A power ballad to female friendship, Girls They Write Songs About is a thrumming, searching novel about the bonds that shape us more than any love affair.

We moved to New York to want, undisturbed and unchecked. And what did we want?

New York, 1997. As the city's gritty edges are being smoothed into something safer and shinier, two girls meet at a music magazine. Rose--brash and self-possessed--is a staff writer. Charlotte--hesitant, bookish-- is an editor. First wary, then slowly admiring, they recognize in each other an insatiable and previously unmatched ambition. Soon they're inseparable, falling into the kind of friendship that makes you better, makes every day an adventure, and makes you believe that you will be extraordinary.

Together, Charlotte and Rose find love and lose it; they hit their strides and stumble; they make choices and live past them. But then the steady beats in their sisterhood fall out of sync. They have seen each other through so much--marriage, motherhood, divorce, career glories and catastrophes, a million small but necessary choices--what will it mean to give up their dreaming together? That the friendship that once made them sing out shuts them down? And even if they can reconcile themselves to the lives they're living, can they survive the ones they didn't?

As smart and comic as it is gloriously exuberant, Carlene Bauer's Girls They Write Songs About takes a timeless story and turns it into a pulsing, wrecking, clear-eyed tale of two women reckoning with the lives they've chosen and the countless ways they--and all the women they've known--have made them who they are.

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