Friday, September 19, 2014

To Quote My Other Ex...

Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger, eds., My Other Ex: Women's True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends (2014).

For today's Quick Takes linkup I'd hoped to post a (seven-point) review of this worthwhile new essay collection, but-- my kids had other plans, some of which involved overturning a chair and using its inverted back as a slide.  So I'm still turning pages and piling up Kleenex... Trust me, these essays are so moving and so relatable that you'll raid the guest room for that half-used box of tissues!

Anyway, while I'm incapable of pulling my thoughts together for a thorough "review" (must do this later), I thought I'd share some of the quotes I've highlighted in my Kindle copy.  They'll give you some idea of the caliber of these writers, who evoke lost friendships-- theirs, mine, yours-- with bittersweet accuracy.  I've been these people.  I've had these conversations.

1.  "I talked until my voice hurt, until I was unsure which revelations were true and which parts were simply a reflection of a person who seemed so much stronger than I am."  ~Angela Amman

2.  "High school happened.  Different interests happened.  Cliques happened.  And I let them happen.  But it seems like somehow there's more to it than that, although I've never been able to pinpoint what."  ~Shannan Younger

3.  "What I wanted was our uncanny simpatico, each of us adding another building block to the conversation until it towered and toppled and we started a new one." ~Andrea Jarrell

4. "Sitting across from me, stroking her baby's velvety head, scared about her marriage, she must have seen my relief.  She must have seen the slightest glimmer of smugness I felt..."  ~Andrea Jarrell

5.  "We tiptoed through our first long-distance fights, parsing them afterward until we each were okay.  We grew secure enough to talk through jealousies, neediness, imagined insults.  We always worked it out."  ~Cheryl Suchors

6.  "I could hear the hollow in her voice as she congratulated me on my initial announcement of pregnancy. . . ."  ~Elline Lipkin

7.  "When I started crying, Noah hugged me.  I tried to remember who I was before I was Mommy, when I was Chloe's best friend, when I was Jen."  ~Jennifer Simon

Amazing, aren't they?  Alongside that clutch of pain in my chest (more tissues, please!), I'm feeling some serious writer's envy.

Thanks for visiting-- and please check out Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!


  1. Oh wow - now that does sound painful - and some of it familiar.

    1. Yes-- this book definitely has me revisiting old hurts (both received and inflicted)! I think there's an element of healing, though, in mentally outlining my own stories and how I might tell them to an outside audience.

  2. Thank you so much for this lovely review, Rae. It is amazing how healing reading and relating to these stories has been for me, too. I'm very grateful for our friendship and your amazing support.

    1. Thank you, Shannan! You're a wonderful writer-- and a wonderful friend, too!!