Friendship, by The Book

Friendship, by The Book

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Life Begins and Ends With Girlfriends is a book born out of the friendship of its Cincinnati authors Betsy Kyte Newman and Judith Van Ginkel. It examines the friendship bonds females form through the natural progression of their lives and how these bonds can lead to a more meaningful quality of life.


Newman, mother of four, teacher, career consultant and author of three books, and Ginkel, mother of two, grandmother, president of Every Child Succeeds and a professor of pediatrics, have learned the importance of life’s delicate balances over the years, which is why they’ve let their friendship guide them along the way in writing this.


Life Begins and Ends with Girlfriends examines the importance of having female friends along life’s path. The authors and dear friends intertwine their own life experiences as well as comments from hundreds of girls and women surveyed in their research. “Their accumulated wisdom, along with our own, is the heart of this book,” Newman says. 


Ginkel explains in her introduction why even women who have friends still need 0208GIBBERMAN.giflessons in friendship: “We live in chaotic times, typically away from relatives and people who have known us since childhood. Our lives are busy. We have lost the safety net that sustained our mothers and grandmothers. We have misplaced the markers that gave direction to our lives — even when we didn’t want them, didn’t think we needed them.”


Everyone enjoys friendships in various capacities, as the authors point out: work friends, gym friends, childhood friends, soccer mom friends, etc. This book explains why these bonds are important, and even gives advice on “breaking up” with friends when it’s just not working out. With advice streaming in from women of all ages, it lends a timeless quality to the book’s content.


The advice streaming from older women in this book confirms that it is easy for younger women to be dismissive of family and girlfriends. “But when you are 60, the world looks different,” according to the book. These women shared messages that girlfriends of all ages should be aware of: Value your girlfriendships and your families, honor 112408SOCIAL.jpgand relive your history, and remember that girlfriends can help stave off aloneness.


Through reading this book, you may find yourself reflecting on friendships of all types that have appeared in your life. Possibly that best friend in high school you had a falling out with over some boy. Or the friend you can call at an ungodly hour in the night when you feel disheartened, and you know she’ll always pick up. Whether it is a friendship of the past or one you know will endure a lifetime, it’s comforting to know that life begins and ends with girlfriends.




First Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography

Location: The McAlpin

Models (left to right): Malinda Marshall and Antoinette “Toni” Green of New View Management Group, Inc.

and Katie Sayers

Makeup Artistry: Rebecca Long

Hairstyling: Shay Mendenhall, of Posh Salon, (513) 821-8999


Second Photo

Courtesy of: Judith Van Ginkel