The New York Times called Susanna Sonnenberg “immensely gifted,” and Vogue, “scrupulously unsentimental.” Entertainment Weekly described Sonnenberg’s Her Last Death as “a bracing memoir about growing up rich and glamorous with a savagely inappropriate mother.” Now, Sonnenberg, with her unflinching eye and uncanny wisdom, has written a compulsively readable book about female friendship.
T he best friend who broke up with you. The older girl at school you worshipped. The beloved college friend who changed. The friend you slept with. The friend who betrayed you. The friend you betrayed. Companions in travel, in discovery, in motherhood, in grief; the mentor, the model, the rescuer, the guide, the little sister. These have been the women in Susanna Sonnenberg’s life, friends tender, dominant, and crucial after her reckless mother gave her early lessons in womanhood.
Searing and superbly written, Sonnenberg’s She Matters: A Life in Friendships illuminates the friendships that have influenced, nourished, inspired, and haunted her—and sometimes torn her apart. Each has its own lessons that Sonnenberg seeks to understand. Her method is investigative and ruminative; her result, fearlessly observed portraits of friendships that will inspire all readers to consider the complexities of their own relationships. This electric book is testimony to the emotional significance of the intense bonds between women, whether shattered, shaky, or unbreakable.
A tribute to her lifelong fortress of friendship, Sonnenberg (Her Last Death) guides a tour through the female friendships that have inspired her, broken her, and brought her back to life. Dependent on friends for the nurturing and solace missing from her relationship with her mother and sister, women come and go throughout the years to provide varied roles in her life. Some were friendships built out of mutual need, circumstance, or an interest that eventually faded to a faint glimmer where there was once fire. Others are fleeting moments in which two lives touch, that moment with unforgettable significance as when an acquaintance from college becomes a sudden pillar in a time of tragedy. Loneliness and the dire need to belong may also fuel a union, as Sonnenberg professes: That spring day I felt dangerously unloved. I needed to be included anywhere, at some table. Yet finding it easier to be the hero... than to wait for rescue, afraid of inevitable disappointment, it was difficult for her to trust help from anyone, nervous as usual about uneven power, tallied debts. Sonnenberg s strikingly honest depictions of tumultuous female alliances and confessions about friendships are both moving and relatable; her depth of reflection and incandescent prose marks this exceptional memoir as a must-read to share among friends.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Books on friendship are my preferred subject, so of course, I was looking forward to settling in with this one. All I can say is, I got through it. The fact that she is bi-sexual immediately took the book to a different level than pure friendship, a huge disappointment. On a more positive note, you will see elements of yourself and friends in each story - if you are willing to be thoroughly honest with yourself.
Horrendous writer, self absorbed and boring.
She doesn't matter...