Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship-Lisa Verge Higgins

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship
Lisa Verge Higgins
Five Spot (Grand Central), Jan 26 2011, $13.99
ISBN: 9780446563512

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

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