The Best of Friends

The Best of Friends

by Sara James, Ginger Mauney
     
 

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From sharing secrets as children to chasing unconventional dreams as adults, network correspondent Sara James and wildlife filmmaker Ginger Mauney explore their learning curve on life through the lens of their thirty-year friendship

Transplanting southern roots to southern Africa, Ginger Mauney has earned the acceptance of a troop of

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Overview

From sharing secrets as children to chasing unconventional dreams as adults, network correspondent Sara James and wildlife filmmaker Ginger Mauney explore their learning curve on life through the lens of their thirty-year friendship

Transplanting southern roots to southern Africa, Ginger Mauney has earned the acceptance of a troop of baboons, unraveled mysteries of life and death in an elephant herd, and raised her young son in the wilds of Namibia—but has often felt the pull of the country she once called home. As a local television anchor, Sara James paid her own way to cover the war in Nicaragua, a gamble that later propelled her to NBC. At the network, James exposed slavery in Sudan and plunged to the gravesite of the Titanic, but struggled to balance her demanding career with marriage and motherhood.

Though the two lead seemingly opposite lives, there is much they share: a hometown in Richmond, Virginia, an attraction to life on the razor's edge, a weakness for men with foreign passports and accents, and a past. Now, in their heartfelt memoir, Mauney and James alternately narrate the story of how, they, two women separated by thousands of miles, have found themselves bound together through temperament, circumstance, and serendipity. The Best of Friends uses the example of their lives to explore such universal questions as: When your heart is broken, how do you heal? How do you realize your dreams without compromising yourself? How do you tame ambition to make room for love and family? And what does it mean as an adult to be a "best" friend?

The Best of Friends is James and Mauney's story, but it is also the story of so many women in their twenties, thirties, and forties who, with the help of friends, dared to reinvent their lives just when it seemed that everything was falling apart.

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Editorial Reviews

Heather Byer
The Best of Friends seems to address ambititon as much as friendship, and how the drive to explore, and succeed, shaped these women—their relationships, careers and families—who entered the work force in the 1980s.This lively dual memoir presents their stories candidly…The adventures described in The Best of Friends are fascinating, but the women's voices are virtually indistinguishable, and sometimes it seems we're reading a script for a sitcom, with the obligatory repartee about men and dating and clothes peppered throughout the narrative. The substance comes when they write about their work.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Mauney, a freelance wildlife filmmaker based in Namibia, and James, a news correspondent for NBC Nightly News, Datelineand other programs, have maintained a remarkable friendship since they were both 12-year-old girls growing up in the genteel circles of Richmond, Va. While their mothers' generation was expected to marry socially suitable husbands, their daughters grew up with wider possibilities. Mauney left Richmond to become arm-candy for a world-class tennis player, who dropped her just when she was beginning to look for a wedding ring. James was too busy building a career in broadcasting to put much energy into finding a man. It wasn't until Mauney's romance hit bottom that the two became close again. In alternating chapters, they record their unfolding lives from their mid-20s through their 40s, with Mauney working in rural Africa and James in fast-lane New York City. Their divergent paths turn out to be quite parallel in the end, as they contemplate their children's developing friendship. By giving sensitive support to each other at key moments, these two women both found their way to balancing marriage, motherhood and creative careers. Their book—a sweet summer read—pays tribute to the advances that feminism brought to a generation of young women and to the enduring value of female friendship. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
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. Awarm, fuzzy read that, with its insights into the often complicated lives of career women, could be a favorite of women's reading groups. Agent: Elyse Cheney/Elyse Cheney Literary Associates

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061844669
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
File size:
1 MB

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