Between Friends

Between Friends

3.9 534
by Debbie Macomber

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Debbie Macomber tells the story of a remarkable friendship — a story in which every woman will recognize herself . . . and her best friend.

The friendship between Jillian and Lesley begins in the postwar era of the 1950s and lasts to the present day. In this novel, Debbie Macomber uses letters and diaries to reveal the lives of two women, to show us the

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Debbie Macomber tells the story of a remarkable friendship — a story in which every woman will recognize herself . . . and her best friend.

The friendship between Jillian and Lesley begins in the postwar era of the 1950s and lasts to the present day. In this novel, Debbie Macomber uses letters and diaries to reveal the lives of two women, to show us the laughter and the tears between friends.

Friends forever!

Jillian Lawton and Lesley Adamski. Two lives joined by friendship. The only child of wealthy parents, Jillian knows a life of privilege. Lesley is one of many and her life is filled with scrimping and sacrifice.

You're my best friend. I can tell you ANYTHING.

As they grow up through the 1950s and 60s, their circumstances, their choices — and their mistakes — take them in virtually opposite directions. Lesley stays in their Washington State hometown. She gets pregnant and marries young, living a cramped life defined by the demands of small children, not enough money — never enough money — and an unfaithful husband. Jill lives those years in a completely different way: on a college campus shaken by the Vietnam War and then as an idealistic young lawyer in New York City.

There are no secrets between friends. Through the years and across the miles, through marriage, children, divorce and widowhood, Jill and Lesley remain friends. They confide everything in each other — every grief and every joy.

Debbie Macomber, the author of Thursdays at Eight and the Dakota trilogy, has become a leading voice in women's fiction worldwide. Her work has appeared on every major bestseller list, including the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly. She is a multiple-award winner, and there are more than forty-five million copies of her books in print.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The prolific Macomber follows up Thursdays at eight with this scrapbook-style novel, which relies solely on letters, newspaper clippings, diary entries and even school essays to tell the story of a friendship spanning more than half a century. Born in 1948 in the same Washington State town, Jillian Lawton and Lesley Adamski have vastly different backgrounds. Wealthy Jillian is on a trajectory to become a lawyer like her father. Just as smart, but from the wrong side of the tracks, Lesley is destined to remain in their native Washington; like her mother, she becomes pregnant at a young age by an alcoholic philanderer. Despite their different circumstances, Jillian and Lesley forge a grade-school friendship that lasts a lifetime and is evoked in their various communiques. Macomber's storytelling is undermined by the ambitious choice of format. Rather than providing intimacy, the "just a short note" conceit deals superficially with the most significant events of the last 50 years (a quick perusal of the half-page e-mail devoted to the World Trade Center attack will be enough to confirm this) and with the characters themselves, who are somewhat thinly drawn. As for the lessons learned - it's generally easier to be rich than poor, it's never too late to take up golf - there's not much that's revelatory. Still, while this book is unlikely to win her new fans, Macomber's old ones will give it a chance. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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Between Friends

By Debbie Macomber

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 155166674X

Chapter One

September 10, 1948

220 Railroad Avenue Pine Ridge, Washington

Dearest Momma,

I thought you should know Mike and I had a baby girl on September first. I realize Daddy said I wasn't to contact either of you ever again, but I felt you'd want to know you had a granddaughter.

We named her Lesley Louise and she weighed 8 pounds. Lesley because it seems like such a pretty name and Louise after you, Momma. Mike wasn't home to take me to the hospital, so Gertie Burkhart, who lives next door, drove me. My labor took almost twenty hours. I thought I was going to die, but all that pain was worth it the first time I got to hold my daughter. She's a beautiful baby, Momma. She has your nose and Mike's forehead, with soft wisps of blond hair. I think her eyes are going to be blue, but the nurse told me we won't be able to tell until Lesley is six weeks old.

I wonder what the future holds for my baby girl. Will she grow up to be smart and pretty? Will she have a chance to finish high school? Dare I dream that one day she'll go to college the way I always hoped I would? Mike says asking questions like that is a waste of time. Still, I can't help wondering if those were the same questions you had when I was born, Momma. Did you love me as much as I love my baby? I'm sure you did and I can't believe you no longer love me now.

Mike and I are doing all right. We live in Washington State - it seems so far away from Mississippi. We're renting a two-storey house and Mike's uncle got him a job at the lumber mill. He's working lots of hours and I've been putting a little bit aside every week for when the mill shuts down, which it seems to do on a regular basis. Unfortunately, Mike was so excited the night Lesley was born that he got drunk and was arrested. I had to use the money I'd saved to bail him out of jail.

I miss you, Momma. I'm not any of those ugly names Daddy called me.

If I don't hear from you, then I'll accept that you agree with Daddy and want nothing more to do with me. When I look at my baby, I don't think of the circumstances that led to her birth. What Mike and I did was a sin, but we're married now.

Lesley is a beautiful child, created in the image of God. That's what Father Gilbert said a child is, and I believe him. I hope you'll love her despite everything.

Your daughter,


October 12, 1948

Mrs. Leonard Lawton 2330 Country Club Lane Pine Ridge, Washington

Dearest Aunt Jill,

I regret taking so long to answer your letter. After waiting fifteen very long years for a child, one would assume I'd be better prepared for the demands of motherhood. I had no idea an infant would take up so much of my time and energy. I'm months behind on my correspondence and can only beg your indulgence.

Jillian is truly our joy. As you know, Leonard and I had given up hope of ever having a child. We're both convinced her birth is a miracle and we are so very grateful. I know how pleased you are that we named her after you, but you've been a mother to Leonard since his own dear mother's death. Without you, he wouldn't have any memories of her.

Leonard is thrilled with his daughter. Every night he rushes home from court in order to spend time with her. She's already standing on her own and it looks as if she'll be walking soon. I'm afraid Leonard must bore everyone at the courthouse with photographs of Jillian. In his eyes she's the most brilliant, precious child ever to appear in this world. She has deep blue eyes and dark brown hair and a cheerful, happy disposition. She loves listening to the radio; her favorite show is Kukla, Fran and Ollie. Leonard claims it's really my favorite show, and Jillian gives me the perfect excuse to listen. One show she doesn't like - I think it scares her - is The Lone Ranger. Every time she hears the music she buries her head in my skirt.

Thank you for recommending Eleanor Roosevelt's book This I Remember. I've ordered it from the library, but my reading has been severely curtailed since Jillian's arrival. I've been making an effort to read during her afternoon nap, but the problem is, I usually fall asleep myself. With her teething, I haven't slept an entire night in weeks. The poor child is having a difficult time of it, but the pediatrician assured us everything is normal.

Leonard and I are delighted that you've accepted our invitation to spend the Christmas holidays with us. Jillian will surely be walking by then - and sleeping through the nights!

I'll write again soon. Give our love to Uncle Frank and everyone.

Yours truly,

Leonard, Barbara and Jillian


Excerpted from Between Friends by Debbie Macomber Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Meet the Author

Debbie Macomber, with more than 100 million copies of her books sold worldwide, is one of today's most popular authors. The #1 New York Times bestselling author is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Debbie is a regular resident on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times (70 times and counting), USA TODAY (currently 67 times) and Publishers Weekly (47 times). Visit her at

Brief Biography

Port Orchard, Washington
Date of Birth:
October 22, 1948
Place of Birth:
Yakima, Washington
Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college

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