Best Friends Forever

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer WeinerI can’t quite figure out why Jennifer Weiner’s newest book, Best Friends Forever, has such an uninspiring title. In spite of this rather insignificant shortcoming (that is honestly more than made up for by the gorgeous cover art) I can absolutely recommend this tremendous chick-lit novel to you without any reservations at all. To me Jennifer Weiner is the queen of escapist novels. Her stories are filled with endearing and memorable protagonists that get into and out of bizarre shenanigans in ways that seem truly plausible. Her ability to weave such well-rounded and likable female characters is a true gift, and I enjoy nothing more then to curl up beach-side or pool-side with a brand new copy of her latest novel and drift away. Unfortunately this means that my Weiner books are almost always splattered with a mixture of water, sand, and sunscreen, but it’s a small price to pay for a light summer afternoon read that leaves you feeling truly happy and satisfied.

Best Friends Forever examines the relationship and subsequent break-up between childhood friends Addie Downs and Valerie Adler. Addie and Valerie are polar opposites. Whereas Addie is shy, cautious, and prone to weight issues, Valerie is outgoing, curious, and eventually blossoms into a blonde bombshell. Unfortunately the cliques and pettiness of high school lead to a betrayal of trust and Addie and Valerie end their friendship.

Then on the evening of their fifteen year class reunion Valerie appears on Addie’s doorstep with blood on her coat and the two women are thrust into an amusing Thelma and Louise like road trip where deep pains from their respective pasts are revealed.

One of my favorite portions of the novel involved a childhood trip to Cape Cod that the girls take with Valerie’s crazy mother. Jennifer Weiner’s decadent description of traditional beach food found on The Cape made my mouth simply water:

There was corn on the cob and clam chowder and red plastic net bags filled with gray clams that Val and her mother called steamers. There was coleslaw and French fries and a tangled mound of thin, crispy onion rings, tall plastic cups brimming with ice and soda, and little plastic dishes filled with melted butter. A dozen oysters lolled slick in their shells on a bed of crushed ice, and two gigantic lobsters sprawled over oval-shaped plates, leaking steaming pale-pink water.

See what I mean? I would kill for some clams right now. Absolutely kill! So if you have a little vacation time left this summer and you’re looking for that perfect book to bring along I’d suggest that you promptly pick up a copy of Best Friends Forever and stash it in your overnight bag immediately.

A Weekend By the Sea

A Connecticut Weekend

CK’s aunt and uncle, Leslie and Bob, were incredibly kind and let us stay with them last weekend at their charming storybook like home by the ocean. I absolutely love this house and was thrilled to have the opportunity to wake up on an honest to goodness sunny morning and have sparkling blue water be the first thing that I saw from the window in our guest room.

Beautiful Paris: The Rag Doll Cat

It was hard to be away from Watson and I knew he was in Anna’s very capable hands while we were out of town, but I still missed my little guy. However, their gorgeous rag doll kitty, Paris, did an admirable job bewitching me with her crystal clear eyes and adorable stunts including the ability to drink from the sink and beg for treats. Watson could definitely learn a thing or two from cousin Paris.

This Is My Island In The Sun

This shaded table on the patio is where we spent the majority of our time when we weren’t in the water of course. At low tide you can walk right out onto the little island in front of the house and swim or sunbathe. I honestly can’t imagine a more perfect way to spend the day.


Leslie also has a number of lush flowers and vegetables planted throughout the property so we were treated to freshly picked salad greens and herbs all weekend. In addition, this regal purple patch of lavender is so covered in honey bees gathering nectar that it appears to be alive.

Erin & Uncle Jeff

I think what I liked the most about staying with Leslie and Bob was how casual and carefree I felt. We sat around in bathing suits and sun block with messy hair and it felt extremely easy and natural. You definitely can’t say that very often about day-to-day life.

Connecticut Sunset

On Saturday evening after the sun set we were treated to two fireworks displays. One from the town of Niantic and the other from a neighborhood family celebrating a wedding. Then we drank Sam Adam’s Summer Ale and ate hamburgers and hot dogs. Isn’t it amazing how perfect everything tastes after a long day relaxing in the sun? I honestly can’t remember the last time I was so completely relaxed. I’m quite certain that my “happy place” will also be by the sea.

Labor Day by Rob Diebboll

Yesterday Chris and I bought this beautiful oil painting from local artist Rob Diebboll. I absolutely fell in love when I saw it hanging in the studio, and just knew it would look perfect in our bedroom. My love of the beach is well documented and I’m so excited to be able to wake-up and see such a vibrant summer scene every day. I keep finding myself standing in front of it again and again and I swear you can almost hear the ocean. Of course that might just be the concussion I think I gave myself a little while ago when I smacked my head on the lip of the granite counter-top of the kitchen island. That’s what I get for trying to be all “Stepford” and dusting the baseboards.