Pasternak has to say about Martha Stewart in this book about a 20+ year friendship, you will still have to say that Martha Stewart is one piece of work. How someone could stay friends with someone who pulls the stunts she pulls is unbelievable. I am sure she has her good points as Mariana says but I think her bad points far outweight them.
Kay
Aug 03, 2012 Kay rated it liked it
I can't believe I read the whole thing. This a book about two spoiled, selfish women. Mariana Pasternak dropped more names than Barbara Walters in her book. Martha Stewart is all about Martha and has no qualms about using other people to her own advantage. Neither of them would I like to have as friends.
Beth
Apr 26, 2010 Beth rated it liked it
Living in Milford and working in Greenwich,CT, Martha's events, houses and news were often in the local papers and TV. This account by Martha's friend who is ambivalent about her friendship all the time but subjagates her own personality shows the smartness of both of them as well as the shallowness. Most amazing of all is how an immigrant lives the high life by latching on to a rising star.
Deb
Apr 14, 2010 Deb rated it really liked it
Like many others I said no more Martha Stewart tell alls! This one seemed to be a little more even handed then others but neither the author nor Martha come off as someone I'd like to get to know better. Pasternak seems somewhat pretentious and a bit tiresome but for the most part well meaning. Fluff but mostly enjoyable.
Heather
Apr 09, 2010 Heather rated it liked it
I admit that I was curious to read about Martha Stewart. The author did divulge some interesting tidbits but mostly I found myself highly annoyed by the author. She was quite whiny and it just got old. Quickly.
Vaun Healey
Aug 15, 2016 Vaun Healey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book

This story was interesting. Friendship is the main idea running through the book. I was sorry to see that the author decided to divorce her husband as they seemed compatible. Martha was a pied piper and her moods were very high to extremely low.
Mark Holencik
Jun 02, 2015 Mark Holencik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
An inside look at friendship and when both parties are getting what they need from the relationship it works. Anyone can put on a face and hide behind it. We got a look behind the Martha Stewart mask. Is my mask that important to me?
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