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Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship

Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship

4.1 10
by Cathie Beck

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I didn't know that people come into our lives, and sometimes, if we're terribly lucky, we get the chance to love them, that sometimes they stay, that sometimes you can, truly, depend on them.

Cathie Beck was in her late thirties and finally able to exhale after a lifetime of just trying to get by. A teenage mother harboring vivid memories of her own hardscrabble


I didn't know that people come into our lives, and sometimes, if we're terribly lucky, we get the chance to love them, that sometimes they stay, that sometimes you can, truly, depend on them.

Cathie Beck was in her late thirties and finally able to exhale after a lifetime of just trying to get by. A teenage mother harboring vivid memories of her own hardscrabble childhood, Cathie had spent years doing whatever it took to give her children the stability-or at least the illusion of it-that she'd never had. More than that, through sheer will and determination, she had educated them and herself too. With her kids in college, Cathie was at last ready to have some fun. The only problem was that she had no idea how to do it and no friends to do it with. So she put an ad in the paper for a made-up women's group: WOW . . . Women on the Way. Eight women showed up that first night, and out of that group a friendship formed, one of those meteoric, passionate, stand-by-you friendships that come around once in a lifetime and change you forever . . . if you're lucky.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A newly-dumped empty nester at only 39, Beck could do whatever she wanted, but had no friends with whom to do it. She needed pals, so she placed an ad in a Colorado newspaper to form a "smart, sassy women's group," with no idea what sort of response she'd get. A bevy of women responded, and Beck winnowed the lot of potential partners in crime to a half-dozen. One of them would change her live forever, and their friendship is the subject of Beck's mood-hopping memoir. They seemed to have little in common at first glance; Denise Katz was sophisticated, glamorous, successful, while Beck saw herself as a "stubby Catholic girl with thin hair." But the two struck up a fast friendship rife with adventure, even as Katz slowly succumbed to the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis. It's easy to see why Cabernet attracted a major publisher after it was self-published to great acclaim on Amazon. Though often full of treacle, Beck doesn't shy away from a frank, honest portrayal. Readers may not always like the book's versions of Beck and Katz, but they will identify with them.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

Cafe du Monde Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Cathie Beck is the author of the award-winning memoir, Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship, a wickedly funny and smart memoir about female friendship. Iris Dart, author of Beaches, describes Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship as "an achingly poignant memoir that reminds every woman to call her best friend right away."

In 2009, Cathie self-published her memoir, holding an online "Cheap Cabernet for Every Vixen" online book launch party, and sold so many copies on Amazon.com, it hit No. 1 Amazon Movers & Shakers. Twenty-two publishers and 16 literary agents jockeyed to represent the book, and a top literary agent held a three-house auction - in July 2010, Hyperion Books published Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship.

Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship has been a Denver Post Best Sellers book five times and is the only memoir named a "Great Group Read" by the National Women's Book Association. The book is also an Honoree, 2011 Books for a Better Life Award, named a Target Stores Emerging Author book, and Cathie is a Midwest Booksellers Association Featured Author.

Cathie has written for the Boulder Daily Camera, the Los Angeles Times, The Denver Post, The Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Business Journal, Poets & Writers Magazine, and Writers Digest. She presently contributes to a number of major publications and is the recipient of the Louisiana Press Women's and Denver Press Woman's Writing Awards, the Scripps-Howard Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the University of Colorado's Dean's Award for Writing.

Further information can be found at www.cathiebeck.com.

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Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Elsie_Brooks More than 1 year ago
Cheap Cabernet is not the memoir of friendship it is marketed to be. If Denise Katz was someone who gave so much and expect nothing in return (307), then Cathie Beck did her friend a disservice in the development of her character in the book. Beck and Katz's friendship seems extremely unbalanced, that Katz was controlling and manipulative. Somehow through the self-promoting actions of Katz, Beck learns to value herself. I found the first half of the book far more engaging than the latter. The quality of writing is disappointing given that Beck is a journalist by trade.
BMaire More than 1 year ago
Cathie and Denise's story will inspire other women to appreciate their friendships on a deeper level! I could not put the book down once I started to read it. The friendship is strong and one full of many life lessons. The fun, tears and fears are jumping out of the pages. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to MS Research. I strongly recomend this book for book clubs, the conversations will be inspiring. Brenda Jewell Swartz
sparker7 More than 1 year ago
I just finished "Cheap Cabernet" today, very much unable to put it down. Thank you, Cathie, for sharing your story and for paying such a wonderful tribute to your friend Denise! Amazing. Powerful. And so very thought provoking. I have several friends/aquaintances with MS, and it is a very difficult disease to manage. As a friend, it's often so very tough to know what to do, what not to do, and what to say. What we can offer, as Cathie did, is friendship, laughs, love, and deep, deep compassion. Keep writing, Cathie!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im there
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
This book is a memoir (a fact that I somehow missed and realized about a third of the way through). It isn't supposed to be a work of fiction, but a memoir of a friendship. Cathie Beck has had a tough life, raised in an unstable home, pregnant and married as a teen, abandoned by her husband with two children to raise at age 21, she has clawed her way through life. Now, nearing the age of 40, she finds herself an empty-nester in need of friends and begins a woman's group called WOW (Women on the Way). At the first meeting of their new group, Cathie meets Denise Katz: forward, unapologetic, brash, and Cathie doesn't think she likes this woman very much. But then she changes her mind, and finds she likes her very much, and the two begin a many-year friendship that navigates the difficulties of Denise's' struggle with Multiple Sclerosis. Cathie appears to be honest and real. She almost begrudgingly becomes friends with Denise, who is perhaps unlikeable to many, but I found that I liked her. Perhaps that is because I can identify with her. Denise has a warmth and heart that is kept very well hidden, but she also displays an evident strength. This book was a very easy read. Certain writing styles are just very conversational and comfortable for me, and allow me to whiz through much more quickly than with strongly narrative or "stodgy" writing. I sort of delayed picking this one up, because I just wasn't sure that it would be able to grab me. I was pleasantly surprised. It built and held me most of the way. However I did find the final 100 pages to be less captivating, and began to lose me, and the ending was less than satisfying. But, given that it is a memoir, that may be something that cannot be helped-- it ended as it ended. You can't change life. One thing that confused me was that the beginning had nothing to do with the ending. The way that the opening chapter is laid out, I always thought that the end of the book would pick up where it left off and the story would end. But that isn't what happened. The story never really returned to that moment again, aside from a very brief mention of Wyoming at the end of the book. So that only added to disappointment in the ending. It's as if the beginning set me up for an ending that never came as expected. For the most part, this was an enjoyable story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
Funny, sad, uplifting and heartbreaking. This book is all those things and more. I am not normally a big fan of memoirs. They can be whiny and self-indulgent. This one, however, is a beautiful, touching story with writing that is both professional and relaxed. Cathie Beck had a difficult childhood and her life didn't get much better into early adulthood. However, Beck doesn't dwell on this. She expects neither pity nor praise. This book is more a celebration of Beck finding her way out and a joyous friendship that gave her all she needed at that time in her life.