A Prayer for Travelers
A Prayer for Travelers holds at its center two young women trying to survive in a bleak desert town. There’s Cale, a loner who was raised by her grandpa Lamb and is now alone in the world, and Penny, a once-popular girl with a dubious side hustle. The two bond while waitressing at a seedy diner, soon becoming inseparable—though there are still secrets between them, like what kind of trouble Penny’s getting into. When Penny disappears, Cale is determined to search every inch of the desert to bring her friend home. A profound and atmospheric tale about the vastness of friendship, it’ll have you reaching out to the ladies you love.
Text Me When You Get Home
In Text Me When You Get Home, journalist Kayleen Schaefer pens a love letter to female friendship and its evolution across pop culture and modern society. Through interviews with over 100 women about their #squadgoals and BFFs—combined with a thread of her own personal history, including learning to value female friendship after years of being told to put romantic partners first—Schaefer remakes the narrative of competition and catfights into one of meaningful support and lifelong relationships. As she writes, “‘There just isn’t only one love story in our lives.”
Waiting to Exhale
You can’t go wrong with Terry McMillan’s modern classic, helmed by four vibrant and sassy voices—Savannah, Bernadine, Gloria, and Robin—as they support each other through the ups and downs of life, from philandering husbands and floundering business ventures to following their instincts and joyously pursuing their desires. With an added ’90s flare and a sequel 15 years down the road, there’s so much to love in this iconic story of friendship and womanhood.
When Caitlin Somers chooses Victoria Leonard to be her friend, Vix’s world opens. As someone who’s spent her life blending in, becoming friends with Caitlin—the most envied girl in school—means summers on Martha’s Vineyard and a lifelong friendship. But years later, the simplistic relationship they once had has become complicated. And when Caitlin gets engaged and asks Vix to be her maid of honor, the two are forced to confront the very things that pulled them apart.
The Girls from Corona del Mar
Fans of Elena Ferrante’s books will love this story of two friends, different in every way. Mia’s boisterous personality often outshines Lorrie Ann’s meek yet more mature nature. But as relationships are wont to do, time changes their friendship, and they soon find their roles reversed. Lorrie Ann, once trouble-free, is now burdened with responsibility, while Mia is falling in love and having adventures. As they each question who the other person has become, their friendship is put to the test.
If the title didn’t make it clear, this is the story of two best friends, Clare and Sally, though their friendship is an unlikely one. While Sally calls Los Angeles home, Clare comes from a working class family in Ohio and quickly becomes fascinated with Sally’s charmed and sheltered life. We follow their friendship for many years, watching as they graduate from college and move into the real world, where their differences become even more stark. Time and distance don’t seem to damage their bond, but when long-held secrets are revealed, their relationship faces the ultimate test. Even if your friendship doesn’t mirror Sally and Clare’s, it’s hard not to relate to their struggles as they attempt to hold on to one another over the years.
The queen of writing complex friendships, Zadie Smith delivers a stunning and ambitious novel with Swing Time. Childhood friends Tracey and Aimee bond over their devotion to dance, though they grow into different philosophies on the matter, and only Tracey goes on to dance professionally. Their relationship ruptures in their early 20s and the two move separately among the world, reckoning with hierarchies, culture, and identity, as Smith deftly explores the compromises we make and the relationships that irrevocably shape us.
Days of Awe
What do you do when you lose your best friend? That’s the terrifying reality Izzie is facing after her childhood friend Josie tragically dies in a car accident. Overwhelmed by sadness, Izzie retreats from everyone—her husband, her daughter, her mother—as the aftermath of Josie’s death creates a ripple effect among everyone she loves. A difficult yet sweet read, you’ll keep turning the pages to experience more of Izzie’s dynamic voice and and unique perspective on love, friendship, work, and motherhood.
Tiny Beautiful Things
Hailed as the self-help book that women love to give to one another, this slim volume allows you to call on Cheryl Strayed for advice about any of your woes. Based on Dear Sugar, her once-anonymous advice column for The Rumpus, Strayed doles out the words everyone needs to hear. It will have you weeping and laughing at the same time, and then running out to overnight a copy to your best friend.
Let's Take the Long Way Home
One of the hardest things in life is losing your friend to illness. In this powerful memoir that examines those friendships more akin to family, Gail Caldwell recounts a relationship that shared everything and defined two ordinary lives. Brave and honest, funny and heart-wrenching, Gail’s celebration of her and Caroline’s relationship will have you calling your best friend as soon as you turn the last page.
Female friendships—arguably one of the most important relationships in a woman’s life. Some friends you make as a child and keep forever; others you find later in life and wonder where the heck they’ve been. No matter how long you’ve been friends, the books on this list are perfect for sharing with your BFF.
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