Books: I'm So Happy for You

After reading Laurie Winer's review of "I'm so happy for you," by Lucina Rosenfield, I put it on my wish list. Then I went to the reader reviews.

In recent months, I find myself reading the one and two star reviews before those glistening fives.

And occasionally, as is the case of Ms. Rosenfield's book, the ones and twos shoved the newly included book off my reading list shelf.

I put it on because it was about woman's friendships.

I took it off because I am not interested in disingenuous friendship of any kind.

But I am immensely interested in relationships between and among women.

In my written or oral language, I use the word "friendship" rarely and restrict it to what I consider a friend, not an acquaintance, neighbour, shop keeper, or sister in law. Some of this distinguishing between friendship and other relationships comes from speaking Dutch. In that language, a slight twist in tone, accent at the end of a word, diminutive use or an alternate word will announce to the listener a more precise relationship.

And relationships between women are often misconstrued.

Was Eleanor Roosevelt really bisexual as suggested in Blanche Wiesen Cook's biography or did she just like to write poetic letters to her friend, Lorena Hickok? Why did the reviewers misunderstand and hence label May Sarton's breathtaking book on female friendship, A Reckoning, a lesbian novel?

Some of the most intimate relationships I've had have been with women, but those relationships had nothing to do with sex, pettiness or the cattiness that seems to erupt, spontaneously, in voice and pen as apparently it does in "I'm so happy for you."

If you feel differently you might enjoy the book, but I'll pass.

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