For more than two decades, Mariana Pasternak and Martha Stewart were nearly inseparable. Neighbours and suburban wives wedded to successful men, they had much in common, a bond that deepened after their marriages ended in divorce. Struggling as a single mother, Pasternak watched with admiration as her friend built an empire that would make her one of the richest women in the world. With Stewart's newfound success and Pasternak's European sophistication, the two independent women, each with a rich life of her own, developed a friendship based on the quest for wonder and discovery, traveling to exotic places to transcend the confines of ordinary life. Pasternak helped to smooth Stewart's rough edges, while Stewart drew Pasternak into a rarified world, and together they navigated the challenges of being single. The depth of their friendship not only benefited them both but also influenced how they defined themselves through good times and bad. Over time, however, money, men, and the arrogance of wealth frayed the bonds built over 20 years. The final break came when Pasternak was called as a witness in the high-profile trial that brought about Stewart's conviction and prison sentence.
Pasternak's deeply personal memoir tells the story of their friendship with honesty and candour, reflecting on the power of such intense relationships to change our lives, and the devastating aftermath when they end.
Mariana Pasternak grew up in Romania and immigrated to the United States as a political refugee. The mother of two daughters, she has been a biomedical engineer and held other positions involving computer-based research and development, while volunteering for children's causes.