Kindred Spirits

( 32 )

Overview


When life gives you lemons, call your best girlfriends and whip up some lemon martinis. Such is the mantra for the Ladies' Society for the Conservation of Martinis, which was established after one fateful PTA meeting, when four young mothers-Lynne, Mary Kay, Beth, and Carol- discovered they had more in common than they ever thought possible. Meeting once a month, the women would share laughs and secrets and toast to their blossoming friendship with a clink of their sacred martini glasses. The Society was their ...
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Overview


When life gives you lemons, call your best girlfriends and whip up some lemon martinis. Such is the mantra for the Ladies' Society for the Conservation of Martinis, which was established after one fateful PTA meeting, when four young mothers-Lynne, Mary Kay, Beth, and Carol- discovered they had more in common than they ever thought possible. Meeting once a month, the women would share laughs and secrets and toast to their blossoming friendship with a clink of their sacred martini glasses. The Society was their salvation, their refuge, but when life-shattering circumstances force the group to dissolve, their friendship is never quite the same...until two years later, when a tragic event puts the Society back in session.

When Lynne passes away suddenly, she leaves behind one simple request: that her old friends sort through her belongings. Reluctantly, the women reunite to rummage through her closets. There's nothing remarkable; no kinky sex toys, no embarrassing diary. But buried deep within Lynne's lingerie drawer is an envelope addressed to the Society. And inside they find a letter that reveals a shocking secret and a final wish that will send the women on a life-changing journey...proving that nothing is more powerful than the will of a true girlfriend and a good, strong martini.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Strohmeyer's lackluster foray into more serious territory (after The Penny Pinchers Club) follows a group of four women who call themselves the "Ladies Society for the Conservation of Martinis" (cocktail recipes are indeed included) in a small Connecticut town. When society member Lynne succumbs to cancer, her three closest friends set out to fulfill her dying wish: to locate her estranged mother and the daughter she gave up for adoption when she was 18, and deliver letters to each containing her last words. The 40-something women—Beth, her father ill and her marriage dull; Mary Kay, who has been lying to her fiancé about her biological baby-readiness; and Carol, who has left her husband to live a more independent life—spend much of the novel on a road trip in search of Lynne's past. Their friendships steady and solid, their emotional stakes never convincing, the women arouse little interest in the reader as they sip their way toward a happy conclusion. Strohmeyer's fans will miss her trademark humor, and readers of women's fiction will find nothing new in this bland tale. (July)
Library Journal
Best friends Mary Kay, Beth, and Carol, mourning the loss of a fourth friend, embark on a journey to fulfill Lynne's last wishes, and the trip is a catalyst for change in their own lives. Living in a small Connecticut town, the four had bonded through PTA meetings and a love of martinis. When Lynne dies after battling cancer, the others discover that she had kept a big secret from them and that she has left instructions for them to make right for her in death what she could never do in life. VERDICT This novel is sure to be popular with Strohmeyer's (The Cinderella Pact) many fans as well as women's fiction readers who enjoy Emily Giffin, Kristin Hannah, and Jodi Picoult. An engaging story of love and loss and the power of women's friendships, but beach readers, beware—you may find some tears mixed with the sand on your beach towel. [For another novel exploring similar themes, see Erica Bauermeister's Joy for Beginners, reviewed on p. 88.—Ed.]—Karen Core, Detroit P.L.
Kirkus Reviews

Three women carry out the last wishes of their friend, discovering secrets, shedding inhibitions and inventing new martinis along the way.

To combat PTA pettiness, four friends, all residing in the idyllic lakeside town of Marshfield, Conn., are inspired by a musty cookbook, penned by a long-ago Marshfield clubwoman, to form the Ladies Society for the Conservation of Martinis.They bond over Cosmos, Blue Martinis and classic James Bond or Rat Pack concoctions while battling various crises in their lives.Now, though, the crises have the upper hand. Carol precipitously lefther husband Jeff to resume her legal career in New York City, resulting in an ill-considered divorce.Now her ex-husband is insisting on selling their Marshfield house, and Carol's daughter Amanda is not speaking to her.Mary Kay, who raised her orphaned niece Tiffany as her own, has been concealing her infertility from her live-in partner and soon-to-be fiancé, Drake. Beth is juggling her ailing elderly father's health issues with no assistance, only criticism, from a controlling out-of-town sister.Worst of all, the society's founder, Lynne, has run out of options in her battle against cancer.Employing a combination of Blue Martinis and morphine, she commits suicide, leaving a letter for her friends to find. That letter instructs them to look for the daughter that, as a teenager in Pennsylvania, Lynne had been forced to give up for adoption.The women track down Lynne's mother and aunt, and thanks to Beth's skills as a librarian, turn up a crucial clue that Lynne herself had withheld.As they zero in on their quarry, spreading unwelcome news all over Pennsylvania, the women have plenty of opportunity to indulge in all manner of martinis (recipes included). The lighthearted conventions of the midlife girl-power road trip (no driving while intoxicated depicted) often clash with the downright depressing subject matter, as themyriad ways in which parents, spouses and children can become estranged are picked apart.

A hackneyed concept which gains little in this tepid treatment.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451235046
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/3/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 237,456
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Sarah Strohmeyer is the bestselling author of Sweet Love, The Cinderella Pact, The Sleeping Beauty Proposal, The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives, and the popular "Bubbles" series. She lives with her family outside Montpelier, Vermont.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 28, 2011

    Friendship and Martinis

    A few years back I was in the bookstore looking for something to take to the beach with me, when the title Bubbles Ablaze caught my eye because, really, how could it not? I devoured it, and quickly whipped through the rest of the Bubbles series which is how I became a fan of its author, Sarah Strohmeyer. So when she offered an advanced copy of her upcoming novel, Kindred Spirits, for review, I jumped at the chance, and I'm so glad I did.

    The book's opening chapter focuses on the end of Lynne Flannery's eight year battle with cancer. Although it is sad, Lynne faces her final hours with grace, dignity and even a little humor. Through Lynne's eyes, we get to know her three best friends; Carol, Mary Kay and Beth. The longtime friendship of these four woman began in young adulthood, but had waned somewhat in more recent years.

    Lynne leaves a letter for the other three women, asking them to do something for her she was unable to accomplish before her death. The three of them of them loaded up in a car to drive from their home in Connecticut to western Pennsylvania in order to fulfill their friend's dying wish. While they explored this unfamiliar part of the country, they also explored parts of themselves and their friendship that were also previously unknown to them. Along the way they share laughter, tears and martinis. Over the course of the trip, it is apparent that by asking them for this favor, Lynne has actually done them an even bigger favor because their friendship strengthens.

    It may start with a death, but Kindred Spirits is truly a celebration of life. Sarah Strohmeyer is able to weave together the separate stories of these four women into one story about the life affirming power of friendship. It will remind women to nourish friendships because those friendships are what helps us through the trials of life. And do I even need to mention the great martini recipes?

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011

    ugh

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't waste your time...unless you like boring, perdictable, stereotypical, preachy, close-minded drivel. Then you are welcome to it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    Highly Recommend! A Journey of Best Friends...

    Last week, I received a special package in the mail. In this package was the newest (KINDRED SPIRITS) from Sarah Strohmeyer, after a long wait and multiple rewrites. And let me tell you, it was worth the time that she took to get it perfect. This is her best yet.

    Cried in the first chapter, as it reminded me of what my brother was going through before he died. So there, that was the hard part, getting through that first chapter while wondering if tissues should be kept handy. Lynne had fought her fight, and then had made the final decision.

    However, there was something that she needed her three best friends to do for her, that she had been unable to accomplish before her death. And so, these three start the journey whilst fulfilling Lynne's request that they partake of a different martini each night. There was much laughter as they remembered the good times they had shared, and there are tears for their friend. As they take this trip, they also learn more about themselves and what love means.

    The love these friends shared was the hook that got me. None were perfect, but it was the love that shone through. It was sentimental without being sappy. Loving and funny, without detracting from the loss of their dearest friend.

    So now, I sit and contemplate what book to read next. There are many from my Mount To-Be-Read that I could consider. Or maybe start reading the books that I will be judging. But really, I just want to sit and absorb and think on how wonderful this book was..and maybe even read it again.

    Now, I eagerly await the official release of KINDRED SPIRITS by Sarah Strohmeyer, as this is definitely going to be my gift book of choice this year. Besides wanting the final version as my own keeper, I also have dear friends and loved ones who will appreciate it.

    This is definitely a book to share with your dearest friends, as life may be short, but the love continues to grow.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A real testament to friendship

    With many things in common it's understandable how "The Ladies Society for the Conservation of Martinis" came to be for Lynne, Mary Kay, Beth and Carol when on a fateful PTA meeting night they became friends and eventually confidantes. It's with a heavy heart that Lynne celebrates her last Martini as she finishes the letters that will take her friends on a journey of discovery.
    Mary Kay, Beth and Carol find it hard to complete Lynne's last wish as they reel from her death. But the reeling isn't done, in fact it's just beginning. Lynne's been keeping a secret one that will leave the remaining friends not only scratching their heads, but also running for the drink shaker. As they start on their trip of revelation they will not only learn more about Lynne but about themselves as well and not all of it's good because Lynne isn't the only one keeping secrets.
    Sarah Strohmeyer is a new author to me and I found her storyline well thought out and presented and her dialogue easy to understand and flowing. I think what surprised me the most was that even though I found myself not liking two of the main characters I still couldn't put the book down. It came to me then that, this is the mark of a good writer, one where even though you want to strangle the character you're still driven to find out where the story leads you. And as we evolve as readers this is an important lesson to learn. So let's talk about the characters, Ms. Strohmeyer does a great job of cultivating these women so that her audience feels they know them personally and I did as well and even though there were some choices that I had trouble with, isn't that the way of life. She also paints a great picture of the co-stars so that by the end of the story I felt that I knew everyone very well.
    So is this a love story, yes, but not as a romance. It's a love of friends, of children and in the end a love of yourself, there is romantic love as well but it's peripheral. It's a great way to start the summer, it's a Lucy and Ethel, a Golden Girls only younger, it's a Thelma and Louise times two only not fatal friendship tale. It's a lesson in life, a lesson in love and a lesson in the grace of absolution. So if you love any of these descriptions you will love this book and even if you don't you'll find it hard to put this away before it ends and you'll find yourself going back to it again and again.
    Thank you Ms. Strohmeyer for an enlightening read and I look forward to more of your work in the future.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Sarah Strohmeyers's Best Novel Yet!

    Sarah Strohmeyer (author of Cinderella Pact and The Sleeping Beauty Proposal) has outdone herself in her newest novel, Kindred Spirits. In this novel, we meet four women who form an unlikely friendship brought together after a difficult PTA meeting and the concoction of their favorite cocktail, the martini. Thus the Ladies Society for the Conservation of Martinis is formed. Through the years they re-create and perfect the delicious cocktail while their friendship continues to grow and strengthen. These women essentially become sisters. They see each other through wonderful, exciting times in their lives; and they also support each other through various difficult, life-changing situations. After the tragic loss of one of their beloved group members, the remaining three friends find themselves traveling across state lines to fulfill a last request, and finding themselves forced to question where they are in their lives and whether they should go on with their lives with business as usual. Sarah Strohmeyer has gone from writing chick-lit, beach-read novels to now writing a substantial, compelling story about the strength of female friendships. One can't help but feel very deeply about Mary Kay, Beth, Carol and Lynne. This story affirms the strength of the female bond and how even after death love lives on. Every woman, who after reading this book, will want to gather their girlfriends for their own meeting of the Ladies Society for the Conservation of Martinis.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Tears and laughter - worth reading!

    KINDRED SPIRITS is a book that will stay with you long after you've finished it. Filled with emotion (keep a box of Kleenex by your side), it is the story of four women and the friendship and loyalty they feel towards each other, and what they go through when one of them loses her battle with cancer. Carol, Mary Kay, and Beth, the three friends closest to Lynne, go on an adventure they will never forget, and it is all because of their love and friendship for a woman who changed their lives. The reader is introduced to Lynne in the very first chapter, beautifully written and giving the reader a sense of calm. It is a lovely fall afternoon in New England. The leaves are turning; change is in the air. We feel that Lynne is in a good place. She is humming to herself, "Girls just want to have fun". She is cleaning house, getting rid of things she no longer needs, thinking of the future she will not have, the grandchildren she will never know. And, with a blink of an eye, she is gone. She has left one last request for her friends to take care of, a somewhat daunting task. In a letter that was to be opened by the three women upon Lynne's death, she reveals a huge secret that no one knows - not even her husband. Now was the time for things to be made right, and she knows she can count on her best friends. This secret, once it comes out in the open, will change the lives of many, including those closest to Lynne, a secret that should have come out years ago, but because of many different reasons Lynne kept this secret to herself, never confiding in her best friends, never letting even her husband know. It is up to the three women to bring things full circle and do the right thing. While they are reunited in their quest to complete Lynne's dying wishes, they look back on their friendship, the years they had spent together, and the reason that brought them back together again. They also look at the relationships with their families, their husbands or boyfriends, and think about their own secrets that they are harboring as well, secrets that should come out in order to make things right. Lynne's death, in a way, is a catalyst that forces them to fix what is wrong in their own lives. Sarah Strohmeyer has come a long way from her "Bubbles" days. While have I always loved a fun lighthearted romp, my favorite book is one that pulls my heart strings and makes me feel. KINDRED SPIRITS had me in tears, but it also made me smile. While the theme of this book is that of loss and friendship, it is not a dark book by any means. There are plenty of fun moments and laughter. I really loved the road trip the three of them take in order to complete Lynne's last wishes. It helped develop the three ladies' characters and is what allows us to really understand what is going on with each of them. My favorite scene has to be the one that takes place in a bar in a hotel filled with engineers, and for those who need to know, the book does end on an upbeat note, but even that last scene will bring tears. If you are lucky enough to pick up this book, savor it as you read it. I suggest having a martini by your side in honor of the four women of KINDRED SPIRITS, and possibly trying one or two of the recipes that are scattered throughout the book, if you love martinis that is, courtesy of "The Ladies Society for the Conservation of Marshfield, 1966".

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2012

    Likeable story, but nothing noteworthy about it. I wasn't "

    Likeable story, but nothing noteworthy about it. I wasn't
    "wow"ed by this novel. It wasn't a story that hasn't been told
    before. There was nothing written about friendships and relationships
    that hasn't been said before. That said, Sarah Strohmeyer has a
    companionable writing style and solid storytelling skills.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Really Wanted to Love It

    From all the positive reviews and the other Strohmeyer books I have read and enjoyed, I had high hopes for this one and my hopes were dashed. 3 middle-aged women set out to fulfill their really-deceased friend's last request and they all do some soul-searching along the way. The ending was very predictable and I found that I did not relate to any of the characters (granted I am not a middle-aged woman yet but usually that does not matter). Disappointed that I bought this book when I could have gotten from library.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    The laughter and tears will make it hard to put down.

    This book is quite different than the other Sarah Stromeyer books I have loved. The story focuses on the relationships of 4 women who are close friends for many years after becoming acquainted at a PTA meeting. They form the Society for the Preservation of Martinis. Brought together in a whole new venture when Lynne dies after losing her long battle with cancer,they put their lives on hold to fulfill Lynne's last request of them. The remaining trio promised to clean out Lynne's personal things after her death. They find surprising unfinished business that Lynne had hidden from everyone in her life. She asks the Society members to go on a road trip to tell her mother that she has died and to find the daughter, unwillingly given up at birth, that no one knew Lynne had. Lynne hadn't spoken to or about her mother since before she arrived in town as a teenager running away from pain and betrayal that she couldn't deal with. The story is thought provoking and emotionally riveting. Every woman who is fortunate enough to have had the unconditional love of friends will relate to the characters. Every man who says he can't understand what makes women tick should read this book. PS It also has some great martini recipes!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Definately recommend

    Having lost a close friend to cancer 8 years and one month on the day I started this book, the first chapters were had to get through. It took many, many tissues. Insightful, peacefull, and filled with love.

    While some of the adventures and especially the ending were predictable, the story made me long for the days I had girlfriends. I enjoyed the book a great deal even though it made me cry.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2012

    great read

    My whole book club loved this book! You think it's going to be a predictable friend story and it's not. It provoked alot of emotion from me, laughing to crying, love it when a book does that. You could connect with the characters and you liked them they were believable!
    Enjoyable read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great story about friendships

    A great story about women who have a great loss and prove to grow in the proces. Didn't want this book to end.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The bonds of friendship.....

    This novel takes the reader on a path of a beautiful friendship between four amazing women. They experience the ups and downs of life without losing sight of the bond they share. I laughed and cried and made a promise to myself to make some martinis with my very best friends. This novel is definitely worth noticing and youll be glad that you decided to immerse yourself in their story.

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    A must read! I highly recommend this heartwarming story!

    Kindred Spirits is a heartwarming tale of life, friendship, family, devotion and martinis! The story about four best friends and their struggles in life remind us all of what's really important in our lives. Strohmeyer's writing style grabs the reader and pulls her into the story right away. It's difficult to put down after you begin. I love the Bubbles stories and the fairy tale titled stories also by Strohmeyer. However, they are very different than Kindred Spirits, much more light-hearted reading. But, Strohmeyer's writing gets better with every word that she writes! This is an excellent read! You must indulge!

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    Posted September 20, 2011

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    Posted August 15, 2011

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