Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Review: The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 336 pgs
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound
Summary from publisher:
Meg Waite Clayton’s national bestseller The Wednesday Sisters was a word-of-mouth sensation and book club favorite. Now the beloved author is back with a page-turning novel that explores the secrets we keep, even from those closest to us, and celebrates the enduring power of friendship.
Mia, Laney, Betts, and Ginger, best friends since law school, have reunited for a long weekend as Betts awaits Senate confirmation of her appointment to the Supreme Court. Nicknamed “the Ms. Bradwells” during their first class at the University of Michigan Law School in 1979—when only three women had ever served full Senate terms and none had been appointed to the Court—the four have supported one another through life’s challenges: marriages and divorces, births and deaths, career setbacks and triumphs large and small. Betts was, and still is, the Funny One. Ginger, the Rebel. Laney, the Good Girl. And Mia, the Savant.
But when the Senate hearings uncover a deeply buried skeleton in the friends’ collective closet, the Ms. Bradwells retreat to a summer house on the Chesapeake Bay, where they find themselves reliving a much darker period in their past—one that stirs up secrets they’ve kept for, and from, one another, and could change their lives forever.
Once again, Meg Waite Clayton writes inspiringly about the complex circumstances facing women and the heartfelt friendships that hold them together. Insightful and affecting, The Four Ms. Bradwells is also a captivating tale of how far people will go to protect the ones they love.
I must warn you that I am writing this review after a sleepless night. Some local annoyances (read—frat boys) decided that loud music was appropriate at 5am in a residential neighborhood. Needless to say, I spent the majority of the night staring at walls and reading.
I have read many books about groups of women who happen to be best friends and I have noticed a certain trend—I usually end up disliking most of the characters. One or more of the characters usually end up lost in the shuffle of good characterization. That is not so with Mia, Laney, Betts and Ginger. They were all intelligent, independent and admirable women. They were women I would be proud to know in both my real life as well as my reading life. Perhaps my favorite thing about this book is how friendship between women is portrayed. It’s so realistic. At least to my experience. I don’t tell my friends every painstaking detail of my life and I was happy that this group of women didn’t either.
I really loved Clayton’s writing style. I have very rarely in my reading life felt the need to reread a sentence just because it sounded beautiful the first time. I did that a couple of times while reading The Four Ms. Bradwells. I usually have issues with flashbacks in novels. They usually happen out of nowhere and if you aren’t paying attention, you’re lost. But I love how the flashbacks are woven into this one. I never felt lost and it worked so well.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.