Having loyal and dependable friends is important to everyone’s happiness and wellbeing, but women, in particular, benefit from their female friendships in a unique way. Research shows that bonding with female friends increases serotonin, which stabilizes mood and also aids sleep and digestion. It also boosts oxytocin, which eases stress and promotes attachment. Such is the impact of female bonding that it has become the focus of some of the most popular books of all time. Here are the best books that celebrate the power of female friendship.
The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants
Ann Brashares’ “The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants” not only made its way to the big screen, but the story continues in five more books, making it a successful series that entertained readers since the first installment was released in 2001. The first book tells the story of Bridget, Carmen, Lena, and Tibby, who have been friends since they were babies. Though they couldn’t be more different from each other, their different personalities actually enhance their group dynamics. To cope with distance, the four pass around a pair of jeans that they believe brings them good luck, and while they’re separated, Bridget falls in love, Lena learns to let go of her inhibitions, Tibby makes a new friend, while Carmen comes to terms with her dad. This book, and the entire “Sisterhood” series, teaches us that friends don’t have to have the same hobbies and interests, and that the ones who are closest to you will always want you to stay true to yourself.
“Firefly Lane” is one of Kristin Hannah’s most successful novels, and in this book we meet Kate, an eighth grader who’s aware of how unpopular she is at their school, but has somewhat accepted that this is her fate in life. But things change when the new– and very rich– kid in town, Tully, somehow wants to be her friend, and they become inseparable. Later on, they attend college together and even end up working in the same company. The story spans more than three decades and through the years, their friendship gets tested. Though they felt jealousy, hurt, resentment, and anger at some point in their lives, in the end, they realize just how much their friendship means to both of them. “Firefly Lane” has been made into a TV series by Netflix and stars Katherine Heigl as Tully and Sarah Chalke as Kate, and reports say that filming for the second season has officially started.
The Joy Luck Club
Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club” tells the story of four middle-aged Chinese women who live in San Francisco, and they regularly meet while telling each other stories while playing mahjong. In this book, the reader learns all about France Nuyen, Lisa Lu, Tsai Chin, and Kieu Chinh’s current woes over their daughters, and all the hardships that they went through while living in China before they fled the country during the 1940s. Through their different experiences, the women of “The Joy Luck Club” teach readers that love requires sacrifice, that one should never judge others, and that winning isn’t everything.
The best books that celebrate the power of female friendship teaches us that some of the most important life lessons can be learned from spending time with our friends. Check out these books with your besties and find out how similar–or different–they are to your own relationship with your girl friends.