Franes and Bernard by Carlene Bauer
When Harry met Sally: Can men and women really be friends? Through a series of letters, Frances and Bernard test the famous theory as their relationship unfolds. Plot notes: It's 1957 and two 20-somethings, fresh out of a writers colony, begin a decadelong correspondence that changes them both forever. History lesson lite: The novel was inspired by the lives of writer Flannery O'Connor and poet Robert Lowell.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF US by Aria Beth Sloss (Henry Holt and Co.)
Lost but not forgotten: This book is an homage to friendship, a bond that can never be totally severed, even when two friends have grown apart. Plot notes: Fourteen-year-olds Alex and Rebecca are best friends, even though Alex is a rich diva-in-training and introverted Rebecca is of modest means. They think they're going to be sidekicks always — until an act of betrayal in college changes everything, and the soulmates cut off communication. Reading between the lines: The girls, who were raised and reared in the '60s, provide a window into what it was like to grow up at the dawn of the women's liberation movement.