From the outside, Ruth seems to have it all: a high-powered career, happy marriage and family. But her inner Peace-Corps-Volunteer is hollering to be let out.When Ruth bumps into Vivian, her long-lost friend and former hut-mate, she realizes how different she is from the person she used to be and wonders if she's lost part of herself-the best part-in her quest for "e;the perfect life."e; Her internal tug of war gathers steam and knocks her seemingly perfect urban life out of kilter. As they struggle with their differences and try to resurrect their friendship, the two women realize-with humor and a growing respect-that they each have strengths to contribute to a venture neither would have discovered on her own, one that melds past and present to shape an exciting and surprising future.This contemporary literary novel toggles between flashback scenes in West Africa and present day Manhattan as it chronicles the power of the women's friendship. The characters are simultaneously memorable and down-to-earth, and readers begin to feel they've known them for a long time. They're treated with affection, nuanced understanding, and a healthy dose of wit. This fast-paced, funny, and honest coming-of-middle age novel playfully walks the line between humor and wisdom as it deals with the serious issues of mid-life and aging.