A Friend in Need

Bob Greene

After meeting up at their 25th high school reunion, three buddies take leave of their jobs and families to take a cross-country road trip, not only to experience America in full bloom but also to discover truths about themselves.

Lorna Landvik

Gathering at the Minneapolis hospital where one of them is a patient, five women remember the endless winter thirty years earlier, when they started the Freesia Court Book Club and became friends for life. Like life itself, the book has both funny and sad moments. It follows the women and their families through the personal and societal changes of the late twentieth century.

Melody Carlson
The first work in a lively new Boomer series features the eventful reunion of four old friends, each at a crossroads in her life. They're about to explore the invigorating reality that even the most eventful life has second acts.
Rebecca Wells

When Siddalee Walker, oldest daughter of Vivi Abbott Walker, Ya-Ya extraordinaire, is interviewed in the New York Times about a hit play she's directed, her mother gets described as a "tap-dancing child abuser." Enraged, Vivi disowns Sidda. Devastated, Sidda begs forgiveness, and postpones her upcoming wedding. All looks bleak until the Ya-Yas step in and convince Vivi to send Sidda a scrapbook of their girlhood mementos, called "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood."

Check out the film starring Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, and Ashley Judd.

Fannie Flagg

"Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is the now-classic novel of two women in the 1980s; of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women - of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth - who back in the '30s ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder. And as the past unfolds, the present - for Evelyn and for us - will never be quite the same again...."
(Audiobook summary)

Laurie Graham

A warm, witty, poignant story that follows the friendships of five Air Force wives and an Englishwoman, from post-WW II to the 1990s.

John Steinbeck
Tells a story about the strange relationship of two migrant workers, who are able to realize their dreams of an easy life until one of them succumbs to his weakness for soft, helpless creatures and strangles the farmer's wife. Tragic tale of a retarded man and the friend who loves and tries to protect him.
Anchee Min
In the small southern town of Chin-kiang, in the last days of the nineteenth century, young Willow and young Pearl S. Buck, the headstrong daughter of zealous Christian missionaries, bump heads and embark on a friendship that will sustain both of them through one of the most tumultuous periods in Chinese history.
Lisa See

In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, or "old same," in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The two women exchange messages written on silk fans and handkerchieves using nu shu, a unique language that women created in order to communicate in secret, sharing their experiences, but when a misunderstanding arises, their friendship threatens to tear apart.

Lois Battle

"'We've been screwed blued and tattooed,' quips Hilly Pruitt at hearing the news of the closing of Cherished Lady, the local lingerie factory. Hilly, along with many other women in Florabama, have been relying on the factory for their livelihood for years. As Hilly always says; 'Life is like a dog sled: If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes.'

"The same day the plant closes, Bonnie Duke Cullman begins her drive through a Gulf Coast storm to the first real job of her life. Her country-club-and-charity-committee existence has come to an end as abruptly as her marriage. In short, she too has been downsized. But luckily for Bonnie, she does have a job to go to: she's been hired to run a "Displaced Homemakers Program" for a podunk community college where the ex-bra seamstresses of Cherished Lady await her wisdom.

"In an unlikely alliance, Bonnie and the Florabama women join together in a midlife survival course where the events of a single year forever alter the way they see the world and their places in it. Despite their very different lineages, they find common ground in the longings and dreams we all share: for community, identity, security, and for love."

Amy Tan

In 1949 four Chinese women drawn together by the shadow of their past begin meeting in San Francisco to play mah jong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and 'say' stories. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club.

On Film:
Originally released in 1993,this film adaptation is full of vibrant characters.

Khaled Hosseini

Traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant's son in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan's monarchy through the atrocities of the present day.

Sandra Dallas

This magical, memorable novel explores the ties that unite women through good times and bad. It is the 1930s, and hard times have hit Harleyville, Kansas, where crops are burning up and there's not a job to be found. For one young farm wife, the highlight of each week is the gathering of the Persian Pickle Club, a group of locals dedicated to improving their minds, exchanging gossip, and putting their well-honed quilting skills to good use.

Lisa Verge Higgins

Three women, unable to confront the problems of their own lives, have in common a friend with a generous soul, an irrepressible spirit-- and a serious illness. In her final letters, Rachel raises one question: what makes a friend live in our hearts forever?

Elizabeth Noble

What starts out as a lark of an idea, born from a glass of wine and a need to socialize, turns into a forum for five very different women who walk complicated paths--but soon discover the power and importance of friendship.

Roddy Doyle
"Jimmy Rabbitte Sr. is unemployed, spending his days alone and miserable. When his best friend, Bimbo, also gets laid off, they keep busy by being miserable together. Things seem to look up when they buy a decrepit fish-and-chip van and go into business, selling cheap grub to the drunk and the hungry--and keeping one step ahead of the environmental health officers. Set during the heady days of Ireland's brief, euphoric truimphs in the 1990 World cup, The Van is a tender and hilarious tale of male friendship and family life."
Terry McMillan

"... a wise, earthy story of a friendship between four African American women who lean on each other while 'waiting to exhale,' waiting for that man who will take their breath away."