The Best of Friends: Martha and Me

The Best of Friends: Martha and Me

by Mariana Pasternak


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061661280
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/12/2011
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 850,707
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Mariana Pasternak grew up in Romania and immigrated to the United States as a political refugee. The mother of two daughters, she has been a biomedical engineer and has held other positions involving computer-based research and development. For the past twenty years, she has been working as a realtor in Connecticut, where she lives.

Table of Contents

Prologue: August 1997 1

Part I First Encounter

1 Martha at the Gate 9

2 Coming to America 23

3 Martha, Matron of Honor 47

Part II The Best of Friends

4 A Friendship Grows in Westport 61

5 All Good Things 73

6 After Andy 91

7 Starting Over 103

8 Two Women 125

9 To the Ends of the Earth 143

10 A Queen Among the Pyramids 163

11 Skylands 191

12 Courting Danger at Machu Picchu 209

Part III Death of the Heart

13 Piranhas in the Amazon 227

14 The Barefoot Contessa 247

15 Martha Goes Public 275

16 The Queen on Her Throne 285

17 Martha Moves to Bedford and Goes Global 309

18 The Beginning of the End 325

19 Into the Quicksand 347

Part IV The End of the Affair

20 The Investigation 359

21 The Trial 377

Acknowledgments 397

Customer Reviews

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The Best of Friends: Martha and Me 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
aConsideredOpinion More than 1 year ago
As many others have commented, this book is disorganized, repetitive, and BORING. The author's narcissism painfully permeates every page--a mix of grandiosity and entitlement that quickly renders her unlikeable. Wanting to persuade us that she's special, she clutters the book with pseudo-intellectual commentary that will absolutely put you to sleep. As other readers have commented, Ms. Pasternak comes across as spoiled, parasitic, and spiteful, with a "whiny pretentiousness (that) just takes the cake." She seems to be obsessed with a need to ruin Martha Stewart's reputation but tries to disguise her vendetta with occasional "faint praise" that rings hollow. At the same time, she actually wants us to perceive her as a humble, loving, and loyal friend who unselfishly sacrificed more than she gained. Not believable. By the end, I questioned most of her perceptions. This is not an insightful book about M. Stewart or female friendships; there's nothing to learn from its 398 pages. I expected the book to leave me with some empathy for Ms. Pasternak. Instead, I wholeheartedly regret that I've contributed to her royalties. Wish I could take it back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and found this an enjoyable read. This well written lyrical memoir is about the friendship between two unlikely women. Through travel adventures, dinner parties and weekend antiquing, the author offers a look into the lives of the rich and famous. This delightful read is loaded with entertaining adventures and private details of a two decade friendship. I would recommend this lively autobiography for anyone who is interested in the Martha Stewart mystique.
bookgirl53 More than 1 year ago
After reading some of the negative reviews, I am not sure we all read the same book. Ms. Pasternak may not have been the best writer, but I think she probably captured the essence of a long time friendship and it's demise. While I am actually an admirer of Martha Stewart and am fascinated by her, I do believe she is probably very much as portrayed in this book. I have read too many similar accounts by other friends and business associates. She is extremely gifted and talented, powerful and rich, but sadly I don't think she knows how to be a true friend. I feel sorry for Ms. Pasternak and for Martha.
TRAVELandSTYLE More than 1 year ago
For twenty years, the author, Mariana Pasternak, and Martha Stewart were inseparable BFF's. They struggled over similar issues and were intimately joined by the hopes and disappointments of their shared desire to find the men of their lives. The book is filled with scenes of passions and betrayals set against the background of beautiful homes, exquisite gardens, exclusive playgrounds of the rich and famous, over-the-top parties, and adventurous trips to the ends of the world, with abundant details of Martha's personal life, which were never made public before. On the surface their friendship looked idyllic, although Martha rigidly dominated the relationship, but in the end Pasternak drew boundaries, when Stewart involved her as a witness in the famous investigation and trial centered around Martha's sale of stock. That destroyed their friendship and ravaged both women's lives.
XX More than 1 year ago
The two women were happy to water the seeds of self destruction that they painstakingly planted in their friendship. The author writes about how she got into this relationship and why she got out of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mariana does a very good job telling a complex story of friendship. What is most impressive with her book, is her own self awareness of her participation in a not so healthy friendship. She's incredibly honest and takes ownership of her faults. Even though she reflects (as an afterthought) of some of Martha's action as it pertains to their friendship and her friendship with others as well as with men, she also allows the reader to decide for themselves by not personalizing every action of Martha's. A very well written book for a tell all.
ZTexas More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, I spent an hour last night on Martha Stewart's website and found it much more interesting than the book! Martha's website has photos of her home, friends, trips, her life in general. I found the book to be mostly about the author's "tag-along" lifestyle and her her longing for what "could have been". She did admit freely in the book that Martha was generous and loving with the author's daughters and offered them a world of opportunities and experiences. Ms. Pasternak also offered a unique glimpse inside the intimate friendship she shared with Martha over their kitchen tables. I did not enjoy the book and would not recommend it to anyone.
gazebo More than 1 year ago
This book is so self-serving it's ridiculous. You don't even get the guily pleasure of insider gossip because you can't trust what she's saying. She comes across as very self-absorbed and out to make a buck off knowing a famous person. What a bore!
BrianEWilliams on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I read as far as page 59 before returning this book to the library. It's more about Mariana Pasternak than Martha Stewart, and I have no interest in reading about Ms. Pasternak. An annoying thing about it was that she repeatedly referred to her "fiance" (she eventually married the guy), but she never identified him or provided a name. That is bizarre. (Maybe she names him later in the book). I suspect that most copies of this book will end up in the remainder bins.
Upstate_NewYorker More than 1 year ago
Mediocre writing that demonstrates only the depth of the author's narcissism, her betrayal of trust and friendship, and how neither concept is sacred. The subtle insults throughout show how little respect she has for her alleged best friend of 20 years and the chapter on her emigration from Europe, while tragic in subject matter, was grossly out of place and uninteresting. I'm glad I took this out of the library rather than paying for it - both for the quality and general distaste of helping the author capitalize on her ex-friend's name - and was left with the resounding sureness that Martha Stewart can do better. Even if salacious gossip is the guilty pleasure behind the purchase, a reader would do better to skip this drivel and read about it online.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author comes accross as a greedy, whining whoman who can only brag I was left wondering who took care of her kids because she seemed to be never home I am no fan of Martha Stewart After reading this book I dislike both Martha and her Best Friend.....
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Let's start with the cover. I was barely 3 steps out the B&N door before I discarded it. Proud that with all my discounts I paid less than $7.00 I was still gleefully emabarresed that I actually even bought it. Went to the bar and dug in. After a gripping account of a communist escape and then a lucky US rescue Pasternek plays the victim over and over. Why would anyone draw themselves closer to another despite countless awkward and, according to the author, embarrasing moments? But she does..over the course of no less than 20 years. The author cries poor mouth throughout yet a passage that could read " I reached into my bag" instead reads " I reached into my Hermes Birkin bag" or some such crap. She mentions the designer labels attached to her accessories multiple times. Combine that with endless references to classical music and ancient history and well...yeah. In between there is juicy and cringe worthy stuff about Martha. You might find yourself, as I did, skipping paragraphs and pages in between the juice. In the end (spoiler alert) Pasternek loses her livelihood and has to sell all her expensive material goods because the trial ruins her reputation. That part is kind of endearing. Mostly because you find yourself hoping that she comes to her senses, which with the loss of her own fortune...she does. I wonder if she wishes they'd never met on that fateful day but I doubt it. Just WEIRD.
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Klebo More than 1 year ago
This highly transparent book is all about the author. Starting with the blame game, and blaming Stewart from her divorce, to the break-up of a lover, to her financial downfall. The author's over-all demeanor is of an arrogant and hauty pseudo intellectual that was over the top! A very poorly written piece of work with all kinds of catch phrases. Some parts of this book were written like a college term paper. A clear case of a jealous hero worshipper gone bad. How this book even got published is beyond me.
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