WYSO

Book Nook: The Drummond Girls - A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond Time and Chance by Mardi Jo Link

Oct 20, 2015

Mardi Jo Link returned to the program to talk about her latest memoir. Here's my review that ran in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

Mardi Jo Link had always wanted to make some deep, long lasting friendships. In October of 1993 she began her journey to creating those relationships when she was invited to spend the weekend on an island in northern Michigan with three of her co-workers. She describes this transformative event in her memoir “The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond Time and Chance.”

At the time Link was a “thirty-one-year-old wife and mother of two, a bar waitress with a college degree.” The four women worked together at Peegeo’s, a bar in Traverse City. Link was delighted to be invited along because “the three of them were the established group; I was the untested one they’d decided , for some unknown reason, to try out.”

She was overjoyed because “friends were the one thing I’d wanted more than anything else. Not just any friends. I wanted them. Those three women were everything I’d wished I could be: tough, undaunted, independent.” The four of them set off for remote Drummond Island on Lake Huron.

These friends began calling themselves the Drummond Girls. They continue to reunite each year and drive up to the island to spend another autumn weekend there together. They have had many adventures. Over the years some new members have joined the group. Today their enduring bond remains strong.

During their early years on the island they didn’t have much money. They stayed in rustic trailers with few amenities. They amused themselves by driving for hours through the wilderness. There were no police on the island in those days. They were carefree and uninhibited. These women certainly know how to party.

As time passed they could afford better accommodations. They have progressed from staying in those decrepit trailers to cabins and eventually rather luxurious lodgings. As Link takes us through their mutual chronology we learn that these women have been there for one another time and again through tragedy, jubilation, and every emotion in between.

When Link made that first trip to the island with her new friends she left behind a husband who was deeply unhappy that she was running off to have a good time while he was stuck at home taking care of their sons. Their marriage was beginning to crumble. Link examined the dissolution of that relationship in more detail in her previous memoir “Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm.”

Link went through a difficult divorce. Her yearly sojourn with her friends provided a brief respite from her troubles. They made her laugh. They listened. They cared. Their emotional support gave her strength and the natural beauty of their surroundings served as a healing balm.

Link eventually met the man of her dreams. She married him. The Drummond Girls were there to celebrate the occasion. This book is a loving tribute to a group of women who can be ornery, rambunctious, amusing, and nurturing. Their friendship is as wild and beautiful as the island that they consider to be their sanctuary.