In the winter of 2014, nearly twenty-six years after receiving her first transplanted heart, a heart that was given a prognosis of only ten years by even the most optimistic of doctors, Amy Silverstein's steadfast heart finally gave up. When her doctors informed her that survival depended on immediately moving across the country to take on the grueling quest for a matching donor heart, Amy's friends, who had watched her in amazement as she willfully defied the odds year after year, put demanding jobs and pressing family obligations on hold and followed her, in a constant rotation, to a hospital room in California to sit by her bedside.
Empowered by the kind of empathy that can only grow with age, these women, each knowing Amy from different stages of her life, banded together keep their dying friend afloat. Creating a calendar spreadsheet, the women—some of them strangers to one another—passed the baton of friendship, one to the next, and rolled up their sleeves to work a miracle. Sleeping on a cot beside her bed, they rubbed her back and feet when the pain was unbearable, adorned her room with death-distracting decorations and engaged in their "best talks ever." They saw the true measure of their friend's strength, and they each responded in kind.
My Glory Was I Had Such Friends is a memoir about the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit. Amy tells the story of nine wonderful women who came together and never left her side, providing what medicine alone could not, as she waited on the precipice for a life-saving heart transplant.
Amy's tale is a tribute to her women friends and the intense hours they spent together—hours of heightened emotion and self-awareness, where everything was laid bare. Candid and heartrending, this once-in-a-lifetime story of connection and empathy is a powerful reminder of the importance of "showing up" for those we love.
JJ Abrams has just optioned My Glory Was I Had Such Friends for TV.
"Memoirs written by people who have survived devastating health issues are common, as are books that celebrate the friend who is an angel-like presence in tough times. My Glory Was I Had Such Friends combines both elements, but in far better fashion than the standard-issue memoir or the typical homage to girlfriends...A potent reminder of the importance of imperfect friends, for loving them for whoever they are...Silverstein proved her writing mettle...She seamlessly knits several important issues into one compelling package."
—USA Today (3.5/4 stars) (read the full review)
"My Glory Was I Had Such Friends is, at its core, a book about friendship. Silverstein spares no words honestly describing the endless emotions she felt when friends from work, childhood and her community walked alongside her as she waited for a heart...As different as these friends were, they all had common goals that brought them together: a love for Amy and a desperate desire for her to get a new heart. As a result, friendships deepened in courage and perseverance, and a new understanding was born for what it means to say, 'I'm there'—and truly mean it."
"An inspiring, heart-warming memoir... Amazing... You can wait for the movie or grab some hankies and start crying now."
"Friendship is a key element to a happy life and, as Amy Silverstein’s moving memoir demonstrates, friends matter even more when we’re facing a big challenge. Nine remarkable friends helped Amy to survive while she waited for a life-saving heart transplant. This riveting account of what Amy endured—and how her friends supported her—illuminates the power of friendship, for all of us."
—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before
"If it were fiction, you’d dismiss it as over the top: Multiple devoted women collaborating in an emotional, cross-country support relay, struggling to keep an exhausted friend alive—a friend who is focused and willing to undergo yet another heart transplant. An endless wait leads to a medical miracle that makes it all worthwhile. But here’s the kicker: It’s all true, and it’s beautifully written, too."
—Ted Koppel, author of the New York Times bestseller Lights Out
"There’s a special air around crisis that makes true intimacy possible in ways that daily life rarely does. Amy Silverstein has tapped into that moment with a cast of women who will make you pine for your nearest and dearest."
—Kelly Corrigan, Author of the New York Times bestsellers The Middle Place and Glitter and Glue
"A tremendously moving story about the power of female friendship—the incredible way our bonds deepen with age, and a gentle reminder to all of us how important it is to show up for those we love. There is no doubt that readers will recognize their own 'friend circles' in these pages and feel a new appreciation for the many miles they've walked together."
—Kathleen Grissom, bestselling author of The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything
Harper Wave, hardcover, June 2017, ISBN: 978-0062457462