Jeffrey Zaslow, a Wall Street Journal columnist, took a year off from his job so he could travel around the country to study the 40-year friendship of 11 women from Ames, Iowa. The story is striking in part because a man reports it. He is captivated by the subject both as a journalist and as the father of three teenaged daughters. He examines the Ames clique from every angle – career, marriage, motherhood – but he also keeps his authorial presence to a minimum. The women, now 45 and 46 years old, open up about coming of age at the height of feminism and the challenges of holding on to friends. The result is richly detailed and undeniably familiar, as if someone narrated your own life story back to you.