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The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  1,662 ratings  ·  220 reviews
A grave loss changes the lives of three friends in ways they never imagined in this warm and heartrending debut novel.

What makes a wife a lover?
For Kate, the spark went out of her marriage long ago but her husband doesn't seem to notice. Their role as parents consumes their lives so they need to rekindle the romance they once shared.

What makes a woman a mother?
For Jo, a hi
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 26th 2011 by 5 Spot (first published January 1st 2011)
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 ·  1,662 ratings  ·  220 reviews

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May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Four very different friends have remained so with much effort, but when tragedy strikes and deathbed requests are made the least that will happen is head scratching, the most will be life changing.
Ms. Higgins has a sure to be hit on her hands in this her first foray into mainstream women’s literature. The first thing that was apparent to me was her astonishing storytelling capability, the second is her capacity to pull some deep emotions from me while reading. She gives us a heart-wrenching tale
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
4.5 Stars

Friends Sarah, Bobbie Jo, “Jo”, and Kate are shocked to their core when Rachel, the most daring and vivacious of the group, suddenly dies of cancer. After her passing, each woman receives an unexpected letter from Rachel. In her letters, Rachel requests something of each woman: to experience life outside of her comfort zone.

For Kate, that means sky-diving. Kate was spontaneous and care-free before she become a married mom of three. Somewhere along the way her marriage to Paul become rou
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kristi by:
This book begins with Kate, a stay-at-home mom afraid of flying, getting ready to jump out of an airplane - to skydive. She has been sent on this "mission" by a letter that she received from one of her dear friends Rachel. Rachel has passed away and sent a letter to many of her friends and family with last requests. This book focuses on three of those - Kate's, Jo's and Sarah's. They were brought together by Rachel and the four of them had remained good friends despite their differences.

As I s
Aug 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
I'm pretty surprised that this novel is getting such good reviews. It makes me wonder if I was in the right frame of mind when I read it, and I did read it on a good friend's recommendation. The plot was promising enough but when I got down to reading this novel I found the dialogue and the story, overall, to be quite simplistic and the characters not all that well developed, and not as likeable as I would have hoped. ...more
Jul 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
summer fiction reading... interesting but not captivating! ;-)
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
I've been in a book rut lately and this was a nice story about 4 girlfriends that finally got me happy to read again. The story is a nice reminder to not live your life in a rut, but go outside your comfort boundaries sometimes to experience a greater happiness. ...more
Paula  Phillips
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I first read Lisa's book "One good friend deserves another" and I loved it so much. It made me feel in a way a bit sad as I would have loved a group of friends like that but as I spent so much time moving around, it just didn't work out. Thank goodness, now though for the internet as I do have a great group of friends online who I can chat to about anything and have a set of good laughs. I enjoyed Lisa's book so much, that I decided to check out what else she had written and came across her earl ...more
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
Four friends. Together through thick and thin. And then cancer. The life of the group, the rock, the glue that held them together, was gone. On her death bed, Rachel penned letters to each of the women asking them to do the one thing that eluded them while she was alive.

Kate, the seemlingly perfect stay at home mother of three young ones. Perfect house. Perfect husband. Perfect life. Or so it seems. In her quest to do everything perfectly, to give everything to her children, she has lost herself
I picked this up because the Kindle version was $0.99 and it had fairly good reviews. I ended up liking it more than anticipated. It’s not life-changing but the writing is sharp and I was pulled into the story immediately.

Four women in their late thirties have been best friends since college. One passes away and leaves “instructions” for the other three. I found her instructions/tasks for Jo downright irresponsible as well as the way these were carried out. So this was either unrealistic or Rach
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

The Proper Care & Maintenance of Friendship is a heartwarming story of self discovery and second chances. After Rachel's death from cancer, long time friends Jo, Sarah and Kate, each receive a posthumous letter with a last request. Honouring Rachel's dying wishes proves to be a challenge for the women who are forced to confront uncomfortable truths and learn valuable life lessons. Kate is asked to parachute from an airplane and rediscovers her lost zest for life and adventure, Sarah is encourage
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Letters, letters, letters...did yours arrive yet?

They weren't letters you would want to receive, though. They were letters from Rachel, a dear friend who had died unexpectedly, and contained her last wishes for each friend to carry out. Would you go to great lengths to fulfill a friend's dying wish?

Most of the requests were outlandish, but were sent to be sure her friends would find happiness or do something they would never dream of doing. She really wanted all of her friends to improve someth
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rhapsody by: Book Review
I found the story so beautiful. It was a celebration of friendship and I could not help but relate to it through my own friendships with my three closest friends. The story revolves around a circle of four friends, Rachel Braun, Sarah Pollard, Kate Jansen and Jo Marcum. Rachel Braun passes away and leaves a letter for each of her friends to do one thing for her. For Sarah, it is to seek a man she has always loved, Colin O'Rourke. For Kate, it is to jump out of a plane and for Jo, it is to look a ...more
Jan 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This story is all about taking chances and getting out of your of comfort zone. Four women, friends forever, find themselves at a loss when one member, Rachel, dies of cancer. She has never told the other three about her condition. Before she dies she sends letters to the other members of the group and makes them face their fears. The requests make each person leave their comfort zone and in the process overcome things that are holding them back in their lives.

The story reminded me a bit of the
Jane Johnson
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book. Each of the characters reminded me in some way of each of my closest friends. The stories of how each of the women were asked by their old friend to face a big fear of theirs to see, and more importantly feel, what was on the other side were wonderful. I loved this book and when it came time to select bridesmaids gifts for my recent wedding I chose to give them all a copy of this book. I wrote inside each book cover to each unique and wonderful friend of mine about our ...more
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
What these women all have in common is a friend with a generous soul, an irrepressible spirit- and a serious illness. In her final letters, Rachel raises one last question: What makes a friend live in our hearts forever?

Thought-provoking!! Something I found of insight was an how we hang onto what people were in our mind's eye, idolizing, fantasizing. Rose -colored glasses so-to-speak. I enjoyed the thought behind this and what a cool idea to send private letters to your friends....!!
Lorrie Thomson
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Kudos for The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship! I identified the most with Kate, the mom who needed to jump out of a plane to remember who she was before kids. But I think Jo, the single businesswoman, was the sweetest surprise of all. Loved her journey in which the reader got to know her slowly as she discovered the courage to know herself and heal the hurt child inside her. And, of course, I had a crush on Sam. Who doesn’t love a color-blind gun runner?
Cheryl Pashlin
Apr 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Four dies and leaves letters for the other 3 that will change their lives on many levels. This is a fast reading "chick" book that I thoroughly enjoyed and would have liked to have given another half star (C'mon Good Reads). Maybe because of the kind of book it is I could not rate it as high as some of the others.
Let's petition good Good Reads for those half stars.
Beth Nanney
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. There isn't a woman in the world that can't relate to these women and their long-standing friendship. The bond that these women share has survived many years, marriage, divorce, children, and death. Through tears and laughter they always retuned to one another. We should all be so lucky to form friendships like these. ...more
Jul 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Unlike everyone else who reviewed this book i didn't rate it as high . The only character I really wanted to know more about was the one that had the least attention. Each of the characters had to struggle to learn more about themselves and made significant changes promoted by a friends dying wish. The book was interesting at times but some sections I had a hard time staying connected. ...more
Nicole Gerrand
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book in less than 24 hrs (with the mandatory food, conversation and sleep breaks)" I also cried at the end. Everyone need a friend like RAchel to shake you out of their comfort zone and make then face what will challenge them most. All the characters had depth and substance ...more
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful story that every woman should read. Real friends are sometimes hard to find and retain. When they are "true blue," you do so much because of the mutual love and respect. We should all be so blessed.

Thank you for such a neat story.
Martha Newman
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very good story about a long-time friendship between four women who are each given a task as a legacy by one of the group who dies of cancer. Each task is designed to take them out of their comfort zone and challenge them to expand themselves.
Feb 11, 2011 added it
I enjoyed this book. It made me want to have a close group of friends!
Feb 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
Author wrote romance novels. this is her first book of women's fiction. YUK. Abandoned it. ...more
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Predictable. A bit entertaining.
Oct 01, 2012 added it

Great story of friendship!
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous book. Bunch of friends losing one to cancer and them sorting things and in the process sorting out their own lives.
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful sweet/sad/hopeful story. Didn't feel cheesy either. Got this as a gift from one of my best friends....pretty perfect ...more
Monica Silberman
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Higgins serves up a splendid book that all women should read! Perhaps men as well:-)
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
had some very meaty items in here and some big fluff but it worked for my mindset :-)
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
General Fiction F...: Late chapters 8 6 Jul 28, 2014 11:17AM  
General Fiction F...: Middle Chapters 5 6 Jul 28, 2014 11:15AM  
General Fiction F...: Early Chapters 1-6 discussion 9 9 Jul 26, 2014 07:54PM  
General Fiction F...: Novel Discussion 8 11 Jul 24, 2014 06:52PM  

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Lisa Verge Higgins is the RITA-nominated author of eighteen novels that have been published worldwide and translated into as many languages--quite a switch for this former PhD candidate in chemistry. A mother of three, this five-time RT Book Awards finalist has won the Golden Leaf, The Bean Pot, and twice has been anointed by Barnes & Noble's General Fiction Forum for their top twenty novels-of-th ...more

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