As soon as I started Sarah Strohmeyer's Kindred Spirits, I thought, here we go again; another novel about a group of women, and a friend that died of cancer. And, I was right. For a while, I felt as if I was reading a story I'd read before. But, somewhere in the middle, Strohmeyer's characters grabbed on to me, and I found myself crying in parts of the story. There's nothing really new in this book. However, it has that message about friendship and life that bears repeating, "It's the journey, not the destination."
Lynne Flannery endured cancer treatments for eight years before finally giving up and committing suicide. When she died, she left behind a husband, two sons, and three friends. Beth, Carol, and Mary Kay had bonded with Lynne years earlier, drinking martinis after a bad PTA meeting. Their friendship grew into the Ladies Society for the Conservation of Martinis. And, then Lynne had one last request for her friends. Find the daughter she gave up for adoption when she was just a teenager, a child none of her friends knew she had.
Their trip on Lynne's behalf was only a four-day drive around Connecticut. But, the women had the time to examine problems in their lives and make some decisions, while mourning and celebrating Lynne's life. There are marital issues, lies, family issues to clear up. As I said before, there's really nothing special about the women or the trip. In fact, the large quantities of martinis seem a little ghoulish at times. But, some of the comments about family connections, mothers and daughters, hit home.
Don't read Sarah Strohmeyer's novel expecting anything unusual. However, Kindred Spirits provides another opportunity for women to examine their lives, and their friendships. In the end, these women's novels celebrate us; our lives, our families, our mothers, our sisters, and our friendships. Kindred Spirits is one more story showing how strong women are, and how our friendships enable us to be strong. It's worth reading to celebrate us.
Sarah Strohmeyer's website is www.SarahStrohmeyer.com
Kindred Spirits by Sarah Strohmeyer. Dutton. ©2011. ISBN 9780525952220 (hardcover), 304p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me an Advanced Copy, hoping I would review it.