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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton


Title: The Four Ms. Bradwells
Author: Meg Waite Clayton
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780345517081
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Author Website:
Twitter: @MegWClayton
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 5/5 stars

In Meg Waite Clayton's latest, we are again introduced to a group of friends, but instead of watching their friendship grow like we did in The Wednesday Sisters, we find ourselves in the midst of a friendship already decades in the making. Mia, Laney, Betts, and Ginger have been friends since their days in law school, when they were all dubbed "the Ms. Bradwells" by their professor in their very first class at the University of Michigan Law School. We first meet the Four Ms. Bradwells during Senate hearings to appoint Betts to the Supreme Court, except a skeleton in their closet is uncovered from early on in their friendship that may hinder Betts' appointment. This skeleton also raises questions about their friendship and who has kept secrets from who over the years.

Clayton also raises other issues in her book, including those of women's rights, but I'll leave the main issue that she brings to her story a secret, because it is this issue that ties everything together in the book, and I don't want to give it away. Needless to say, the secret has to do with a death, and this is the crux of the skeleton in the friends' closet that they need to overcome. The secret is brought up in the very first chapter so you're not kept waiting, and it's presented in a completely intriguing and compelling manner, making you want to find out what happened.

One of the aspects that I enjoyed most about The Wednesday Sisters that is carried over into The Four Ms. Bradwells is that I felt like I had gotten to know the friends by the end of the book, that they were my friends too. Clayton has a knack for making her characters completely believable and tangible, with all the quirks and imperfections that would make them real people. They have real faults, real problems, aren't perfect, and in this imperfection, she has created honest and true characters.

Do yourself a favor and pick up The Four Ms. Bradwells. It's a refreshing read for early summer and while it does deal with some heavy subjects, it does so in a manner that is easy to read and relatable to the characters. And while you're at it, if you haven't read The Wednesday Sisters, pick that up at the same time. Both books are excellent stories on the power of friendship and what that power can help friends overcome.

Highly recommended.

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Unknown said...

Thank you for this wonderful review. I adored The Wednesday Sisters and it sounds like this book is as good if not better.
So glad you enjoyed it!

Robin Materese said...

For anyone reading this review who lives in the Washington, DC, area, Clayton will be a featured author at the Gaithersburg Book Festival in Montgomery County, Maryland, on May 21. Details:

tapestry100 said...

Hi Amy - Thanks for stopping by! If you liked The Wednesday Sisters, I'd highly recommend reading The Four Ms. Bradwells.

Hi Robin - Thanks for passing that information along!