Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: You Knew Me When

By Miriam Plotinsky

**Giveaway is now closed**

Female friendships are tricky. Women get very close in a pretty short period of time, and though the bonds of sisterhood can be beautiful, they can also be devastating. Breaking up a romantic relationship isn’t usually as heartbreaking as losing a close girlfriend. The raw pain associated with this kind of sadness sets the tone for You Knew Me When, Emily Liebert’s novel about a woman named Katherine who is forced to return to a painful past, face the people she left behind, and figure out who she used to be.

Katherine, an intimidating makeup executive, has to return to Manchester, her hometown, after the death of Luella Hancock, an eccentric and enigmatic woman whose elegance was matched by her generosity. As a shy and awkward child, Katherine moved to Manchester and instantly became close with both Luella and a neighbor girl her age, Laney. Luella exerted major influence on Katherine, eventually encouraging her to leave her bubble and attend NYU, while Laney stayed behind in Manchester and followed a more traditional path. For various reasons (no spoiler alert necessary!), Katherine and Laney had a major falling out. Now, years later, Katherine is thinner, prettier, and more confident about herself. When she shows up in Manchester for Luella’s funeral, Laney greets her with open hostility. However, when both of them learn that they have to clean out Luella’s house together in order to benefit from her will, they begin to unravel their pasts and find ways to reconnect.

The story is appealing and well-written, but what makes this book stand out is the palpable vulnerability of the two lead characters. Laney and Katherine demonstrate that, no matter how many years pass, it’s hard to get over hurt feelings and missed chances. Both of the women may be grown up, but on the inside they are still the girls who were like sisters until their friendship met a sudden end.

Because You Knew Me When is fiction, the relationship between the two women is more salvageable than it probably would be in real life. Still, it’s nice to think that old rifts can be repaired and that people can go back to where they used to be without sacrificing who they’ve become. Liebert tackles the delicate balance of female friendship with obvious experience, and the result is an absorbing read with enough surprises and good characters to make You Knew Me When a memorable experience.

Thanks to Sarah Hall Productions for the book in exchange for an honest review. They are giving away FIVE copies, along with Zoya nail polish (limited edition, named after characters in the book) to some lucky US readers.

How to win:
Tell us if you ever had a falling out with a close female friend and if your friendship has been repaired since then.

One entry per person.

Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted.

US only. Giveaway ends September 17th at midnight EST.

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46 comments:

pascale said...

Junior year my best friend and I "broke up" and cannot remember the reason. About 3-4 Years later, I really missed our friendship and sent her a birthday card... on month to the day early, and she called to tell me that I had the date wrong and we told each other how much we missed each other, and THAT WAS IT. She is STILL my best friend, even though we live on different coasts!

pascale said...

oops! pascale.poitras@verizon.net

Charlotte said...

Yes, and we never talked again. She has passed away now.
CABWNANA1@bellsouth.net

Anonymous said...

Yes. My friend had gone through a divorce and I was there for her. Afterwards she developed serious issues with trusting any women around her including me and even family when she remarried. A random phone call opened my eyes. We have a friendly relationship but it will never be what it was. Sad thing is over the years she has made things so much harder on herself.

S.Sabia said...

I had a major falling out with my bestfriend after our freshman year of college. We had been friends since meeting in 7th grade and did everything together. I'm happy to say that thanks to the magic of social media we have reconnected. Our friendship will never be the way it used to be but I don't think either of us would want it to be!

sfsabiaATgmailDOTcom

Summer Grinstead said...

Yes, Without going into details, one of being able to concieve and the other not, we've sinced worked thru and are better friends now.

Pammy V.S said...

Sadly yes I had a close friend in Junior high school her name was Laura and we were friends even through high school and she was great.We thought of each other more like sisters then just friends.I honestly don't even remember what exactly happened but I know the guy she was with was not a good guy and he was mean to her.I loved her like family so of course i told her he was not good for her and she deserved better but she didn't listen.We never saw or spoke to each other again until she found me on face book 15 years later.now we talk often,share pictures of our children and laugh about all the things we did back then and either one of us even mentioned the past.I think that you never really know what you have until you lose it and if you are lucky enough to get it back then you should cherish it always because none of use knows how much time we have on this earth.
my email - Pammy22@optonline.net

Katy Curnyn said...

A few times since we met in second grade we've drifted apart. It happens as you grow up. She'd find new "best friends", and I'd have new friends but never the "best", but every time we'd get back together and hang out it was like nothing had happened. Thinking about all the time that goes by in between seeing each other is awkward but it never feels that way once we're together.

kcurnyn12@aim.com

Anonymous said...

I had a huge falling out with a very close girlfriend of mine that I knew since grade school. It happened in high school when I was dating a guy named Dennis, well I found out he was having time with my GF on the side. They were seen together at the movies really smooching it up! I confronted her at school after the weekend. She didn't deny it. I told her our friendship was over! Since then we made up because she found out he cheated on her as well. Some guys just aren't worth the time and effort. Some men aren't worth breaking up a long time friendship either!

Jessica said...

Yup in 5th grade my best friend & I had terrible falling out that even git our mothers involved. All because she stole my pen in class& lied about it. Lol. Well over a decade later we reconnected when she invited me to get 22nd birthday party. We're not back to where we were but we've moved past all that.

Jswilliams.jw (at) gmail (dot) com

Britney Adams said...

My childhood best friend and I didn't have a "falling out", but life has taken us different directions and miles apart. If we do happen to cross paths, we pick up right where we left off. Our relationship is certainly different now, but there is still a connection because of the history we have shared.

texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

Jennifer Huelsebusch said...

Yes, but it didn't last very long!

Jessica McCann said...

My best friend and I had a few bumps in the road during high school, but nothing that jeopardized our friendship. Our relationship has evolved through the years and today we're more like sisters than besties.

jmccannaz at hotmail dot com

faithspage said...

Luckily NO! I have had friends that we've just drifted apart but no fights.
kyfaithw at aol dot com

Jessica said...

OMG I would sell my soul to win this giveaway! That book sounds so good!

Yes, I have had a falling out with a close friend. It was my fault and I will always regret the things I said to cause the falling out. It is my biggest regret. We ended up having to reconcile briefly when we were in our last college class together. This was crazy because it was after both of us should have graduated. Then we were in class together and the teacher assigned us to be in the same group. We do still talk occasionally but we are not as close as we used to be. She used to be my best friend. Now we are just casual acquaintances.

Thanks!
-Jessica M
walkingcorpse11@hotmail.com

Nova said...

Yes, i had a falling out with a close friend. We were having problems and i tried to fix things, but she didn't want to do anything to try to see her part in our problems. so i put her in my past and moved on... sad but true.
sparkle40175@hotmail.com

Meredith said...

My best friend from high school and I haven't spoken a word since before graduation. She was pretty abusive and after months of trying to make things right, I realized she just wasn't worth it. The best was when she tried to friend me on Facebook - twice! I ignored the request...

meredithgschorr@gmail.com

Kim Pinch said...

Never really had a falling out, just life getting in the way. We live in different countries and just lost touch but through email and facebook we have reconnected.

Linda Kish said...

Not really, just time and distance make things difficult. But, we talk still.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

StephTheBookworm said...

Yes. One of my best friends and I did in high school. We became friends again but it has never been the same. :(

Stephaniet117 at yahoo dot com

susieqlaw said...

Yes...my best friend in college.

After college, we both went to different graduate schools. However, my BFF entered the work world (post graduate school) well before I did. When I entered the work world, my life was a little bit behind her life, because she had already established her independence and field.

Sadly, my BFF became frustrated when I went through crunch time at work and was admittedly horrible at keeping in contact...not even a simple e-mail reply to say I was okay. Unfortunately, we have not spoken in about 11 years which is so sad.

I miss her and wonder how her life is going. We knew each others' families. Usually, I send a holiday card to hear parents.

It seems like we hit a spot where we grew apart with the impetus being my lack of contact. Sad. However, life goes on.



sendsusanmail at gmail dot com

TinaB said...

I can happily say that I've never had a falling out with my best friend. We met in kindergarten and are still friends at age 41!!
Brannanflooring@aol.com

traveler said...

This past year my good friend and I who had a close friendship for years severed this for good. It was upsetting but perhaps time to end when one gives and the other never reciprocates. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

When life takes you in another direction and you outgrow a longstanding friendship it is sad. That is what happened to me. She just disappeared and didn't explain, nor communicate ever again. It can never be the same. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Bridget O'Neill said...

I'm very lucky not to have had a falling out with any friends. I've lost touch with some friends, but have found a lot of them on Facebook!

Bjoneill@hotmail.com

Suzanne said...

My sophmore year of high school I had a huge falling out with my best friend (she told a secret of mine to people). We didn't talk for close to a year and a half. Didn't talk at all. I avoided her at school, didn't invite her to my sweet 16, etc... we eventually got over it and are back to being the best of friends. Since that fight we haven't fought once. don't know what I would do without her in my life. She is my true sister.

Suzanne said...

My sophmore year of high school I had a huge falling out with my best friend (she told a secret of mine to people). We didn't talk for close to a year and a half. Didn't talk at all. I avoided her at school, didn't invite her to my sweet 16, etc... we eventually got over it and are back to being the best of friends. Since that fight we haven't fought once. don't know what I would do without her in my life. She is my true sister.forgot my email, sorry
suzannefine @ yahoo.com

Lisamarie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisamarie said...

Yes...We met our Sr year in High School through our boyfriends..we became instant friends. We stayed friends through break-ups, marriage, living in different states & kids... until a nasty accusations came from her and because of the abusive relationship she was she believed her husband over me. A few years past...she left her husband moved back to where I lived and on my birthday she emailed me.. I didn't respond at first because I didn't know where it was coming from...was it an apology or her just trying to get back in to berate me... Because we had some together before all this I responded and We reconnected, she apologized and we remain good friends.

tropicalsunlover05(at)yahoo(dot)com

Rosita said...

No, thankfully! But I did lose my best friend (back from when I was a teen) much too early to heart disease. rosita[dot]p[dot]mariani[at]gmail[dot]com

a pile of good things said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
a pile of good things said...

Sadly, yes... When I was in junior high school, my best friend B claimed that D, another girl in our friend group (whom I knew well but wasn't as close with), was spreading rumors about my "nerdiness" behind my back and bashing me to others while still pretending to be my friend. B claimed that we should cut ties with D because of her backstabbing, but of course B would stand with me like the true friend she was. Being a naive and non-confrontational preteen, I trusted B - who unfortunately turned out to be a pathological liar. Shortly after B and I split with D, B claimed she was moving to Argentina so we couldn't see each other anymore, but a few months later we learned that her family had actually just moved to a neighborhood in an adjacent school district. The silver lining is that after B left and was unable to keep manipulating us, D and I ended up becoming best friends!!

(sorry, forgot to add address: a.pile.of.good.things[at]gmail[dot]com

Melody said...

Yes I've had more than one. In junior year of high school a friend thought I was trying to take her boyfriend. But, I only thought of him as a big brother. All heel broke out in school and on the bus. One night I got a nasty phone call. That was it!

After graduation a friend was mean to me whenever I called. I was so confused and hurt. She would say she didn't know what we would talk about now.Whenever I would bring up something to talk about she woulds shoot it down. I was really shocked because we talked we hung out so much.

But now I have a good friend I would never let those fools back in my life.

Anonymous said...

My best friend and I parted ways after college. She had been dating a guy for some time, who I didn't like and felt he was a loser. She told me she was getting married and who was going to be in her wedding party, but I wasn't one of them. She said she didn't want me to be a part of it if I didn't support them. I was hurt at the time, but now I understand. We recently reconnected on Facebook and she is still married to the guy. We still haven't met up in person though. SuzyQ4PR {at} aol {dot} com

Hailey Fish said...

My junior year of high school (I attended a private Baptist school with 157 kids in the entire school) I ended up leaving halfway through to a public high school with over 700 kids. No one remembers this but I do because I have a great memory. Years later it seems so stupid but at the time it wasn't, obviously because I had to change schools. I'm not going to get into it but I didn't talk to best friend for two years. Now? We're best friends and it's like it never happened although it did. I don't bring it up because it was a childish fight.

fishiegirl22@yahoo.com

bn100 said...

No, I haven't

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Marissa A said...

Yes I did, in high school, and now that it's been a few years, I think it's for the best that we don't communicate with each other. I didn't make that many good associations back then, but now I do, and I'm happy about that.

Thanks for the giveaway!
butterflypetals7(at)gmail(dot)com

Patricia said...

Yes. A really long time ago now. It came as a shock at an especially difficult time in my life.
patricia dot mariani dot esq at gmail dot com

Claira said...

I had a falling out with my BFF in high school. There were a bunch of little things - like, she'd say things about me being boring and too innocent but laugh it off as a joke when I got offended - but aftershe got mad when I wouldn't whisper the quiz answers to her in history class, that was the last straw. I decided it wasn't worth my effort to be friends with someone who was just using me and didn't value my friendship, so I cut ties with her when i graduated.

She found me on Facebook a few years later, but we'd already drifted apart. I don't think she was really interested in being close friends again, anyway. I guess the friendship was sort of repaired bc we're casual friends now, but we'll never be BFFs again!

Cheers for the giveaway - my sis & I are really interested to read about these three women's story!

mrsnarkypants69 @ gmail . com

Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

I had a major falling out over a misunderstanding and it was never resolved. It still breaks my heart!

Mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews at gmail dot com

chasity morrison said...

Yes My Senior Year of high school my best friend told our hole class a secret that could have changed my life and she yelled at me in front of everybody because i didn't tell her the secret my ex husband (boyfriend at the time) told her!! we didn't speak after that we became friends a few years later but not best friends but now we hardly talk! its sad really because i would have done anything for her! my email address is
terrysgirl_1974@yahoo.com
thanks for the giveaway
Chasity Morrison :)

CrewGirl1010 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CrewGirl1010 said...

Unfortunately yes - happened about 5 years ago and we still haven't talked :(

karen.waskewich@gmail.com

Juliana said...

Multiple times! In middle school my three best friends decided I was no longer 'cool' and began ignoring my calls and pretending they were too busy to talk to me. Sadly once my high school best friend moved to an out of state college and got a boyfriend our regular phone calls were postponed and eventually we no longer spoke. After this happened again I stopped forming close friendships. I had acquaintances in college but no one I have spoken to after graduation. My best friend now is my mother.
OceanAkers@aol.com

Melissa said...

Thanks to everyone for participating! Your stories were inspiring, encouraging and heartbreaking.

Glad to see some new "faces" here. Hope you'll stick around!

Thanks to Sarah Hall Productions for sharing the books and nail polish with our winners.

Random.org chose FIVE winners from all entries with contact info (one entry per person).

Congrats to:
2-Charlotte (CABWNANA1)
7-Jessica (jswilliams.jw)
18-susieqlaw
26-A Pile of Good Things
31-Marissa A

Connie said...

Huge congratulations to the winners. Enjoy!