When you’ve lived as long as I have and in as many different places, maintaining friendships takes a lot more time and energy than it did when I was a kid and my best friends lived right upstairs and next door in the same apartment building. Or even when I reached my teens and so many of my friends were at school or in the same youth group at church or just a few houses away in the town where I spent my summers. These days they’re in Denver and Ohio, in California and Vermont and even in Egypt. Email makes staying in touch easier, but there’s nothing like sitting in the same room with a cup of tea or a margarita and talking over old times or current problems, laughing about whatever strikes us as funny (trust me, the number of things that qualify for laughter increases as the margaritas flow).
At any rate, friendships matter. They make our lives richer, provide much-needed comfort and support in times of tragedy and hours of shared laughter through the years.
Given how I feel about all this, it’s not surprising that I wanted to deal with the deep friendship shared by two women — neighbors for ten years — in my latest book Mending Fences, in stores now. Marcie Carter and Emily Dobbs have shared joy and heartache over the years, their kids are underfoot in each other’s homes. When Marcie’s son, Evan, is accused of date rape, it sends repercussions reverberating through both families.
Emily’s growing attraction to the detective intent on convicting Evan complicates their lives. And as the story unfolds and it appears that Emily’s daughter Dani might have been one of Evan’s victims, this deep friendship is tested in ways neither woman could ever have imagined.
And yet, somehow, friendship triumphs. Marcie and Emily are survivors. They are strong, as are their children. And forgiveness is at the core of who they are.
As I wrote this story, I thought of how many times women might face a tragedy or even a small personal crisis without the support of a good friend, without someone who can share advice or provide a shoulder to cry on. And that led to the creation of a new blog, www.justbetweenfriendsblog.com/. You can go to it directly or by going to my website, www.sherrylwoods.com/. There we’ll be talking about issues — big and small — that matter to you. If you have a topic you especially want to discuss, you’ll be able to bring it to our attention. Or you can chime in on any of the topics already posted. This is a blog for you . . . and your friends — the ones next-door and the ones you’re only just meeting online. Join us at our virtual backyard fence and tell us what’s on your mind.