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Special gifts for Mom: You wouldn't be here without her
There are certain things that just come naturally to women. Having children, giving advice, and making friends rank right up there with their most admired. Four new books deal with these feminine subjects in delightfully charming ways. They will appeal to women of all ages and stations.
Friends for more than 25 years, columnist Ellen Goodman and novelist/journalist Patricia O'Brien get to the heart of what friendship between women is all about in I Know Just What You Mean (Simon & Schuster, $24, 0684842874). Incorporating numerous interviews with close friends from all walks of life, this incredible book examines friendships that begin in kindergarten and in nursing homes, those that fell by the wayside for a number of years and then resumed, and those that endured hardships and tragedy. Goodman and O'Brien also discuss famous friendships, both real and fictional, and tie the entire package together with an insightful ongoing regarding their own friendship. This is a remarkable book, sure to touch the heart of every woman who cherishes her female friends.
Friendship is also the central topic of Lynne Hinton's charming novel, Friendship Cake (HarperSan Francisco, $20, 0688171478). In an effort to keep their Women's Guild alive and active, the good ladies of the Hope Springs Community Church have decided to put together a cookbook. Beatrice, Louise, Margaret, Jessie, and Reverend Charlotte form the Cookbook Committee. In the search for recipes, they find themselves expanding and developing their friendships as they support each other through celebrations and tragedies. Hilarity and healings are shared over Margaret's Sweet Potato Casserole and Louise's Egg Custard Pie. In her first novel, Hinton presents an enchantingly strong story of the all-encompassing power of friendship and love that will be endearing to the hearts of women everywhere. Included at the beginning of each section is a special treat in the form of recipes for the various foods mentioned in the story. A wonderful tale and delicious recipes rolled into one delightful book.
Expanded from her acclaimed College of the Holy Cross commencement address and written in the voice of a trusted big sister and best friend, Maria Shriver's Ten Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Went Out Into The Real World (Warner Books, $19.95, 0446526126) is a poignant, down-to-earth, and at times laugh-out-loud book that will help people of all ages and on all roads in life. Shriver gives us her reflections, confessions, advice, memories, and, most of all, hard-earned lessons - all the things we wish we'd known before we started out, and that few people ever honestly discuss.
It has been said that of all the people you will ever know, you will only have one mother. In Mother and Daughter Reflections (Andrews McMeel; $16.95, 0740704990), Pat Ross examines the roller-coaster ride known as the mother-daughter relationship. Through the beauty of charming black-andwhite photographs, and wisdom of selected quotes from the famous and not-so-famous, Ross gives her readers a wondrously loving gift that should be shared with the one person you wouldn't be here without: your mother.
Sharon Galligar Chance is a book reviewer and freelance writer in Wichita Falls, Texas.