Since this is a podcast celebrating books and friends we thought it was important for our second episode to cover books centered around friendships.

We discuss Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells, Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.

We also discuss the terms plotters and pantsers when it comes to writing styles, getting our social mojos back as we all come out of hibernation, and Josie offers some insight into the status of the upcoming books in the Starcrossed series.

All the books we chose happened to center around female friendships, though the differences between how men and women relate to their friends is addressed.

Aileen kicks off the discussion with The Ya Ya Sisterhood and how a daughter comes to understand her mother through her mother’s enduring relationship with her four oldest friends.

Alisa focuses on the value of intergenerational friendships with Fried Green Tomatoes.

Lauren introduces the concept of friendship as mentorship in the LGBTQ community when a young girl awakens to her sexual identity in Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World.

And Josie follows the supportive friendships in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants while the group recounts their own experiences with mean girls, lunch table politics in middle school, and what it was for the four of them to have each other as friends over the years.

Thanks for listening!

Aileen, Alisa, Lauren and Josie


Aileen: [00:00:00] well, and I remember Lauren’s cat that would fart all the time. We would have like girl scout meetings at Lauren’s house and we’d have to leave the room because

Lauren: His name was said vicious.

Josie: Where are you feeding that animal?

Hello and welcome to fiction between friends, a podcast, dedicated to books and book lovers like us. I’m Josephine, Angelini

Lauren: I’m Lauren Sanchez.

Alisa: I’m Alyssa Hillfinger,

Aileen: and I’m Aileen Calderon,

Josie: we’re four childhood friends from the suburbs of Massachusetts.

Lauren: Who’ve always loved to read almost as much as we love to talk to each other.

Alisa: We started this podcast as a way to celebrate how a really good book can come into your life and change it.

Aileen: So if you’re looking for fun and engaging conversations about books, stick around.

Josie: This is fiction between friends. And we’re glad you’ve joined us.

Welcome back. This is episode two, season one. I’m Josefine, Angelini, and joining me are my dear friends, Aileen Calderon

Aileen: Hello.

Josie: Alyssa Hillfinger

Alisa: Hi.

Josie: And Lauren Sanchez.

Lauren: Hello.

So the idea behind this [00:01:00] podcast was to start a book club with my friends, where we could read new book releases or books from the past that we’ve already read and loved. Then meet once a week to have an open discussion about them. Uh, some of these books you’ve all read and some, maybe not. So just be aware that we might do some spoilers.

We will post all the books in advance on our website at to give you all a chance to read along if you feel like it. But before we talk about books, how about we take a moment to see how everyone’s doing.

Aileen: I have no idea anymore.

Alisa: It’s true. I don’t know which end is up anymore.

Aileen: It’s supposed to all be better now. Right? Like 2021 was supposed to be the year when everything was great.

Josie: All the bad stuff happened. And we just like, got rid of it, like, like some voodoo or Juju cleansing thing. But that, that hasn’t been my experience either.

Aileen: No I’m done with 2021. I want to return it. I want to send it back to where it came. I’m ready

Lauren: Yeah. I don’t feel much hope for 2022 yet, but maybe I’ll feel that way. Like [00:02:00] the 31st I’ll be like, oh, 2022,

Alisa: There’s always the possibility. always hope, no matter what, there’s always hope.

Josie: Oh, Alyssa, you know what

Aileen: Ah,

Josie: You were like that when we were kids. That’s just awesome. Seriously.

Alisa: What’s the alternative. I will sit in a corner and cry. If, if there is no alternative,

Lauren: true. My grandmother, grandmother always said, if you don’t laugh, you cry. So I try to remind myself of that, you know, when I’m feeling really down, that

Josie: yeah, just stuff those bad feelings down as best you can and laugh your way through them.

Alisa: I will eat my emotions and I will be fine.

Aileen: Yeah. Oh, I I’ve done a lot of that.

Lauren: Me too.

Aileen: it’s kinda nice though. Cause you’re like, of course I should have another bowl of ice cream. I don’t feel good. And it’s okay. I’m just going to eat my feelings and admit I’m doing it.

Alisa: And everybody else is too.

Aileen: So I feel like I’m getting like my social mojo back. I don’t know if anybody else had this, but during the pandemic, you know, we weren’t really going out and being around people. So suddenly when the world was opening up and [00:03:00] we were engaging with people, I was like, I just felt so awkward. Anytime I had to talk to people and have conversations, like I would replay it in my head and be like, was that stupid? Why did I just say that? What are you doing? What are you saying? Aileen, like questioning everything I was doing. And it was just so weird. And I felt like I’m finally getting comfortable with people again.

Lauren: I had a pretty good weekend. I went to new Haven, Connecticut, which you know, is an interesting town because you have Yale university and other colleges, I think, I think right. There’s other things there. And, uh, there’s quite a nightlife going on there. but I went to see Patty Griffin and Gregory Allen as, as the cough, I’m going to get that wrong. I’m sorry, Iceland off.

Aileen: I have no idea,

Lauren: No, but he was Isaac hub. He was so good. I was so impressed with him. And I was that’s when I texted you guys. And I was like, I’m really tired. I should just go home. But I was like, no, I’m going to stick it out to the end. Cause I know Patty Griffin is going to come out and sing at the end, you know? And she did. And it was really good.

Aileen: I was so [00:04:00] impressed with you because I was getting ready to crawl into bed. And I couldn’t even imagine being out and major props to you for being out.

Lauren: well, I have to admit, I got back to the hotel and I took a Benadryl cause I’m like, I am going to bed now. Like I’m not going to lay in this weird, bad and not sleep on my one night away. It worked. I slept till eight. It’s wicked late for me.

Josie: No, that’s so late for me that I don’t even, I don’t even, I don’t know what that luxury is.

Lauren: What about Alyssa? Did you do something fun?

Alisa: Oh, we got together with friends, um, that we hadn’t seen in awhile. and it was great except. It was the same thing. The way I lean, like I talked way too much and felt stupid the whole time. And you know, it was pretty sure that everything that came out of my mouth, regret later, but it was not.

Aileen: It’s a new, weird feeling. And I’m like, I feel like I always had that in me a little bit, like a little bit of social anxiety, but you get out of practice, like being around people and having conversations and acting normal.

Josie: I was on the phone with my agent the other day and I said one wrong, like one adjective that I just kind of went, why did I say that [00:05:00] for like three days? I was like, why did I say that? What that one adjective was so dumb. It was like, and she even like paused for a second. She was thinking what is Josie saying? Now, if I go back and try to apologize or say something, I didn’t mean to say that I even look worse as far as just like, oh man, me off the phone.

Aileen: Josie I have to ask. Cause I feel like that’s the most Hollywood thing I’ve ever heard you say I was on my, on the phone with my agent the other day. what, what do you talk about when you talk with your agent? Like what, what, what does that mean?

Josie: She just was like, so how’s the book. Cause I’m almost done. Um, I’ve got like, I should have been done a few weeks ago, but I’m almost done with another in the star cross series. Like I’m starting that up again. So this is, um, the fourth book is written. I’m writing the fifth book now in this series and I’m literally, I’m at a hundred thousand words and I can’t, that’s a ginormous book. That’s like,

Lauren: you

Josie: yeah. What floor. [00:06:00]

Lauren: Cause you know, I have a teenage daughter who loves your books and she’s only read three. So the fourth one hasn’t been published though. Correct?

Josie: it’s not out yet.

Lauren: Cause then I would have been really, really in trouble if that was the case.

Josie: yeah, no, no, they take, it’s not going to be out until the end of next year. It takes, yeah. I know. It takes forever for books to come out. It is, it’s really fun. It’s edited. It’s done. It’s just, there’s like a whole bunch of stuff that has to happen before, but can come out. But I’m supposed to be done with the fifth one and I’m, it just keeps getting longer. Like I just keep saying, oh, I got to have that scene onto the, oh, I gotta have that scene on it. Just like I’m at a hundred thousand words already. And if it’s like 120, it’s just, going to read that. Like, nobody’s reading that book. So I really got to

Lauren: a sixth book? Can you do a sixth

Josie: Oh no, there is a sixth book planned. Like I have it, I have it outlined actually I have a sixth and a seventh book outline, so I have, yeah.

Aileen: God. Do you completely outline all of your books before you start?

Josie: Yeah, [00:07:00] but so the book I’m just about to write before I sit down and write it, it’s like scene by scene, which will change. But, um, if I’m writing a series, I have to know like my major beats. So I have to know like my inciting incident and of act one midpoint and of act like I have to know all of these. And I have to know my character arcs for all my main characters and star cross has like 12 main characters. So my outlines for these books are pretty intricate, but I don’t have it scene by scene for any more than just the book that I’m about to write, but that’s still like, you know, eight, nine pages of outline.

Lauren: I can’t wait to tell my daughter about that.

Aileen: Wait, does every writer do that? That seems so impressive and disciplined, and I don’t even know how you would do.

Josie: there are two types of writers. This is what I’ve noticed. They’re called plotters and pantsers, and plotters are the ones who sit down and they go scene by scene and beat by beat. Um, and then there are pantsers who are just like, I feel it in my head. I kind of know where I’m [00:08:00] going with this. Like, I know my major moments that I’m just going to write because they get bored. If they’ve already thought through all this, you know what I mean? There’s just like, it’s not interesting to me anymore. Cause I feel like I already wrote it and I get that. But for me, I have to maybe it’s because I put so many dang characters in my books that I have to know. I have to make sure that I’m satisfying all of their lines. Like I can’t just go in there and wing it. Like I have to know what I’m going to say and what I’m going to do. So,

Aileen: Okay. I have another question not to make this whole thing all about Josie, but, um, I’m curious about how you choose your characters names, because I remember when you and I like we lost touch for a while then. I think I was probably at work, supposed to be working. And so of course I was Googling anyone I could think of and seeing what they were doing well, what they’re up to, just to procrastinate. I was like, Josie, what’s she doing? I’m like, I bet she’s an actress. I bet she’s been in TV and movie. Like, cause that’s what you were going to do. I Googled you and found out that you had gotten this amazing book deal. And I was like, [00:09:00] holy shit, this is awesome. And then I,

Lauren: sure you like texted me after that too. And was like, Hey, did you know.

Aileen: everyone I could think of. Cause I was like, Josie is an author. This is awesome. And then I think I found you through Twitter, even though you and I hadn’t really known each other through social media, I was like, that’s weird that Josie would be on social media. But I think I sent

Josie: Yeah.

Aileen: like Twitter or something, whatever we got back in touch. And then you told me that you had named one of your characters after me. And I was like, oh my God, that is the coolest thing ever. think it was star cross.

Josie: Yeah.

Aileen: out and I bought it and I was reading and then I got to the character named Aileen. And she was dead. wasn’t even like a living character who got killed. She was already dead. So I was

Josie: Don’t worry

Aileen: interesting.

Josie: you’ll see. Or don’t worry, just like my whole idea where the story is multi-generational and Aileen is definitely an important character in the later books. So you’ll definitely, yeah. You’ll see.

Alisa: there were several. [00:10:00] I don’t know if they’re Easter eggs or just callbacks to our youth with Sunnyside cafe and

Josie: Oh yeah.

Alisa: Lauren’s name in French class, which was Claire

Josie: Yep.

Aileen: Mr. Hillfinger. mean, now Mr.

Alisa: or Lang Meyer and, uh,

Josie: Herget Shimer Mr. Hargesheimer is in there.

Alisa: and, um,

Josie: Yeah.

Alisa: Matt

Josie: Matt, Matt Millis is Matt.

Alisa: It was fun though, you know, reading it and being able to see the influence of it, of, of, you know, where we grew up. Yeah. Who our social circle was in and to play that game of, you know, how much of this is coincidence and how much of this is not coincidence.

Josie: oh, I steal from my life constantly. And definitely when I was writing that book, wanted it to feel like home to people. I wanted it to feel like family and their friends and their high school. And so I knew, I knew that the only way that I could do that was with, if I was completely honest with myself about what does it feel like to have this tight group of friends? What does it [00:11:00] feel like to live in a small town and work? You got to check with yourself. Like if you check inside yourself and you’re like, this is how it happened, and this is how I felt. then you use that in your stories, you know, it’s going to ring true with other people. And I don’t know. So that’s why I borrow so much from my life, but we all do. We all steal from our lives. It’s like, it’s impossible not to,

Lauren: write what, you know,

Josie: but also it’s what we’re figuring out. It’s like the reason why writing is interesting to begin with is because I’m still figuring out me and my friends and what I want and what it is to be a wife a daughter,

Lauren: Oh, yeah.

Josie: still figuring all that stuff out.

Lauren: It’s kind of interesting. You bring that up Josie, because

Josie: Um,

Lauren: like I talked about my oldest daughter a couple of times, but, um, she always asks me about how I got to know you guys. that’s I have a story behind it. I don’t know if you guys know It I think Alyssa does maybe, but I mean, I knew Alyssa and Josie. I knew you guys from the neighborhoods that we lived in, but I didn’t hang out with you at school. I hung out with some other girls who are not being very nice to me. And like, I’ll say sixth grade, maybe [00:12:00] fifth grade, fifth grade. And this independent decision. Just, I was so tired of it. I sat with Christin Simonson one day, cause I met her in softball.

Josie: It was fifth grade. It was fifth grade.

Lauren: and, um, I was just so tired of feeling bullied and left out of this group of girls. They were so snobby, um, so I just, I liked Kristin. I had fun with her at softball. We had spent some time together and I just sat with her at lunch one day. And, uh, you guys kind of just me in And it became your friend. I always, I told Donna they were like the really smart girls and I didn’t, I didn’t have an easy time in school, but they liked me anyways.

Josie: Alien walked up to me and I think you just took pity on me cause I was so tall and goofy and awkward looking and you’re just like, you’re like, you’re a little weird, but we’re going to be friends. And I was like, okay. And I was, I was like wearing ten-year old hand-me-down clothes that were my brothers. And this was first grade, first day of first grade. You’re just like, [00:13:00] yeah, you can play with me. We’re going to be friends. And I was like, yes. Score of a lifetime.

Aileen: don’t remember any of that.

Josie: I was terrified. I was terrified because I didn’t go to the same kindergarten that you guys went

Aileen: oh, that’s right.

Lauren: oh, you did? Huh?

Josie: day getting dropped off. And my sister, Martha just like left me. And I was like, what the heck? Because I was in first and she was in third and she was like, see ya. Like I know no blonde. And Elaine took pity on me and we’ve been friends ever since.

Aileen: I probably didn’t take pity. I think I was probably like, Ooh, that girl looks really pretty and it looks kind of cool. It’s funny to, as you talk about how you dress back then and Euro, it’s always in a disparaging way, but I remember, I always thought you had like a cool sense of style. I had no idea it’s because you were wearing like your brothers hand, me downs or whatever, you just always kind of had like. Funky interesting clothes. And it felt like you actually had a sense of style. Whereas the rest of us were like, what champion sweatshirts are in tucked into jeans. Let’s do it.

Lauren: I literally felt the same way about you, Josie and Kate Ferrari always dressed real [00:14:00] funky. And I was like, that’s so cool.

Josie: I had to make it up as I went along. So I was like, okay, my brother’s clothes from the seventies. Figure it out. But

Aileen: cause you knew how to put it together and pull it off. wasn’t like you were wearing like bell-bottoms that were way too long for you or anything, you know?

Josie: I nixed the bell-bottoms believe me a lot were offered to me. Like my mom was like, what’s wrong with these pants? And I’m like, everything. Look at them. The bottoms are bigger than the tops. Like I could wear the my waist.

Aileen: And now all that fashion is back in.

Josie: I know. So Aileen, what was the book that you, um, what was the book that you picked this week?

Aileen: I picked a divine secrets of the Yaya sisterhood, which I think I read it years ago. So it was written, I think, in the early nineties. And it’s about a woman named Cita she basically she’s become a playwright and she’s interviewed by the New York times and she says some negative things about her mother, [00:15:00] her mother finds out and wants to disown her. So it kind of then goes back Through the history of Siddha and her relationship with her mother and her mother’s friends, the Yaz, and it all takes place in Louisiana in the Bayou. Like that’s where she grew up. She grew up in the sixties. And it’s funny, I was reading it and it’s at first it felt like a lot. And the structure of the book is really interesting because it’s told from multiple points of view by multiple people. Some of it is told through letters that the main character is reading. Some of it is other characters kind of filling in the blanks and the things she doesn’t get, the information she doesn’t get from the letters. And so at first it kind of feels like it’s all over the place, but then it’s actually this like, beautiful story about this friendship between these four women and then their relationships with their daughters, men are in it, but they’re really kind of in the periphery do they, they’re kind of, they have supporting roles. They’re either really awful or they’re really great. This kind of, there’s kind of no, in between. But there was this one [00:16:00] quote in the book as I was, I got really hung up on like the structure of the book for some

Josie: Mm.

Aileen: I’m like, why did she choose to tell this story this way? Because Cita, basically this review comes out her mother’s like, I want nothing to do with you. You’re making me look terrible in front of the world. His mom, her mother is this whole character. Sid

Josie: Yeah.

Aileen: to get married, to suddenly is having second thoughts. And she’s kind of, she runs away to Seattle to figure out her life. but there’s this one quote at one point that one of the IAH says to her and she says, don’t tell truths. We tell stories. And I was like, oh my God, that’s it. That’s the whole point of this book

Josie: Yep.

Aileen: because is no truth. There’s only the way that everyone interprets a situation. And there’s only the information that they know and their point of view. And everybody always sees things differently. It was just, it was really interesting because you see how her mother was awful to her when she was a child from her point of view. But then you go back and you see

Josie: Hmm.

Aileen: everything that happened to her mother when she was growing up. And you understand why she treated her daughter the way that she did. And I just, [00:17:00] it was just a, it was just a really kind of interesting insight and also makes you realize how important it is to tell your stories, make sure that everybody hears your point of view, where you’ve come from, the things that have happened to you, even when we were just talking earlier, like you guys remember, you guys are, you guys are my memory in a lot of ways, you know, there are things that you remember that I don’t, or you remember things differently, or I am, or you remember a situation and think I was awful in it and you guys might think I was wonderful in it. just, just so interesting there aren’t true, sir. Only stories because everyone interprets things a little differently. Everyone brings kind of their own baggage and their experience into everything. So. And it was just, it’s funny. I feel like whenever you hear about someone growing up in the Bayou and in Louisiana, it gets so romanticized and it’s just like, this was book was just beautifully written, like just really rich language and it just draws you in. But then I would pull back

Josie: Yeah.

Aileen: like, there are probably so many fucking mosquitoes. And they were probably so hot and like uncomfortable all the time. But, you know, instead it’s like, you’re getting all this beautiful language and it really romanticize. It makes it [00:18:00] seem absolutely wonderful. So I know it was really, it was interesting. It was also, it was also about a woman who starts to see her mother as a person. And I think we’ve all gone through that, you know, cause you grow up and your mother

Lauren: yes.

Aileen: your mother and then you start to realize she has other relationships and that there’s more to her than just being your mother and then you become a mother and it makes you re look at your mother to.

Josie: sit also like worshiped her mom. Her mom was like this goddess, as well as being her mom. I don’t know. There was like this duality to it. It was like, her mom was horrible to her and, but she was also when it was good, it was very, very good. was like, do kids do that? Do they ever get to see us as people?

Lauren: Sometimes my daughters will say, you know, I’ll say, well, you know, grandma is like that because of the way she grew up or I’m like that because of maybe how I grew up, but to my daughter is, and I don’t know if this is just like a contemporary generational thing or whatever, but there there’ll be like, but that doesn’t matter. It’s not an excuse, you know, like you could do better kind of thing.

Aileen: Lauren. Do you

Lauren: Yeah.

Aileen: kids are [00:19:00] black and white about everything? Like, is that just

Lauren: Sometimes. Yeah. Like if I, if I like want to talk about a controversial topic, I like to look at things from different angles, you know? And, and not because I see it one way or the other, but I I’m definitely in the gray for a lot of things? Like, even about people. I, I honestly like it could be a horrible person and I’ll still do. There’s gotta be something there. That’s good about that person,

Alisa: but that’s also who

Lauren: killer. It’s a serial killer, but he’s got feelings too.

Alisa: but you find the good Lauren and everything.

Josie: I know Lauren, what a big heart.

Lauren: No, but seriously, but, uh, like my kids will be like, no, mom, you know, if I get pronouns wrong on their friends, you can’t get that wrong, mom, you have to get that. Right. You can’t keep making that mistake and I’ll be like, Jesus Christ. It was so much pressure.

Aileen: You know, you know what I think, I think that’s social media. That’s what social media has done. Everything is either you believe this or you believe that, and there’s nothing in between. So I’m sure kids growing up with that. Yeah.

Lauren: [00:20:00] Yeah.

Aileen: sense. Yeah. 100% yet. This book also made me really think about just female friendships and how important they are, especially friendships from childhood, how appropriate for our podcast right now. but you can’t go back and make childhood friends. Like my son has a friend who he’s known since the day he was born and I’m, I’m friends with the mother and we try so hard keep them connected because we’re like, they’re never going to make a friend like that ever again, like to have someone who’s known you from like the time you were a little up until adulthood pretty amazing. I feel like it’s more common with women than with men, I think, or at least I guess that’s not totally true. I take that back. Cause things aren’t binary, there can be areas of gray, but, uh, women just tend to, I don’t know there, I think because we talk about our feelings more, there’s just a different kind of bond that happens with female friendships.

Josie: But that’s something that’s really brought out in the book and your book. she talks about they’re all in a hammock and their legs are all together and they’re laying on the [00:21:00] porch together. And there’s just something you would never see. Four dudes piled into a hammock on a sweaty afternoon with their legs, all tangled up, like painting each other’s toenails it. Women just have this, like, I don’t know. I don’t know what that is, but we bond and we know that it’s not. There’s nothing wrong with being that close to another person, without it being like a physical sexual relationship. Like you can have friendships that deepen that close and it doesn’t have to be romantic. It can be something else. And I think women are allowed that more than men are allowed that by society. And maybe that gives us an opportunity to make that connection.

Alisa: yeah, I think you’re right, Josie. I think there’s a lot of stereotyping that goes into the types of relationships that women are allowed to have. I think those relationships are out there with We just don’t see it and it’s not celebrated. you know,

Josie: Yeah.

Alisa: I have, uh, one of my in-laws talks about his best friend growing up. They would hang out together after school and they would always fall asleep on the couch. Like they would have [00:22:00] daily naps together on the couch. And that was just part of their like best friendship of, of being so close that they can, you know, just kind of be drapey all over each other as teenagers. And, know, I think it’s the equivalent of, you know, entangled legs and painting toes. And, you don’t ever hear that aren’t those stories?

Aileen: except for that one episode of friends, I think it’s really rare. Do you guys remember that episode when like Chandler and Joey, I think fall asleep on or Chandler and RA, I don’t

Alisa: No, it was Ross

Aileen: and

Alisa: and Joey,

Aileen: they fall asleep on each other and have this amazing nap and they’re like, no one can ever know. I don’t tell anyone, but that was amazing, it’s also like talk toxic masculinity is a real

Lauren: Um,

Josie: Yeah.

Aileen: men weren’t allowed to like have feelings and be vulnerable. So I think, I think it’s a new thing. I mean, even think about it. How often do you see two straight men out at a restaurant having dinner together?

Lauren: I think it’s cultural too, though. You lean, like, I think it might be cultural because I think [00:23:00] Latinos might be more willing to show those feelings than maybe your average white American man. You know what I mean? I dunno if those of us married to Latinos,

Aileen: Well,

Lauren: three out of four.

Josie: Nope. I mean, my husband, no. I mean, he has old friends. He has friendships that back and they are very, like, they played football together in high school and like they know each other from way back when, but.

Lauren: Cookie and pony

Josie: Cookie and Pony. Um, but they’re not like, do you remember when y’all used to like sleep on the floor together?And we were just like one big pile of girls and like, I could never see these dudes.

Aileen: yeah. The relationships are so different and I’m so conscious of it now that I’m raising a little boy, like

Lauren: Yeah.

Aileen: important. And actually the other day we were in the car and, um, just want to have fun came on and why.

Josie: Yeah,

Aileen: Boys want to have fun too silly, Cindy lopper.

Josie: that’s so cute.

Alisa: The fact that he knows it’s Cindy lopper. I love that

Aileen: I was very [00:24:00] proud.

Josie: Awesome. Okay. So Lauren,

Lauren: Yeah. I am so glad I chose this book. Um, I chose Ivy Aberdeen’s letter to the world by Ashley, Ashley Herring break. I Blake, I want to keep, I want to say Alyssa’s sister’s name when I say that, because her maiden name, it makes me want to say that, but anyway, um, it was so good and I’m glad I read it. Um, it’s the first, uh, And I’m ashamed to say this, but it’s the first LGBTQ children’s chapter book that I read. and it was, I, I bought it for the live, well, I didn’t have it in the collection, but I bought it from my library because, there’s this program through in Massachusetts called the Massachusetts children’s book awards through Salem state, I think. Um, and I try to buy all the books that are on the list and they don’t have to be current books. It’s just what the kids nominate. I, I believe you can look it up, but, and this was on the list. and it’s about a 12 year old girl who it starts off. She wakes up early one morning and these sirens [00:25:00] go off and there’s a tornado. She lives in Georgia and our family’s in this desperate race to get into the underground cellar or whatever. So she has an older sister to parent like her mom and dad. And then she has like three month old twin brothers or something. But that’s just the start of it. Like she loses everything, all her favorite, um, her favorite pen, she’s an artist. and then our notebook goes missing in transition. And then this notebook, she was drawing images of herself in a tree house, with a friend and or another girl. And it’s kind of like her, journey figuring out that she’s gay, but she might not quite have the words for it yet. And in fact, later in the book she was saying

Josie: wait, how old is she? How old is she

Lauren: she’s 12, she turns 13 in the book. so I don’t want to give away the whole book because it’s so good. Um, but she ends up having what she calls the word, brushed with a C crush on a girl and, um, It doesn’t quite work out the way she hopes or imagines it would, [00:26:00] but that’s sort of part of her just figuring out herself. And, um, but it’s also about her figuring out her place in her family and being honest with them about what she’s feeling and why she feels she can’t. I dunno, it was, it was just the, the writing was beautiful. The description of the tornado. I have bad dreams about tornado. Sometimes. It’s really horrible. don’t know where they come from because I live in Massachusetts. Well, that being said, Eileen was. at my house once. I think we were like 13 Ayleen when there was. a tornado that came through our town and three, we trees that’s the night that. I’m not even, we’re not allowed to talk about it, but that’s the night that that incident happened, where I stole something.

Aileen: Oh yes. The incident that we will not speak of. Yes, I do remember

Lauren: So maybe that’s why I have dreams about a tornado coming at me, like at my home, or like, it’s, they’re awful. But the description, what I’m trying to say here is that the description in the first chapter about the tornado, I was like, Oh, I don’t know if I want to read this. this is scary because it just made me think [00:27:00] about those dreams. And, um, I really, really liked the way the author handled the girl figuring out her identity and her where her, um, her sexual identity. I just, it was just so organic and her friends were so supportive, but there was that a little bit of like, And how do you approach it? Like the friends may know, but they didn’t know how to approach it with their friend or what to say. I just thought it was super well done and I, I really recommend it. In fact, I want my daughters to read it, even though it’s a little young for them at this point,

Aileen: You know, what’s interesting

Lauren: but

Aileen: Those books did not exist when we were growing up.

Lauren: no

Aileen: gay characters or people

Lauren: no. And I’ll

Aileen: identity at all.

Lauren: no, and alien, there’s a lot of children’s picture books. and because we celebrate, um, gosh, I can’t remember what month is it’s June, right? Is it may or June? Um, pride month. It’s June,Yeah. So in the library, we actually celebrate that now. And it’s one way of marking the books. It’s really easy. We have these little rainbow book, [00:28:00] uh, stickers, we put on them and there were, we were really, we really thought about it. Like, do we want to mark these books? Cause if we mark them. There will be people who don’t want to take them out, but then those people are really missing out on the opportunity of reading a book and their child discovering them. That’s the whole mirrors and windows things I always go off on.

Josie: You can just lie and say it’s reading rainbow.

Aileen: it’s a really colorful.

Lauren: But so we ended up putting them on the picture books just because they are helpful when you are looking for them. They they’re like, oh, here’s one, pull it off the shelf. So it’s ease of access and everything, but we ended up not putting them on the rainbow stickers on the chapter books, we didn’t want there to be like censorship with parents at that age. Cause that’s the age of kids or, you know, thinking about those things or may have questions and to have a parents say, oh, I don’t want you reading that. I mean, I, I don’t want to police it. It’s parents have the ultimate decision with their kids read. But if a kid who’s 12 years old is browsing the shelves and is interested in reading something like that. I don’t want anybody to tell them [00:29:00] not to, for them to say, I don’t want to be seen with that book with a rainbow on it, you

Josie: Right. That’s another thing like kids, once they know what that means, you don’t want to, you don’t want to brand a book in any specific way.

Lauren: Yeah.

Josie: And is it, is there a friendship in it or is it just, it starts as a friendship and it’s maybe something else, but.

Lauren: actually. There’s a friendship. Um, I’m on her name. Ivy is the main character. Um, her best friend, his name is Taryn and there’s a lot of miscommunication going on in that friendship and Terrance trying to get her friend to open up to her. and then there’s the girl that she kind of forms that crush on June. And June’s a new girl in town and has some of her own issues. and then her older sister. Layla has a friend who’s gay. and that plays out in the story. Her name is Gigi. So there’s some, there are definitely friendships in this bucket was,

Aileen: Lauren, do you think it feels like common to kids to read about non-straight. I feel like I don’t even, I’m trying to find the right language for it. Non straight characters in books, like as a parents who are getting hung [00:30:00] up on it more than kids.

Lauren: I think it’s parents. Yeah. Especially now.

Aileen: Yeah.

Lauren: I don’t know if maybe Alyssa can, what she thinks because she’s surrounded by kids all day, but from what I, my kids are just, It’s so much part of their world now. I’m sure there are kids hung up on it My kids tell me that, oh, that homophobic, you know? I do feel like. our kids are growing up in a world where, you know, pronouns are different and identity is a thing like that. People talk about it more openly.

Alisa: It seems to be more accepted and especially the younger, the kids are the less of an issue it is. My son had a friend, in second, third grade, someone in his class. Who transitioned. So fourth grade, all of a

Josie: uh,

Alisa: my son is playing with this new boy in the playground, and he’s talking about his friends. And I said, oh, who, who is that, that other person, are they new mom last year? They were so-and-so female this year. It’s this person. And you know, [00:31:00] he’s a boy now, and that was it. And never an issue.

Josie: You guys know brother’s a proud gay man he’s been out, but he came out to me when I was, when I was saying, so he was in college. It was after his freshman year of college. Like he had to leave Ashland where we grew up to be able to. Find his identity and be open and just come back and then come out to his family and be an openly gay man. And he’s, uh, he’s very active in the gay community, but it was just such a struggle for him going to our small town. also we grew up in a super Catholic family. Like my family was like super catholic. So that had a factor like my brother had to have, like, you know, another place to live outside of where my parents were in order for him to, claim his sexual identity. And, but I was confused. I was like, what are you talking about? I was like, what do you mean you’re gay? And I didn’t, I didn’t get it. I was 13 and I didn’t even understand what it was to be homosexual. [00:32:00] My brother was like, oh, I like men. means I’m like this. And I don’t know. I want to be with a man. Hopefully someday I’ll get to marry a man and blah, blah, blah. And I was like, oh, I get it. Like, yeah, you’ve always been gay. You know, because as soon as he told me that. That was it like this big Eureka moment? Like I got it now. Oh, so Jerry Good for you. You know, but for him it was, we grew up in this such a closed society when we were younger, that coming out was a dangerous thing to do. And my brother, He’s got to be one of the bravest people I’ve ever met.

Lauren: oh, yeah.

Josie: So wait, are we on Alyssa?

Alisa: Yeah. turn,

Josie: Yeah. It’s your turn. We don’t want to tell us about your book.

Alisa: I picked fried green tomatoes at the stop cafe by Fannie Flagg, who I didn’t realize she didn’t write that many books. She was a performer, an actress and comedian. and this book came out in 1987 and then was made into a movie in 91. And.[00:33:00]

Lauren: I have a love That really.

Alisa: thought of this because of the movie. And

Josie: Yeah.

Alisa: I knew it was based on a book and it’s a, a Y a book, and there’s a bunch of reading guides that go with this and, you know, questions for book groups. And if you want to use it in class, you know, curriculum guides, movie and book are, different. so the, the premise is that there’s a past and then a present. And part of the book takes place in the present with Evelyn who is a 48 year old woman. Who’s going to visit her. Mother-in-law in a nursing home and her mother-in-law is grumpy and they don’t enjoy each other’s company. So Evelyn goes to the waiting room to hang out and where where she meets many things. Ninny is in her late eighties, loves to talk. Doesn’t get much by way of visitors. And so it starts as, you know, kind of a default companionship because they’re just sharing a space and ninny want someone to talk to [00:34:00] and they develop this friendship. And what’s, what’s nice about that one. And I think that’s the true friendship of the book. I liked that it’s intergenerational, um, that there is value in this older woman’s memories and her experiences. And that all translates to Evelyn who gets

Josie: yeah.

Alisa: and inspired to believe in herself and make some major changes that she needs to make for her happiness. And, I mean, all the, the best parts of a friendship where you have someone calling you out on things that you. Hmm, might be afraid to do. And you know, they figuratively and literally hold your hand while confront these things and realize you, you can overcome these fears and you’re not flawed the way you think you are so many stories. Then the other half of the book are what you learned about happening 19 20, 19 30, 19 40, and it’s Alabama. And in those [00:35:00] parts of the book, there are so many characters, and the friendships all overlap between different communities, primarily the black community and the white community that center around the whistle stop cafe. And so the main character from the stories of the past is itchy thread. Good. Who is a sister-in-law to ninny. So ninny is the one telling the story. About her crazy. Sister-in-law edgy and itching has this friendship with Ruth. And that’s what I remember from the movie is watching the friendship between edgy and Ruth and just how deep it was in the book.

Aileen: Yeah.

Alisa: very much is a romantic relationship and that not translate I think, in the movie or at least if it did, that’s not what I’m remembering.

Josie: tone that down. That’s not really in the movie.

Alisa: Um, I thought there were a couple of really interesting [00:36:00] aspects to it though. So it’s 1920s, Alabama. And you first are introduced to Ruth and when Ruth and edgy first meet Angie is a tomboy, where’s her brother’s clothes. and she’s

Josie: and

Alisa: Ruth is. 20 I think, and Ruth was invited over to dinner at the thread, good house edgy ran upstairs to go

Josie: here.

Alisa: for dinner. And everyone’s sitting at the table and they’re all shocked that she’s like caring and putting herself together and wants to come down and presentable. And the mom says to the rest of the kids, huge family, the mom says to the rest of the kids, don’t you give your sister a hard time. She has a crush, leave her alone about this. And it just was so acknowledged as course, this is how it is, and this is fine, and this is how it needs to be. So the family just accepted it, which I thought was great. Um, and then develop their friendship and it, and there was, it [00:37:00] was just a deep friendship, really that blossomed. place over summer. Ruth had to leave. both are saying, I love you the end of this. Um, and Ruth is saying, I know. That you love me and I love you, but I can’t stay to go marry this man. And I’m going to go off and live the that I’m supposed to live. then later Ruth comes back, and it’s acknowledged again by the parents. They say to Ruth, we’re so happy you’re back. And we’re so happy that you are Angie’s companion. And that really is all that’s acknowledged. Um, and their friendship then at that point in the book never really is explained anymore. It’s always about the antics of what’s going on at the cafe that they’re running and the different characters coming in and out. and I really would have liked more. I think that would be my only complaint about the book is there’s this really rich friendship and relationship that just much room to be explored and it just wasn’t. And then the book ends in probably the best way a book for me could end, which is a list of recipes.

Aileen: we’re so different, Alyssa.

Alisa: So yeah, all the recipes from cafe are listed in the back of the book. So of course the fried green tomatoes,

Josie: Yeah.

Lauren: Have you ever made those?

Alisa: yes I

Josie: Yeah,

Alisa: my husband’s grandmother had a fried green tomato recipe. So I, I have an authentic finger fried green tomato recipe. pretty similar.

Josie: are fried green tomatoes. Good.

Alisa: so good.

Lauren: feel like I’ve given You some green tomatoes before.

Alisa: You have Lauren? Yes.

Lauren: Yeah.

Alisa: it. And it’s delicious.

Lauren: I have a question, Alyssa. So in the movie, Evelyn gets in a little bit of a fender bender in the supermarket parking lot and the girls are rude to her and she’s like, Sue says something like I’m older and I have better insurance.

Alisa: it ladies I’m older and I have better insurance than you.

Lauren: I love that

Alisa: I [00:39:00] know me too

Josie: And what’s the word? What? What’s the, what’s the word she shouts.

Alisa: yeah. Tahlullah was like her alter ego, that she wrestling with this character that she, she could be and outlandish if she was channeling this character. But it, book also really touches upon some mental health issues that are not directly addressed, but Evelyn talks about, um, how unhappy she is and how depressed she is and how a lot about hurting herself or hurting other people. And. She is just so unhappy moving through the world in part, because she’s really isolated. And so meeting her friends, helped free her from being isolated and then allowed her to, to grow, um, and to, to get some medical help that moved her forward in a more positive way.

Lauren: I’d like to go back to the intergenerational part of it, Alyssa, [00:40:00] because as you guys know, I have an 80 something year old friends in a nursing home right now, that’s where she’ll be indefinitely, but I got to know her before the nursing home. And I always, I just have such respect for her and what she’s been through. And I, you know, I don’t know a lot about her, I know a little bit. I think there’s something to be said for having outside of your family an older person. I mean, significantly older than you. And how they, you know, she’s been through divorce and she’s like, she says, I know how it feels, you know, even though she’s 80, she can herself back in those shoes. and she remembers how hard it is, you know? I don’t, I don’t think of her as those feelings, but it’s like me, I still feel like I’m 25 sometimes, you know, like I’m not really an adult, am I? Oh Yeah. that’s right. I’m adulting. I, I do think there’s a lot of value in, because by the time you’re 86, you just don’t care anymore. And the things you worried about when you’re 35 [00:41:00] or 45, just don’t, they don’t matter. You know,

Aileen: lauren, how did, you meet your 80 year old friend?

Lauren: She was a librarian. So we had that in common. Um, I think that was a major part of it and she’s a reader. Um, so I often would drop off books to her on my way home from work. especially during the pandemic. And we just sort of got to know each other a little bit not a lot, you know, I don’t know. I, I definitely don’t know everything about her. very in fact, but there’s this connection there. And so when she became ill or for whatever reason, she’s in the nursing home, I just wanted to help her, you know, I didn’t want her to be alone, even though she has children, but they’re far away. So, um, I try to help her out, even if it’s trying to teach her how to use a Kindle. Hmm.

Josie: That’s cool. Okay. So I guess, I guess it’s me, I guess it’s my turn me to move on. And, um, so I picked, um, [00:42:00] sisterhood of the traveling pants by Ann brochures or , and now we have the, uh, there was this moment we were talking about last names. Like, how do you really say a last name? I, I always butcher last names. They should just like, come with like the little accents so that everybody knows how to pronounce them. Does anyone know how to say her last name, properly and brochures or anyway, so she wrote sisterhood of the traveling pants and the sequels that came after it. The first book came out in 2006. And it is very squarely, Y a it’s um, for friends, I was like, oh, huh. Legos is for friends whose parents met when they were all pregnant at the same time. And so these group of girls, Lena Carmen, Bridgette, and Tibi, they are, were called the Septembers. Cause they were all due at the same time. And their moms were in this aerobics class that they hated. And the aerobics teacher used to say, September’s take it easy. You’re just about to pop. And it kind of turned into a joke for them. So the [00:43:00] kids stayed friends, their whole lives, and the moms broke apart. Like the moms are no longer really friends. And I always thought that I thought that was really interesting because it’s exactly the opposite of Yaya sisterhood. It’s like the moms are all friends in the petite Yaz, or like, there’s like kind of like siblings, but they don’t really play that big of a role in the book. You know, it’s really about the moms in Yaya and it’s all about the kids that get bonded from birth and the parents don’t hang out anymore. So I thought that was really interesting. So the whole setup for sisterhood of the traveling pants is that this is the first summer the girls are going to be separate literally since birth. Lena is going to Greece to visit her grandparents for the summer. Carmen is going to be staying with her dad. Her parents are divorced. So she’s going to go to South Carolina. This takes place outside of DC. Bridget is this amazing athletic soccer star, and she’s going to Mexico to like play soccer at a camp in [00:44:00] Mexico. And Tibi is the only one staying home and she’s got this job. It’s like, it’s like a Walgreens, but they call it like Waldorf’s or something. I dunno, they call it like something else. And she’s got to wear this smock and she’s just, she’s like horrified. She’s like, I can’t believe I got to work at this store. but the, for the first time the girls are going to be separated. And there’s this pair of pants that Carmen bought, like on accident in a thrift store. She was just like, Hey, I’ll buy those pants. And it turns out that when all four girls tried on the pants, they looked amazing in them. And the four girls have totally different bodies. Like Carmen’s Puerto Rican. Lena is, you know, this beauty, this great Greek beauty, Bridget has this, you know, really athletic girl and Tibi is just like, you know, a chick. She’s just like some girls, but they all have these super different bodies, but the pants are magic and the pants make them look great and they feel great in the pants. That’s the whole thing is that they feel this confidence in the pants that just work for all. And so they decided to do this round Robin with the pants and send them along. And, each of them are going to send them together. And [00:45:00] that way they’re still gonna write letters to each other, but the pants are really going to connect them. And the rules are set up that they can’t even wash the pants, which I was a little like, girl, you need to wash the sand. Like there’s that’s pretty gross. I was like, man, at night you gotta wash the fans. Um, so the four girls, they go off in their different directions and what I thought was so lovely about this book is that normally I was gearing up. I was like, okay, which ones of them are gonna get into. Right. Like in order to create tension in a book it’s going, I was like, I’m going to have, I’m going to get my heartbroken. Cause I’m going to get invested in these four girls and their four relationships with each other, just how wonderful they are together, how supportive and loving and really there for each other and never jealous. There’s like this. Yeah. Lena’s the gorgeous goddess. And you know, but I’m the Puerto Rican and I got a bad temper and that’s my thing in the group. And it’s like, they each have their own sort of identity within the group and they’re cool with it. And they love each other exactly as they are. And they don’t ask [00:46:00] for that person to be any different they don’t want what that other person has. It’s just great.

Lauren: Yeah.

Josie: Aw man, please tell me it’s not going to be about a boy when they fight. And that’s not, not what happens at all their friendship. Like if you were mapping this out

Lauren: Um,

Josie: of character arcs, their friendships never dip their love for each other. And. their relationship with each other, that friendship is I would plot it as a character throughout a book because it’s that strong. It has its own character and it is, it just keeps getting stronger and more affirmed every time none of the girls let each other down never late. The pants get there from Greece. And it’s like, you never know if it’s going to get there and leaving Greece because she’s on the island of San Tarini and it’s an island and things don’t happen. Everything’s on island time, you know, they get there on time. The girls write each other letters. They are th they never let each other down. And I was like, you girl, and look at you modeling [00:47:00] these great friendships for another generation of young women.

Aileen: Well, it is isn’t it? It is I’m sorry, go ahead. I was gonna say it is interesting. The comparison to Yaya because the friendship there is always so strong too. Like that it’s the backbone of the story.

Josie: Yeah. And it’s never, it’s never endangered, it’s never jeopardized. Like you look for places to, you know, build tension in a book or you’ll, in order to build drama. And if it’s a book that’s about a bunch of women, you think that they’re going to fight with each other ixnay on that. Like totally not  that either that or it’s all going to be about boys. It, Nope. That’s not what it’s about at all. Carmen, it’s more, it’s more of a situation with her dad. she finds out when she gets there that dad is remarrying and he’s going to have this family and beautiful house and come she only ever saw her dad twice a year for like a few days at a time. And now he spends every day, like he goes to the boys soccer games and like, that family has been getting more of him than she got. And she sort of. You know, she won’t admit she’s mad because [00:48:00] she can’t get mad at her dad.

Lauren: Okay.

Josie: understand that. Like, she won’t allow herself to be angry with him, even though that’s what she needs. So that’s her arc is all about really claiming her anger. Like she has the right to get angry about this with Lena. It is about a boy, but it’s not in the way you think for her. It’s always been about, the problem in it is great. Like, this awesome guy. Oh my God, this beautiful Greek boy who is the, and she’s like, I don’t want anything to do with him. guys have always dated me. They always dated my friends to get to me. And it takes her the whole summer to come around with that. Tibby story is all about. She’s so she’s stuck at home. She’s working the crappy wall place or whatever. got to wear the smock. And she decides that she’s going to make a movie about all the lame people. And it’s going to be kind of like this tongue in cheek. Like she’s going to be making fun of all these lame people in her town and this girl Bailey faints in there. I know it’s like a kind of a mean-spirited thing. girl Bailey comes in and faints all [00:49:00] over a display that she had just put up sanitary napkins or something like that. Well, it turns out Bailey has leukemia and she’s younger. Like she’s a slightly younger girl

Lauren: I remember this. Yeah.

Josie: Bailey like sort of convinces her to let her do the movie with her. And over the course of this, I’m not going to say what happens with Tibby and Bailey. They do develop this genuine friendship and. The whole tenor of the movie that they’re making changes, is the way Bailey sees people teaches Tibby and Bailey’s not like an easy person, like she’s not a sappy girl or anything like that. It teaches Tibby that all of these people, that she was making fun of her genuinely valuable people. And it’s such a lovely lesson about looking a little deeper and Bridget, the soccer star has, that was the only storyline in it that I kind of went. Hm. I had like a few questions about it and a few things about it. That definitely she’s the one who comes out weaker from her experience than stronger. Like she starts off as very, very strong choices that she [00:50:00] makes totally, that she makes, brings her to a place of where she, she can’t even play soccer anymore. and it was really something that. I don’t know, I kind of questioned that choice, but I liked that it was still, uh, it’s still felt honest, like in terms of it still felt like this is something that could definitely happen to a girl. And this is something that a different way of looking at type of relationship. I don’t want to say too much about it because it I’m still thinking about it. I’m still thinking about Bridget and her arc and to her and how she changed and how she was the one who came out weaker in the end. And she started off as like this super woman could do anything, but that being said all in all this sisterhood, never. Falters. And I was so impressed with that. I thought that that was just what a different choice, you know? Cause you normally go for the most drama and if it were a TV show or something like that, there’d be like, well, the girls are going to get into a fight and there’s going to be a point [00:51:00] where the sisterhood of the traveling pants is going to be on the line, like where they’re not going to be there for each other. Normally that would be the arc that you would see. And that’s not what it was at all. And I just loved that choice. I thought it was so good.

Aileen: I was going to say, I think it’s interesting that all of our books are about strong female friendships, their WIA books. And it’s funny, I think back to when. We were in our teens and, high school girls are so mean to each other. I think we all went through periods where we were just treated awfully by people we thought were our friends, like the whole mean girl thing is so real and so true. And I think it’s really interesting that we all gravitated towards books that were actually about like beautiful, solid female friendships. And it wasn’t about the women being petty and mean to each other as them each other as they dealt with all of these different life challenges.

Josie: I actually, you know what I’m trying to say. I’m like, did that ever happen to me? Did I ever get mean girl?

Lauren: I totally did.

Aileen: definitely did.

Alisa: yeah, the whole, you can’t sit with [00:52:00] us today and at lunch, like there’s not enough seats at the table and there’s like four empty.

Lauren: That’s how I became friends with you guys. That’s what, that’s what happened to me, but I don’t. Yeah. I kind of feel like the once we got to high school, I think it’s middle school. That’s

Aileen: Yeah, it is. Yeah, you’re right. Like 13, 14.

Lauren: in high school don’t do that to each other. I feel like there’s this comfort level with who you are at that point. Like you’re getting more comfortable with your friends. Um, more solid. I can’t speak for everybody. I’m just speaking for myself, you know, our friendships. Um,

Josie: too. I felt very solid

Lauren: yeah,

Josie: guys and with the other friends that we had, I felt like we

Lauren: yeah,

Josie: group of girls. So our final thoughts on this week. We’re going to go to Aileen. What are your final thoughts on the divine secrets of the Yas sisterhood?

Aileen: it’s beautiful, book about friendship. It’s something I don’t think I mentioned when I was rambling before another character in the book is alcohol. [00:53:00] thought it was really interesting how. Everyone drinks so heavily throughout the book and almost every single scene in the book it’s describing what someone is drinking, or was just, I don’t know, it’s just something interesting throughout, like, it was a big part of everyone’s lives. Most of them had problems with alcohol, but it was just sort of It was a different time. It was a different place. Um, but yeah, it’s just a really interesting book about friendship and the relationship between mothers and daughters.

Josie: Great. Lauren, do you have any final thoughts?

Lauren: I think this is a wonderful book, for middle-grade middle graders, tweens, um, who are coming out are having thoughts? Like maybe I’m gay. I don’t know. How do I, how do I talk about it’s good. It’s a good way for them to relate to the care. it’s a good way for them to relate to somebody without having to open up about their own feelings

Josie: And what’s the, uh, what’s the full title of the book.

Lauren: Ivy Aberdeen’s letter to the world. [00:54:00] Oh, and did I mention that it’s, um, to the world is, they talk a lot about, uh, Emily Dickinson’s line. I wrote it down so I could remember it. This is my letter to the world that never wrote to me. so

Josie: beautiful.

Lauren: throughout the book, um, and her friend June is a poet, a 12 year old poet. So it comes up. It’s really good.

Josie: Oh, that’s beautiful. And Alyssa fried green tomatoes at the Whistlestop cafe.

Alisa: I really like how this book and all of our books, actually, not cliched relationships. There’s flaws in them. There’s depth to them there. Real characters behind them. Um, and I, and I, I liked in particular in the fried green tomatoes, the, I said before, intergenerational relationships, and just historical. Yeah. Or I guess, relationships that are taking place, you know, in the 1920s and historical [00:55:00] context, that makes the relationships very unique. Um, because probably wasn’t so common to have such open both in terms of, you know, a lesbian relationship, but then also the relationships that I didn’t talk very much about, um, just between all the two races, the, you know, white, white, and black communities at the time in Alabama were very separate. and in this book they just meshed, uh, and it was really.

Josie: That’s great. And for me, my book was the sisterhood of the traveling pants. And my final thoughts on the book were that I, I really feel like what a great model for women and for young women about. How strong our friendships can be with each other, how we really can be there for each other. It’s just, they, they love each other. And are there for each other, from page one, all the way to the end, even if they don’t always agree [00:56:00] about things or they’re calling each other out on their bologna or bullshit, like they, like, they do that for each other as well, but they do it lovingly and supportively. And I just felt like that was such a great model for friendship for women and that it was brilliant. anyway Thanks so much you guys

Lauren: thanks

Aileen: Bye ladies. Nice

Josie: that was a lot of fun.

Alisa: That’s a wrap then.

Aileen: W we hang up now, right?

Josie: You’ve been listening to fiction between friends to find the show notes for this episode, or to subscribe and get new episodes delivered automatically. Visit fiction between Also, if you happen to have a moment and you’ve liked what you’ve heard, please help support our podcast by leaving a review on apple podcasts. We would be immensely grateful. Thank you for listening.

15 comments on “Ep.2: Our favorite books about friendship.

  1. Bronwyn says:

    Just listened to the second episode and it made me wish I had friends like you. I love how connected you are to each other. It’s so lovely to see. Can’t wait for the next one!

    1. Josie says:

      Thanks for listening, Bronwyn!

    2. Shauna says:

      100% agree!

  2. Gena M. says:

    My new favorite podcast! It’s like being in a room with some dear friends. Loved Josephine’s taken on friendship, how Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a great model for young women and how strong our friendships can be with each other. Well said.

    1. Josie says:

      We won’t lie. We like being your favorite. 🙂

  3. Emma says:

    Hello ladies!
    After listening to the last episode I just had to leave a review! I really love the podcast so far and your dynamic is wonderful. Sitting down with my tea and my crochet projects and putting on the podcast, it feels like I’m right there with you and I feel nothing if not welcome hearing your discussions.
    And I have a little question/request: Josie talking about what it’s like publishing a book as an author in the last episode (so, so excited about those by the way! I can’t wait to see my favourite characters again, and get more into the complicated history of the Delos family… the million dollar question of course being has Pallas always been a grumpy smartass or is that just what decades of being the third wheel to your brother’s amazing relationship does to you?) really made me think about how I’m super interested in everyone else’s work outside of the podcast too, especially Aileen’s, as it sounds like she’s doing something in a field that I might go into too… It would be so insightful to hear more about what you guys do when you’re not reading, because even though that is of course the topic of the podcast, I can’t help but be distracted just a teeny tiny bit by the amazing hosts!
    Also, how do you make time for reading in hectic day to day life? As a college student I often struggle with finding the time or space to really get into a book and I would really like to know how you do it.

    All my love,

    1. Josie says:

      Hi Emma. Thank you so much for listening! I think my friends are super interesting too, and as the episodes go on we do talk a lot more about their backgrounds and what they do when they’re not yakking away with me.

      And about Pallas (I strangely never get asked about him btw) we see more of him in book 4 and 5 and his character has some curveballs. Being a smartass is just him, mostly, but the grumpy bit is definitely related to his widower status. More on that as the series continues!

      And lastly, how do we find time to read so much? Well, we’re sort of cheating, really. It’s mostly re-reading at this point, but luckily, my friends and I have read so much over the course of our lives we could probably do a thousand of these shows and not run out of material! Don’t worry, though, it won’t all be old stuff. We’re constantly reading new releases as well and we’ll pepper in recommendations as we go.

      Hope you keep on listening!

      1. Emma Gliesche says:

        Hi again! Thank you so much for your answer, and for pointing me to your comments section! I did not know this existed and will for sure, as us germans say, “add my mustard” to every episode going forward here, because unfortunately as an android user I can’t do that anywhere else…
        (By the way I am *appalled* that you get so few asks about Pallas, he is such an interesting character! I have to be honest, my friends and me are slightly obsessed with him for some reason, there’s just so much depth and so much to discuss. Really looking forward to what further layers you’ll give to our onion Pallas. It will probably make me cry either way…)
        Much Love!

        1. Josie says:

          Well, you’re in for a treat because the next book features his younger self. 🙂

  4. Damon Dixon says:

    I just wanted to say that you people hit another one out of the park with your last podcast. I just had a chance to sit down and listen to it. And I love it; your deep friendships clearly show through. Though I do have one point of contention, speaking as a straight man myself who has some basically lifelong straight male friends. It is not just you ladies that have tight friendships. We guys have them too. Though we may not be “painting each other‘s toenails,” we have them. We just show it differently than you do.

    In closing, as I believe that I said in my last email to you and your motley crew of readers, “Please keep up the good work and the good times.”

    “If you keep “podcasting” them, we’ll keep our computerized devices tuned to them and our ears happily listening to them.”

    1. Josie says:

      Hi Damon, thank you so much! You are such a dedicated fan and friend. No offense meant about male friendships. I think one of these days we are going to have to have a dude come on to balance out the lady-talk!

  5. Shauna says:

    I can picture you all in these types of stories. Such great friendships for so many years and it is so hard to find! My BFF and I met in college and I love having her even though we live a million miles away from each other but I love knowing she is always there and the one person I can 100% be myself! As we get older it is so hard to make those kinds of friends. I don’t generally read these kinds of books but I do love all the movies! I’ve read a lot of Nora Roberts which is always good for friendships even if they are a little cheesy 😉 The only story I can think of really about friendship would be Lord of the Rings. Everyone needs a Sam in there lives 🙂

    Love listening to my new friends so keep up the good work!

    1. Josie says:

      Thank you Shauna, officially aka our #1 fan! 🙂

      1. Shauna says:

        YAY! My new besties lol!

      2. Shauna says:

        BTW I am one of the recipients of your overstock of books 😉 and loved the inscriptions!

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