Friends from the age of 12, when they first shared secrets at a sleepover party, two women look back over the years of friendship that sustained them through the ups and downs of their at times parallel lives.
James, a television correspondent (Dateline, Today) and Mauney, a wildlife filmmaker (National Geographic Explorer, etc.), reconnected in their 20s, after James, then a fledgling reporter, tracked down Mauney, who was floundering after being dropped by her tennis-playing celebrity boyfriend. While Mauney struggled to find her place in the world of work, James’s career successes increased, and she landed a long-hoped-for job with the NBC network. After years in Africa, where Mauney fell in love with the African bush while working with a veterinarian filming a troop of baboons, she gradually learned the craft of filmmaking. She eventually married the veterinarian and had a baby in her late 30s. Meanwhile, James, who was living in New York City, married and divorced, took on hazardous assignments in hot spots around the globe, fell in love with and eventually married a young Australian reporter and had not one but two late babies. The women tell their stories in alternating chapters, each covering a year or two and filled with details of daily life and concerns about love, work, men, marriage and motherhood. They are supportive of each other, sharing each other’s trials and triumphs, visiting when they can and telephoning and emailing frequently. The strength of their mature friendship, which seemed rather tenuous at the beginning, is unmistakable, and these warm, southern women—Richmond, Va., is their hometown—talk freely and often about the depth of their feelings for each other.
A warm, fuzzy read that, with its insights into the often complicated lives of career women, could be a favorite of women’s reading groups.