Friday, July 18, 2014

Kindred Spirits by Sarah Strohmeyer

Reviewed by Kristin

Lynne has been depending on her circle of friends for decades.  Mary Kay, Beth, Carol and Lynne have shared their lives through the birth of children, loss of family, and even PTA meetings.  Hanging together in good times and bad, the four can count on each other for anything.  When Lynne dies suddenly, Mary Kay, Beth and Carol are committed to doing what they all promised each other; they must be the ones to clean out Lynne’s personal belongings.  What they find hidden in a lingerie drawer takes them on a whirlwind journey to fulfill Lynne’s final wishes.

While in the midst of sadness, they deepen their friendship over the course of just a few days on the road.  The memories making the women both laugh and cry are mixed with thoughts of the many martinis they poured over the years.  An old recipe book entitled “Best Recipes from the Ladies Society for the Conservation of Marshfield, 1966” had long ago turned Lynne, Mary Kay, Beth and Carol into the “Ladies Society for the Conservation of Martinis”.

As the women embark upon this journey, they each deal with things in their own lives.  Mary Kay must make decisions regarding Drake, the man she loves.  Carol is struggling to reconnect with her daughter, after Carol left her Amanda’s father a year ago.  Beth is dealing with her father’s health issues, and the loss of Lynne has hit her particularly hard.  Driving from Connecticut to western Pennsylvania in order to follow Lynne’s request, Mary Kay, Beth and Carol all learn more about their friend, and more about themselves.

I have always enjoyed Sarah Strohmeyer’s comic mystery series based on hairdresser turned investigative journalist Bubbles Yablonsky.  Kindred Spirits is an entirely different kind of book, but showcases Strohmeyer’s softer side.  While the characters are dealing with the heartbreak of losing Lynne, in the end we are left with a happy ending for each of the women and their families.

A few days after finishing this book, I still have bits swirling around in my head.  Out of consideration for future readers, I can’t share those bits here as they would spoil the reading experience.  But if this review has appealed to you, be sure to look for Sarah Strohmeyer on your next trip to the library.

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