“The HerStories Project is a moving testament to the power of female friendships. These essays describe friendships that last and those that fall apart, exploring the ways that friendship is impacted by age, marriage, race, motherhood, and tragedy. As contributor Alexandra Rosas writes: “Friendships, even surface ones in the form of acquaintances, can tide us over during the changes in life, the transitions to a new being, that leave us stripped of who we used to know.” When I finished this collection I wanted to write letters to all my close friends, just to let them know how much I love them and appreciate their many years of friendship.”
—Kate Hopper, author of Ready for Air: A Journey through Premature Motherhood and Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers
“This is truly a beautiful collection of stories about friendship from many different stages in life. The writing is superb, and I found myself thinking, “I’ll just read a few more pages” when I knew I should go to bed! What I loved the most about this book is its authenticity. There is hope and healing in these stories, but there is also heartbreak and sadness. I read these stories and realize I am not alone in my own struggles to connect and foster friendships. I appreciate the authors’ willingness to keep it real and in doing so, our community of sisters grows a little more closer and a little more united.”
— Rachel Macy Stafford, author of Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!
“[This] is a labor of love between two friends, Jessica and Stephanie, as they committed to the gathering and telling of women’s friendships stories; but it’s also a labor of love from all the women who bared their hearts and revealed their truth as they literally showed up in relationship, practicing love with someone else. This isn’t fiction. These are real women, real feelings, real elation, and real disappointment.”
– Shasta Nelson, author of Friendships Don’t Just Happen!: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of GirlFriends and CEO of www.GirlFriendCircles.com, a women’s friendship matching site in 35 U.S. cities
“When a new mom falls in love with her newborn (as we all do), it can subtly change or even unravel her friendships. This series of heartfelt essays, written by and for women, documents the common landmines that cause friendships to splinter and reaffirms the vital importance of these bonds. This is the perfect book to savor in small bites while the baby is napping or the kids are at preschool!”
-Irene Levine, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at NYU Medical School, author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend, and creator of The Friendship Blog
“There should be a warning that comes with this anthology. A warning that reads: ‘Holy crap, get your tissues ready and make sure chocolate is on hand.’ It’s one of those reads that speaks to your core. From having a best friend that means the world to you, to a friendship you lost years ago that still aches, the collection of stories speaks to the truth of friendship between women. It’s so awesome to see a group of writers come together and share the reality of friendships – the good, the bad and the absolutely amazing thing about calling another woman your true friend.”
– Danielle Herzog of Martinis and Minivans and co-author of The Mother of All Meltdowns
“The HerStories Project captures female friendship today in all its forms– from the virtual to the child- and work-based, even the friendships that turn into family. While some friendships turn sour and some are competitive, all show the love that can develop and the real connections we can form in today’s fast-paced society.”
“Motherhood is seasonal and often so are our friendships, but that doesn’t make any of those relationships less essential. As I read The HerStories Project, I couldn’t help but see a little of myself and my own experiences in many of these essays. Through essays about connection, the authors have managed to create a connection with moms everywhere. And, that’s what makes this compilation so powerful, moving and uplifting.What mom can’t remember the friend who got away or delight in the thrill of sharing motherhood’s roller coaster-like triumphs and struggles with a warm, understanding friend? These inspiring essays are more evidence of the importance of our sisterhood as we survive and thrive in this amazing space we call motherhood!”
“These stories will make you laugh and cry, and remind you that in our overbooked lives, it’s the deep and lasting friendships that sustain us.”
“The concept of female friendship has always eluded me. While I’m lucky to have had many friends throughout my 37 years, it pains me to admit I miss the ones who aren’t in my life anymore. Reading The HerStories Project made me cry with recognition and gave me pause to ponder the reasons and seasons behind what went wrong, or what I did wrong. Memories I’d forgotten washed back over me as I read, and I wondered how accurate they were : was it all really me? Or was some of it her? I’m quick to blame myself, and my husband rolls his eyes at me. He and his friends seem to glide or gloss over “stuff” and just get on with their lives. But we women and the writers in HerStories? We’re deeper than that –and perhaps that’s the innate difference– we feel every emotion our friends do, even if it’s via phone two thousand miles (and an ocean or two!) apart. In the middle of HerStories I stayed up late one night sifting through old letters, pictures, wrappers, receipts, and even old t-shirts I’ve saved in boxes… boxes that gather dust on the top shelf of my closet. And I know the voices behind HerStories would understand this. They’d nod their unspoken approval, because that’s what we women friends do. Our friendships sometimes wither and fall away, but they never really leave us; instead they mold and shape us into who we are. And whether or not the friends are old or new, they are priceless and treasured…sacred. In a way that male friendships don’t seem to be. The HerStories Project demonstrates all of this and so much more.”
“A beautiful and comprehensive look at the rich, fundamental and complex dynamics of female friendships. From our first days of preschool to our final days of life, female friends are a vital aspect and valued treasure. And whether they last a lifetime or go awry along the way, they contribute to the person we become. I found myself relating on some level to every story I read. This is a great compilation, and the story of how it came to be is inspiring. Congratulations to Jessica and Stephanie on this fabulous project!”
“I’ve always valued my gal pals, but never as much as when I became a mother. There was something about sharing that experience with my girlfriends, growing together, learning together, that cemented our bond for life. I go to them when I need to laugh, cry, or get an honest opinion about the size of my ass. They are the sisters God forgot to give me. Stephanie and Jessica’s project is a gift to women everywhere.”
There are the friends we grow up with, and the friends we grow old with, and in between are the deep abiding friendships among young moms. Jessica and Stephanie have captured the lifecycle of our female friendships in their gorgeous anthology, The HerStories Project, and touched upon the very central role girlfriends play at every stage of our lives. In these beautifully crafted essays of female friendship, are moments of wisdom and joy,of love and of pain and at every one we found ourselves nodding our heads in recognition. The HerStories Project, told us about ourselves and reminded us yet again how we may adore our husbands and partners, love our children like life itself, but it’s our girlfriends who get us through.
The thing I love most about this anthology is that it embraces the truth of the female friendship, something so rare and beautiful. It’s the kind of book I want curl up with over a cup of hot tea. Kind of like meeting a friend for coffee but in my own living room–and in my cozy pajama pants, of course. It’s hug on paper from a very talented group of ladies.
-Meredith Spidel of The Mom of the Year
Mothering presents an overwhelming dichotomy of hardly having two moments together by yourself, while simultaneously never feeling lonelier. For those of us mothering in the internet age, the blogosphere provides a gathering place for advice, peer support, entertainment, laughter, and yes, friendship. HerStories brings a taste of that bloggy camaraderie and support to book form. Next time you come upon 17 uninterrupted minutes, instead of panicking–pick up HerStories.
Women can get by without a good many things. We can manage without the latest designer bag or shoes. We don’t need the newest kitchen gadget or digital gizmo. But friendships — especially with other women — well, those are as essential as air, water … and maybe even chocolate. That’s the message that shines through the new anthologyThe HerStories Project: Women Explore the Pain, Joy and Power of Female Friendship. The diverse collection of essays, edited by Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger (with an introduction by “Scary Mommy’s” incomparable Jill Smokler), explores women’s friendship in all its many incarnations: In childhood; in adulthood; on Facebook and Twitter. With new friends. With lifelong friends. With toxic friends. With best friends. With “just for now” friends. Among sisters. Between coworkers. Forged in trauma. Across race. Through motherhood. And disagreement. It is a collection that is by turns contemplative and brave, nostalgic and joyous, bitter and celebratory — revealing as many sides and shades of friendship, as the women writers behind them.
— Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, creator of Science Of Parenthood