Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kindred Spirits by Sarah Strohmeyer (2011)

My wonderful colleague Michele L., an avid reader like myself, has read so many books where she came across local references for this blog. She just finished Kindred Spirits, the latest novel by Sarah Strohmeyer, which features references to both Scranton AND Wilkes-Barre in the text.

From the inside cover:

When life gives you lemons, call your best girlfriends and whip up some lemon martinis. Such is the mantra for the Ladies' Society for the Conservation of Martinis, which was established after one fateful PTA meeting, when four young mothers-Lynne, Mary Kay, Beth, and Carol- discovered they had more in common than they ever thought possible. Meeting once a month, the women would share laughs and secrets and toast to their blossoming friendship with a clink of their sacred martini glasses. The Society was their salvation, their refuge, but when life-shattering circumstances force the group to dissolve, their friendship is never quite the same...until two years later, when a tragic event puts the Society back in session.

When Lynne passes away suddenly, she leaves behind one simple request: that her old friends sort through her belongings. Reluctantly, the women reunite to rummage through her closets. There's nothing remarkable; no kinky sex toys, no embarrassing diary. But buried deep within Lynne's lingerie drawer is an envelope addressed to the Society. And inside they find a letter that reveals a shocking secret and a final wish that will send the women on a life-changing journey...proving that nothing is more powerful than the will of a true girlfriend and a good, strong martini.

Kindred Spirits includes one reference to Scranton on page 68, when the friends are reading Lynn's letter:

"I made it to Scranton, but from there could only afford to go as far as as Waterbury, Connecticut."

The three Wilkes-Barre references appear on the following pages of the novel:

p. 195

"'If you happen to be passing by Wilkes-Barre on your way back to Connecticut, you might want to check out the Crescent Hollow area.'"

p. 227

"Now, exhausted, they headed to a hotel near Wilkes-Barre to recoup."

p. 229

"She pumped the brakes and took a turn down the wooded serpentine road in what, according to her GPS, promised to be a shortcut to 1-84 that would bypass the hassle of going through Wilkes-Barre."

Kindred Spirits is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System. Click here to place a hold; to place a hold on the large print edition, click here.

Much thanks to Michele L. for this reference.

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