Cover image for Connecting : the enduring power of female friendship
Connecting : the enduring power of female friendship
Sheehy, Sandy.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow, [2000]

Physical Description:
394 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF575.F66 S5 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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After years of taking a backseat to other relationships, women's friendships are finally being celebrated as never before. In Connecting, noted journalist Sandy Sheehy investigates why female friendships are so important, how they function throughout our lives, and how we can best experience the joys they offer.

Sheehy introduces ground-breaking research, drawn from more than thirty psychologists and sociologists. Their intriguing, often surprising, findings are brought home with real-life stories and keen insights taken from more than two hundred interviews the author personally conducted with girls and women of all ages, races, and walks of life.

The author provides a fascinating look at the qualities that initially attract women to their closest friends; how friendships change throughout life; and hwy female bonding is a vital part of a woman's psychological development, health, and sense of well-being at any age. Sheehy addresses such thought-provoking questions as: Why is making friends so easy for some and hard for others? How can friendships help us become better, more fulfilled people? What are the key ingredients to lasting and satisfying friendships?

Recognizing how our relationships serve different needs aat different times in our lives, the author describes the ten basic types of female friendship--from soulmates to workmates--and shows how each nurtures and supports us. Sheehy then examines the six seasons of friendships, from girlhood to old age, devoting a separated chapter to the special characteristics and rewards friendship offers each age group. Just as important, she tackles the thorny issues, delving into the challenges that can strain and even shatter friendships, and offers sound strategies for handling difficult situations. And in "Sixteen Steps to Having Friends for Life," Sheehy shares the secrets for keeping and enriching friendships.

In Connecting, Sandy Sheehy takes us on a journey of discovery and appreciation of the rich rewards of this special intimacy, pointing the way to growth-promoting, life-enhancing relationships--to becoming the best of friends and enjoying the best of friendship.

How do friendships between women evolve at different stages of life? How do they differ from men's? Why can some women make friends easily while others have none at all? What are the key ingredients to lasting and satisfying friendships? Drawing on recent psychological research and her own firsthand interviews with more than 200 girls and women from all walks of life, journalist Sandy Sheehy takes an engaging and insightful look at these questions and more. She probes the nature and history of female friendships, pinpoints the major types, and shows how they function during the four main stages of women's lives and how they insure our healthy development. This book reads like an intimate and informative conversation with a close girlfriend. It will validate and reassure women about their friendships as never before.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this weighty volume, Texan and magazine writer Sheehy (Texas Big Rich) attempts to track how the form and significance of friendships between women change throughout their lives. Describing the friendships of girls and women of all ages, she also examines the divergent views women from different generations may have about their girlfriends. For women who came of age in the 1950s or earlier, she finds, the relationship with a man always takes precedence over friendships; they also don't discuss personal problems. Younger women, on the other hand, reject the idea of standing up a friend in favor of a boyfriend, and they don't hesitate to discuss their personal problems or to ask a friend what's wrong if she seems troubled. Sheehy affirms these relationships warmly and explains the important role they play in women's emotional development and even physical health. Written in a friendly voice and sprinkled throughout with anecdotes that both quicken the pace of the narrative and provide depth and emphasis for Sheehy's points, the book challenges readers to rethink the meaning and import of women's friendships. "Female friendship is indeed a primary bond," she writes. Blending quotes from interviews she conducted with ordinary women nationwide, sociological studies, conversations with psychotherapists and articles from women's magazines, Sheehy makes a strong case. However, her description of "the ten forms of female friendship" (e.g., soulmates, companions in crisis) sometimes seems didactic and restricting, leaving little room for individual variation or quirks. On the whole, however, Sheehy's lively book offers a framework within which women can consider and reevaluate their own friendships. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

How women's friendships have changed historically, how they change throughout one's life, and their importance in the quality of women's lives are covered in great detail in this intriguing book. A variety of destructive friendships are also addressed, followed by a list of how-to's on friendship. Sheehy, a Texas-based journalist with a social science background, aimed to present a cross section of American women, but the reader will notice that those most often referred to are healthy, well-educated women at a mid- to upper-income level. Numerous anecdotes from the 204 women Sheehy interviewed illustrate her points, a feature that should attract a public library audience. Academics will find many questions for further doctoral research. Sheehy has done her homework; this work is well documented with dissertations and published papers covering a wide range of topics. Recommended for public and academic libraries. Margaret Cardwell, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Clarkston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.