A Friend in Need

A friendship can transcend any barrier. From ancient China to the modern South, from Ireland to Afghanistan, these books all explore the meaning of friendship.

The Joy Luck Club

By Amy Tan

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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.

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Future Homemakers of America

By Laurie Graham

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

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Pearl of China, a Novel

By Anchee Min

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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.
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As Young as We Feel

By Melody Carlson

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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.
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The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

By Lisa Verge Higgins

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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?

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Waiting to Exhale

By Terry McMillan

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"... 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."

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The Van

By Roddy Doyle

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"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."
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The Reading Group

By Elizabeth Noble

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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.

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The Kite Runner

By Khaled Hosseini

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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.

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The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary and Sewing Circle

By Lois Battle

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"'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."

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