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Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits

3.4 33
by Sarah Strohmeyer

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After one fateful PTA meeting, 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, toasting to their blossoming friendship with the clink of their sacred martini glasses.

Two years later, when Lynne passes away suddenly,


After one fateful PTA meeting, 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, toasting to their blossoming friendship with the clink of their sacred martini glasses.

Two years later, when Lynne passes away suddenly, she leaves behind one simple request: that her old friends sort through her belongings. The women reunite to rummage through her closets, and buried deep within Lynne’s lingerie drawer, they find an envelope addressed to their little society…

Inside is a letter that reveals Lynn’s shocking secret and last wish, sending the women on a life-changing journey that will reveal to them that nothing is more powerful than the will of a true girlfriend—and a good, strong martini.

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.

Jodi Picoult
"Kindred Spirits is just what you need to toast to the power of female friendship."
Kristin Hannah
"A compelling story about love, loss, martinis, and the power of friendship."
Emily Giffin
“Another irresistible tale from Sarah Strohmeyer. Both funny and moving, Kindred Spirits captures the rich complexity of friendship and will ring true with women everywhere.”
Meg Cabot
“Opening a book by Sarah Strohmeyer is like opening a box of chocolates—sweet, a little nutty, and absolutely irresistible”
From the Publisher
"Kindred Spirits is just what you need to toast to the power of female friendship." — Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of House Rules

"A compelling story about love, loss, martinis, and the power of friendship." — Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of Night Road

“Another irresistible tale from Sarah Strohmeyer. Both funny and moving, Kindred Spirits captures the rich complexity of friendship and will ring true with women everywhere.” — Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author of Heart of the Matter

“Opening a book by Sarah Strohmeyer is like opening a box of chocolates—sweet, a little nutty, and absolutely irresistible” — Meg Cabot, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Princess Diaries

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Sarah Strohmeyer is the bestselling author of ten previous novels, including The Cinderella Pact and the popular Bubbles series. She lives with her family outside Montpelier, Vermont.

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Kindred Spirits 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
MyNameIsCat More than 1 year ago
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?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't waste your time...unless you like boring, perdictable, stereotypical, preachy, close-minded drivel. Then you are welcome to it.
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
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.
ReadingMermaid More than 1 year ago
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.
Dana77 More than 1 year ago
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.
ILgirl07 More than 1 year ago
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.
BethHC More than 1 year ago
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!
SisterZip More than 1 year ago
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.
Ratmammy More than 1 year ago
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".
Debby More than 1 year ago
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.
PureJonel More than 1 year ago
This was an emotionally intense tale that had me in tears more than once.  My heart kept breaking for the characters, but each time I thought I couldn’t take any more the author brought me back with the hope and love displayed by the characters.  It was also a unique and captivating tale that kept me coming back for more.  Strohmeyer’s tale was well put together, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the story.  It was also very poignant and made me rethink a number of concepts.  Strohmeyer’s tact when dealing with some potentially controversial topics made that much easier. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this novel.  The 4 friends were so much fun that you can’t help but love them.  The journeys that they are on, both together and individually, make for some interesting events.  Getting to know them all was a real treat. The overall feeling that I had upon completion of this novel was one of contentment.  Although shocked more than once throughout the novel, the conclusion was quite compelling.  I’d recommend it to those who enjoy an emotional rollercoaster and who don’t mind some rather controversial topics.
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KER40 More than 1 year ago
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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