Meet 'The Girls From Ames'

Broomall-raised author Jeffrey Zaslow got a lot of feedback over a piece he wrote a few years ago for the Wall Street Journal about the power of women's friendships.

One of his correspondents was Jennifer Litchman, an assistant dean at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who told him about the special relationship enjoyed by her childhood friends in Ames, Iowa. They're now in their mid-40s.

Karen Leininger of Wrightstown, Ames High Class of 1981. (Photo by Elizabeth Robertson)

Zaslow's book on the women is The Girls From Ames, and it's a bestseller chronicling their friendship through health scares, childbirth, divorce and death. Ten women's stories are told (plus those of an 11th woman who died at age 22.)

And now that the project is over, participant Karen Leininger of Wrightstown, Bucks County, says, “we’re even closer now than before.” Zaslow sent them copies of his rough manuscript, says Leininger, and “one of the girls didn’t like something he included, but Jeff thought it was good.” The woman took her beef to her friends, she says, and they leaned on him to take it out.

“It helped him realize our friendship truly is true,” says Leininger, who lives with her husband and three kids.

Zaslow, Leininger and fellow Ames girl Jane Nash will appear 7 p.m. Thursday (7/9) at the Borders in Langhorne.