HerStories: A Book Review

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Friendship is an incredible force in the lives of women. Our friends are the people who just get it better than anyone. You don’t need to explain yourself because they know.  They know because they’ve been there too. Or they will be someday in the near future. An I won’t judge you outlet for the good and bad in life. What would we do without them?

These priceless relationships, these women who know us like no one else, they deserve to be celebrated. And that is just what Jessica Smock of School of Smock and Stephanie Sprenger of Mommy, for Real are doing. Just a few months ago, the duo started a website dedicated to celebrating the importance of friendship among women. Finding themselves impressed by the quality of writing they curated and the overwhelming response that their blog received, the two decided to publish the essays in an anthology.

Newly released, The HerStories Project is a collection of essays written by 50 women, each of which tells a unique story of friendship from a varying point of view. Jessica and Stephanie, the book’s editors, say, “Compiling this book—and building a new working friendship—has given us both a renewed appreciation of the importance of women’s friendship, which can be just as intimate as marriage and essential to women’s health.”

Their theory is that our friendships—those in the past, present and future—can be thought of as a mirror that reflects who we were, how we have grown, and what we want in life. Basically, that our friends define us. And they can back this up. They recruited friendship expert Carlin Flora to write a chapter, “The Power of FriendFluence.” She says, “I define friendfluence as the powerful and often unappreciated role that friends play in determining our sense of self and the direction of our lives. We cherish friendship, yet few of us are fully aware of the specific effects friends have on our personal growth and happiness.”

This anthology makes room for everyone. No matter what your friendship history looks like, you will see yourself reflected somewhere in the pages of HerStories. These stories make for a great read. But they also include an unspoken call to action. They silently beg you to call your best friend just to tell her you love her. They ask you to drop by and say hello to a friend you haven’t spoken to in too long. They will leave you with a pen in your hand, pouring out your soul in a letter to a friend you’ve fallen out of touch with. They will also leave you with a sense of peace. All friendships were meant to happen but not all were meant to last. Some were just meant to help you grow. And that’s ok.

HerStories is a must-read. It is an anthology that will remind you that, as Carlin says,  “Being a great friend to others is both a privilege and one of life’s most rewarding pleasures.”

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