The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

by Lisa Verge Higgins

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446575126
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 01/26/2011
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,087,351
File size: 568 KB

About the Author

While studying for her Ph.D. in chemistry, RITA finalist Lisa Verge Higgins penned twelve romance novels under her maiden name. THE PROPER CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF FRIENDSHIP is her first foray into mainstream women's fiction.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband, an attorney, and their children.

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Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Rachel Braun, Kate Jansen, Bobbie Jo Marcum, and Sarah Pollard were best friends forever, but three of the foursome did not expect forever to end abruptly with death. Not quite forty, Rachel the bravest of the quartet dies from cancer that she concealed from her BFFs. However, before her death, Rachel wrote letters to each of her buddies daring them to take on the challenge of their greatest fear. Rachel directs house-mom Kate to rekindle the spark of her marriage with Paul that she doused to give her all to their three children. Doctors Without Borders nurse Sarah needs to win back the love of her life Colin who lives a zillion miles away in geography and lifestyle, but who she never moved on from; this requires risking her heart again so that win or lose she wins as she can love again. Jo the businesswoman avoids personal commitment like it's the plague as she learned as a foster child; so single mom Rachel challenges her to raise her seven year old daughter Gracie with the grace she knows the woman has. This well written contemporary buddy book contains plenty of depth as the premise of friends knowing you at times better than you want to admit makes for a strong tale. Rachel from her deathbed provides the impetus to her three BFFs to take risks as she insists you only live once and must make the best of your short time span. No final negative shockers though some spins end surprisingly, fans will enjoy the saga of the three surviving musketeers who understand that life is a risk but with friends who are "all for one and one for all" (Dumas) it can be fulfilling. Harriet Klausner
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
Four very different friends have remained so with much effort, but when tragedy strikes and deathbed requests are made the least that will happen is head scratching, the most will be life changing. Ms. Higgins has a sure to be hit on her hands in this her first foray into mainstream women's literature. The first thing that was apparent to me was her astonishing storytelling capability, the second is her capacity to pull some deep emotions from me while reading. She gives us a heart-wrenching tale that will affect even the most stoic readers and she does this will a gracefully flowing narrative that will transport her readers from the most exotic of locations to the mundane of everyday life. She makes this happen with the most incredibly unforgettable characters not stopping with the stars of her novel but right on down the line to the most minor of roles. Her main characters are outstanding in their density and Ms. Higgins does an excellent job of making them very real to her audience. They were not only authentic in the roles they played but also very multi-dimensionally faceted in their personalities. She did an excellent job of making them believable and at times frustratingly so. This is not a romance even though there are romantic elements to the story it's instead a love story about what it really means to be a friend, what it takes to keep that friendship alive and makes those of us who haven't done that ashamed and looking up names that we have forgotten about along the way of growing up and growing older. Anyone who has ever had a lifelong friendship should not only read this but buy it for that special someone they call friend, every woman who's ever experienced the whole hearted friend love between herself and another woman should experience this awe inspiring novel. And every man who loves a woman will get a better insight into her should he read this tale. So go out and get this the first "Best Read" of 2011, you won't be sorry and you will be a better friend if you do. Kudos to you Ms. Higgins for an inspiring, heart warming and very emotional read.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Kate, Jo, and Sarah, would have never believed their friendship would face the ultimate in tests. They also have one thing in common...Rachel. Rachel was their fourth member of their quartet friendship, whose life, although well lived, was too short. When she dies, she sends each of them a letter asking them to face their greatest fears. Only Rachel and the letter's recipients know the reason for choosing each unusual task that each of them has to endure through the novel, The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship by Lisa Verge Higgins. No friendship ever has to face the many challenges that Kate, Jo, and Sarah must endure, but in doing so, Rachel teaches them that the very things they fear, once conquered, will change them forever. For one, she has lost the spark in her marriage as her role of a mom consumes the person she once was; for another, she questions whether or not, she could ever be a mom after her difficult childhood, when she is asked to be the mom of Rachel's only surviving daughter; and for the last one, sometimes the love that we let go, will leave us struggling with doubts of a past we could have, and keep us from any happiness that comes our way. I love the intimacy of the words that Lisa Higgins uses to tell the struggles each of these women face. I feel like she is talking to us through their lives as a best friend would. I was captivated by the feelings and emotions she pulls from the reader and in witnessing their challenges, it changes us as well. I received the book compliments of Hachette Book Group for my honest review and for this being the first review of the New Year, I needed this one. It begins with a thrill ride from page one when Kate, your average, over booked, soccer mom to three boys and husband finds herself questioning her sanity as she is about to jump out of a plane. I loved it and couldn't put it down until I finished. This one is a stellar read for any women who lives with her own fears that prevent her from moving forward, and rates a 5 out of 5 stars.
LorrieThomson More than 1 year ago
Kudos for The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship! I identified the most with Kate, the mom who needed to jump out of a plane to remember who she was before kids. But I think Jo, the single businesswoman, was the sweetest surprise of all. Loved her journey in which the reader got to know her slowly as she discovered the courage to know herself and heal the hurt child inside her. And, of course, I had a crush on Sam. Who doesn’t love a color-blind gun runner?
BookHounds More than 1 year ago
This story is all about taking chances and getting out of your of comfort zone. Four women, friends forever, find themselves at a loss when one member, Rachel, dies of cancer. She has never told the other three about her condition. Before she dies she sends letters to the other members of the group and makes them face their fears. The requests make each person leave their comfort zone and in the process overcome things that are holding them back in their lives. The story reminded me a bit of the Friday Night Knitting Club and I think it will appeal to those readers as well. Each one of the girls in this group has an issue that once overcome, will help them live a much happier and productive life. There were some laughs and tears while reading this and overall, it was just a nice thing to do for a few hours. I received this book at no charge from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
scoutlee on LibraryThing 26 days ago
Friends Sarah, Bobbie Jo, ¿Jo¿, and Kate are shocked to their core when Rachel, the most daring and vivacious of the group, suddenly dies of cancer. After her passing, each woman receives an unexpected letter from Rachel. In her letters, Rachel requests something of each woman: to experience life outside of her comfort zone.For Kate, that means sky-diving. Kate was spontaneous and care-free before she become a married mom of three. Somewhere along the way her marriage to Paul become routine and stale.Jo is a high-powered business woman aiming for the vice presidency at her company, a position that is so close, she can see the name plate on her office door. Rachel¿s request for her is to become her daughter¿s legal guardian. And Jo knows absolutely nothing about being anyone¿s mother.Rachel¿s request of Sarah is to reconnect wtih her one true love. Either Sarah makes it work with him or find closure so she can move on and find love again.The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship is a book about taking risks. Leaving what¿s comfortable in order to discover the treasures life has to offer. As each woman fulfills Rachel¿s requests, she learns valuable lessons about the woman she once was and the woman she has now become. Rachel¿s presence is very much felt throughout the book, making her a significant character. I enjoyed how the author used her letters and flashbacks to tell her story. I could vividly picture Rachel as I was reading.I¿ve been looking forward to The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship since I first heard about it last summer. I¿m very pleased to say it was worth the wait. Highly recommended.
whitreidtan on LibraryThing 26 days ago
When you look at your own life, do you see the things that might be out of balance? Do you recognize when you lose a part of yourself that you should never have allowed to slip away? Can you see the past as it really was without romanticizing it? For friends Jo, Kate, and Sarah, the answers to these questions are a resounding "No" but they are going to be offered the chance to see their lives as their friend Rachel saw them and scariest of all, to change. The novel opens with Kate, a married mother of three who is afraid of flying, standing in the doorway of an airplane ready to skydive for the very first time. She is terrified but this is Rachel's dying wish for her: to jump out of an airplane. Each of the three women have letters delivered to them after their bright, vibrant friend Rachel dies of cancer unexpectedly (unexpected in that she didn't tell her three friends she was dying). The letters challenge the women. They ruffle their worlds, sending shockwaves into lives all around them. Kate used to be a risk-taker, spontaneous and fun. Now she's subsumed her personality in her marriage and her children. She's content enough but when she fulfills Rachel's directive to jump out of the plane, she finds that content is not enough and that she needs to experience the wild joy and blazing happiness she used to feel. Jo is all career woman with no roots. She doesn't rely on anyone and doesn't want anyone to rely on her outside of her job. And yet Rachel chooses to make Jo her young daughter's guardian, trusting that Jo has a great store of love and understanding inside herself. She offers Jo not only her daughter but also a sense of connection. Sarah has spent years working as a nurse in some of the most challenging spots in the world but she is unable to let go of one man in her past. Rachel's final request of Sarah? Find Dr. Colin O'Rourke and either make it work or let it go and move on, able to live a full life. The novel is quite clearly chronicles the growth and "coming of age" (despite their ages) of each of the three women through the insight of their late friend. It is also a novel of connection and friendship between women. Jo, Kate, and Sarah are very different people who have maintained a close friendship despite their differences and their different paths in life and it is fitting that together they must weather the trials set out for them by Rachel since it was Rachel who originally brought them together. Each of the characters is well drawn and unique. I did have one quibble about them though: Jo's caricature as a career woman who immediately makes a muddle of her life once she has Grace is a bit stereotypical and over the top. And while I suspect that many people would at least try to honor a dear, dear friend's final request of them, Rachel's uncanny knowledge of exactly how each of her friends needs to grow as a person and what action will make that happen is the tiniest bit deus ex machina. Overall though, this is a nice friendship and growth story. Fans of women's fiction will appreciate the connections between the women and enjoy the reminder to live life to the fullest each and every moment.
SilversReviews on LibraryThing 26 days ago
Letters, letters, letters...did yours arrive yet?They weren't letters you would want to receive, though. They were letters from Rachel, a dear friend who had died unexpectedly, and contained her last wishes for each friend to carry out. Would you go to great lengths to fulfill a friend's dying wish? Most of the requests were outlandish, but were sent to be sure her friends would find happiness or do something they would never dream of doing. She really wanted all of her friends to improve something in their lives. Of course the friends felt obligated to carry out the requests even though Kate felt hers seemed to be the most daring and Jo argued that what could be worse than the one she received...but then came Sarah's.....all agreed hers seemed the most fun. They also thought that the attorney had mixed up the letters...how could Rachel expect Kate and Jo to complete these requests. Or maybe she knew something they didn't know about what was best for her friends? The book is refreshing, light, and at times a teary read that lets you enjoy some adventures both good and bad with the characters. It also makes you realize that sometimes unexpected circumstances are just what you need even though you don¿t think you could even come close to being able to achieve the goal. As her dear friends gathered at the grave for the year anniversary of Rachel¿s death, they all agreed: ¿Rachel didn¿t want us to through it alone.¿ Page 335
bookaholicmom on LibraryThing 26 days ago
Looking at the cover of this book I was expecting a light chick lit type of book but there was much more to this book. Before Rachel dies, she leaves each one of her friends a letter asking them to do a special task. Each one is different and each one takes the recipient out of her comfort zone and will really test each woman in ways even I didn't see coming. Rachel wanted to help each woman grow and help them even if she could no longer be there. The characters are well developed and the story flowed wonderfully. I was worried it might be choppy and jump around a bit being about three women going in different directions but it was written very beautifully. I loved how Rachel was very much a part of the story even though she wasn't really there. I loved the book. If you like to read books about friendships than I think you will enjoy this book.There is a reading group guide included. It would be a great book for a book club. These women are so different and there would be much to discuss.
mawshimp on LibraryThing 26 days ago
Writing letters to your friends from your death bed...that's an interesting idea to explore. What would your friends do with those letters? Would they really do what you asked them to do? This book was a quick read. I felt the characters were a bit 'extreme' characterizations but I still ended up connecting with each of them, understanding their choices, including a tear or two at the end.
kherbrand on LibraryThing 26 days ago
This book begins with Kate, a stay-at-home mom afraid of flying, getting ready to jump out of an airplane - to skydive. She has been sent on this "mission" by a letter that she received from one of her dear friends Rachel. Rachel has passed away and sent a letter to many of her friends and family with last requests. This book focuses on three of those - Kate's, Jo's and Sarah's. They were brought together by Rachel and the four of them had remained good friends despite their differences. As I stated, Kate was a SAHM then we have Jo - a single workaholic, and Sarah - a nurse who worked overseas in many unpleasant areas. When Rachel dies, unexpectedly to them, but something she was well aware of, she sent each of them letters with one last request. These requests led them on journeys in which they learned to let go and began to hold on. Rachel pushed each one of them to do something they would never have done on their own, which led them to discover things about themselves that they may never have seen. This is a great story about the strength of women's friendships and the bonds that they share. If you are looking for a book for your book club, this would be a good one. There is also a reading group guide available.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HAVING HAD GREAT WOMEN FRIENDS FOR MANY YEARS, THIS BOOK RESONATED WITH ME ON SO MANY LEVELS. THE CHARACTERS ARE WELL DEVELOPED, IT WAS A PAGE TURNER. I WANTED TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED NEXT BUT CRIED WHEN I READ THE FINAL PAGE BECAUSE I WANTED MORE.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Captured my attention from the start and kept it the whole way through! An inspiring read, i hope you enjoy it as much as i did.
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kherbrand More than 1 year ago
This book begins with Kate, a stay-at-home mom afraid of flying, getting ready to jump out of an airplane - to skydive. She has been sent on this "mission" by a letter that she received from one of her dear friends Rachel. Rachel has passed away and sent a letter to many of her friends and family with last requests. This book focuses on three of those - Kate's, Jo's and Sarah's. They were brought together by Rachel and the four of them had remained good friends despite their differences. As I stated, Kate was a SAHM then we have Jo - a single workaholic, and Sarah - a nurse who worked overseas in many unpleasant areas. When Rachel dies, unexpectedly to them, but something she was well aware of, she sent each of them letters with one last request. These requests led them on journeys in which they learned to let go and began to hold on. Rachel pushed each one of them to do something they would never have done on their own, which led them to discover things about themselves that they may never have seen. This is a great story about the strength of women's friendships and the bonds that they share. If you are looking for a book for your book club, this would be a good one. There is also a reading group guide available.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago