Summary: I didn’t know that people come into our lives, and sometimes, if we’re terribly lucky, we get the chance to love them, that sometimes they stay, that sometimes you can, truly, depend on them. Cathie Beck was in her late thirties and finally able to exhale after a lifetime of just trying to get by. A teenage mother harboring vivid memories of her own hardscrabble childhood, Cathie had spent years doing whatever it took to give her children the stability–or at least the illusion of it–that she’d never had. More than that, through sheer will and determination, she had educated them and herself too. With her kids in college, Cathie was at last ready to have some fun. The only problem was that she had no idea how to do it and no friends to do it with. So she put an ad in the paper for a made-up women’s group: WOW . . . Women on the Way. Eight women showed up that first night, and out of that group a friendship formed, one of those meteoric, passionate, stand-by-you friendships that come around once in a lifetime and change you forever . . . if you’re lucky. — from Goodreads

Cathie Beck decided to advertise for a best friend. She disguised as the start up of a Women’s Group but really she was looking for a best friend. After life a teen mother of two, abandoned by her husband, and living the kind of life that would become a Lifetime movie she finally had a chance to think about herself.

This could have been one of those memoirs of a woman her horrible childhood and youth and it is that. But it’s so much more. It’s really a love letter to a best friend. A best friend who shares your highs and lows, who lifts you up and breaks your heart in only a way a true soul mate of a friend can.

When Cathie meets Denise she is 39 years old with two grown children off at college and after struggling her entire life she’s can breath a little and think about herself. She realizes as some of us do she doesn’t have friends. The way the path of her life has gone she just never had a chance to make a real friend. In walks Denise. Denise, as told to us by Cathie, is a force of nature, one of those amazing people who change the world around them by force of will.

I’ve just recently became a fan of memoirs and I really enjoyed this one. Told in vignettes with, sometimes, little sense of the passage of time, this may not be for everybody. It is at times very frank and there are times when each of the principals are not very likable, their’s is not an easy friendship. But, I can almost guarantee this will make you want to call your best friend to hear her voice.

This is the first book I’m giving away as part of Bibliophile by the Sea’s Reading from My Shelves Project.

I received Cheap Cabernet as part of Library Thing’s Early Reviewer Program.