Between Friends

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551666747
  • Publisher: Mira
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 4.21 (w) x 6.62 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Debbie Macomber

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 www.DebbieMacomber.com.

Biography

Publishing did not come easy to self-described "creative speller" Debbie Macomber. When Macomber decided to follow her dreams of becoming a bestselling novelist, she had a lot of obstacles in her path. For starters, Macomber is dyslexic. On top of this, she had only a high school degree, four young children at home, and absolutely no connections in the publishing world. If there's one thing you can say about Debbie Macomber, however, it is that she does not give up. She rented a typewriter and started writing, determined to break into the world of romance fiction.

The years went on and the rejection letters piled up. Her family was living on a shoestring budget, and Debbie was beginning to think that her dreams of being a novelist might never be fulfilled. She began writing for magazines to earn some extra money, and she eventually saved up enough to attend a romance writer's conference with three hundred other aspiring novelists. The organizers of the conference picked ten manuscripts to review in a group critique session. Debbie was thrilled to learn that her manuscript would be one of the novels discussed.

Her excitement quickly faded when an editor from Harlequin tore her manuscript to pieces in front of the crowded room, evoking peals of laughter from the assembled writers. Afterwards, Macomber approached the editor and asked her what she could do to improve her novel. "Throw it away," the editor suggested.

Many writers would have given up right then and there, but not Macomber. The deeply religious Macomber took a lesson from Job and gathered strength from adversity. She returned home and mailed one last manuscript to Silhouette, a publisher of romance novels. "It cost $10 to mail it off," Macomber told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2000. "My husband was out of work at this time, in Alaska, trying to find a job. The children and I were living on his $250-a-week unemployment, and I can't tell you what $10 was to us at that time."

It turned out to be the best $10 Macomber ever spent. In 1984, Silhouette published her novel, Heartsong. (Incidentally, although Heartsong was Macomber's first sale, she actually published another book, Starlight, before Heartsong went to print.) Heartsong went on to become the first romance novel to ever be reviewed in Publishers Weekly, and Macomber was finally on her way.

Today, Macomber is one of the most widely read authors in America. A regular on the New York Times bestseller charts, she is best known for her Cedar Cove novels, a heartwarming story sequence set in a small town in Washington state, and for her Knitting Books series, featuring a group of women who patronize a Seattle yarn store. In addition, her backlist of early romances, including several contemporary Westerns, has been reissued with great success.

Macomber has made a successful transition from conventional romance to the somewhat more flexible genre known as "women's fiction." "I was at a point in my life where I found it difficult to identify with a 25-year-old heroine," Macomber said in an interview with ContemporaryRomanceWriters.com. "I found that I wanted to write more about the friendships women share with each other." To judge from her avid, ever-increasing fan base, Debbie's readers heartily approve.

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Macomber:

"I'm dyslexic, although they didn't have a word for it when I was in grade school. The teachers said I had 'word blindness.' I've always been a creative speller and never achieved good grades in school. I graduated from high school but didn't have the opportunity to attend college, so I did what young women my age did at the time -- I married. I was a teenager, and Wayne and I (now married nearly 37 years) had four children in five years."

"I'm a yarnaholic. That means I have more yarn stashed away than any one person could possibly use in three or four lifetimes. There's something inspiring about yarn that makes me feel I could never have enough. Often I'll go into my yarn room (yes, room!) and just hold skeins of yarn and dream about projects. It's a comforting thing to do."

"My office walls are covered with autographs of famous writers -- it's what my children call my ‘dead author wall.' I have signatures from Mark Twain, Earnest Hemingway, Jack London, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Pearl Buck, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, to name a few."

"I'm morning person, and rip into the day with a half-mile swim (FYI: a half mile is a whole lot farther in the water than it is on land) at the local pool before I head into the office, arriving before eight. It takes me until nine or ten to read through all of the guest book entries from my web site and the mail before I go upstairs to the turret where I do my writing. Yes, I write in a turret -- is that romantic, or what? I started blogging last September and really enjoy sharing bits and pieces of my life with my readers. Once I'm home for the day, I cook dinner, trying out new recipes. Along with cooking, I also enjoy eating, especially when the meal is accompanied by a glass of good wine. Wayne and I take particular pleasure in sampling eastern Washington State wines (since we were both born and raised in that part of the state).

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    1. Hometown:
      Port Orchard, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 22, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Yakima, Washington
    1. Education:
      Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

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,

Dorothy


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

(Continues...)



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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 527 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(214)

4 Star

(137)

3 Star

(98)

2 Star

(44)

1 Star

(34)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 530 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 12, 2010

    Great Story

    I loved this book, it kept me up till midnight on work nights reading as I couldnt put it down. I did read it on the nook and it was fine for me.
    This is one I recommend highly!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent historical perspective

    The two women were born in 1948 in Pine Ridge, Washington. The location, the year, and their gender are about the only things these two women have in common. So how could Jillian Lawton and Lesley Adamski remain best friends and confidantes into the new millennium? <P>Jillian, the daughter of wealthy parents attended college while Lesley an unwanted child who forced her parents to marry repeated the same mistake as her own mother by having two children while still a teen. Yet from the Eisenhower through Desert Storm and the Clinton scandals they exchange first letters and later email as they describe what is happening to each of them during the various decades of the latter half of the twentieth century. <P>BETWEEN FRIENDS is an insightful look at five decades of America through the eyes of two friends living totally different lifestyles as the country goes about its changing business. The story line is an excellent look at the times starting with their childhood during the I like Ike decade to their teen years hindered by Nam and Watergate and finally to the naughty adult era of the eighties and nineties. Lesley and Jillian constantly communicate the ¿thrill of victory and the agony of defeat¿. These two wonderful female characters empower readers to see Debbie Macomber at her best as the dynamic author provides a powerful look at the American half century reminiscent of Billy Joel¿s tune, We Didn¿t Start the Fire, but with much more depth. <P>Harriet Klausner

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2003

    A touching and very personal story of true friendship

    This book is so wonderful that I read it in one day! The format of the letters and journal writings was interesting and new. The historical references made me feel more like part of the story. I remembered the same historical events and where I was in my life when they happened. Every woman should read this book. The relationship of the 2 best friends in the story will make you cherish your relationship with your own best friend.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2002

    excellent book

    Debbie Macomber does a wonderful job at making the reader close to the characters in this book. The book is an excellent look at two friends and the trials they face throughout their lives. Despite what they both experience and go through, they remain friends. A book most women can relate to and have experienced themselves.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    highly recommended

    this book reminds you that friendship is not determined by financial or physical backgrounds; but by a connection of hearts that causes a lifetime of caring and concern for 'the other person'.

    LG

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2012

    What a wonderful summer read. It made me think of my best frien


    What a wonderful summer read. It made me think of my best friend, my family and the people who have had an impact in my life. As someone born in the late 50's, what a trip down memory lane. This book made me laugh, cry, and remember. I recommend this book to all baby boomers and their daughters. I think the format of letter writing, journal entries, and e-mails worked perfectly for this story. Didn't want the book to end because I felt like I would be saying goodbye to &quot;my&quot; friends Jillian and Lesley.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012

    Good read.

    Two girls meet and become friends in first grade, each has different backgrounds and upbringing, but best friends for life. You read the letters and the journals that both have written to each other over the years. From notes in school to emails later in life, their lives are shared with you. It was a very good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Friends forever

    This is by far my favorite book by Macomber! Normqlly I wouldn't think twicw about a book like this but the characters really stick with you and I can't wait for the sequel.
    This book is written in the format of letters and diary entries dating from 1948=2002, when two friends are born into two different worlds- one rich the other poor; and extends throughout the years with their hardships, families, marriages, and even the deaths that happened between two friends.
    If you want to read a book that is so real that the people will feel like you actually know them; then this is the ONE for you!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2012

    Debbie Macomber

    enjoy all her books and really like them on our Nookcolor.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    two and half stars

    Did not like the diary / journal type reading icould relate to the story of events however just not that interesting , boring for first parts of the book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Loved this book

    Best she has written

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful

    this is one of the best books by Debbie Macomber. The story is sweet and will pull at your heart's strings. I stayed up late to read it. Wonderful book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    Just Okay

    Nothing wrong with the story, but the method of writing the whole book as letters and journal entries got very boring. I like to see some interaction between characters...there was none.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2003

    Disagree with Rhonda

    The history in the book was an addition that made the book stand out from most other romantic novels. It brought back many good, and not so good, memories. LOVED IT!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    David

    Of couse im done with rp forever sorry my fuqqing nook brokr im quitting

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Just ok...

    I wasnt a fan of the letter/journal format and I found many if the events in the characters' lives to be predictable. I also found some of the writing didn't fit the tone of a letter. That being said it was a quick, easy read...and on sale.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2013

    akatskee1@yahoo.com

    Add me...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    Over Rated

    This by far was not one of Debbie's great books. Love her," Rose Harbor" books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    To andy from holly

    Hey how are you cht youblater

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    Average book This book was entirely letters written back and for

    Average book
    This book was entirely letters written back and forth to each character which took a bit to get used to. To me it was just an average book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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