The Four Ms. Bradwells: Book summary and reviews of The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton

The Four Ms. Bradwells

A Novel

by Meg Waite Clayton

The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton X
The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2011
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Clayton finds some traction in discussing what it means to be a woman in both public and private life, but lack of individuated voices...and unruly swerves between past and present make following the story more work than it should be." - Publishers Weekly

"As she did in her best-selling The Wednesday Sisters, Clayton here explores female relationships but far less engagingly...Still, fans of...female friendship fiction will find much to captivate them." - Library Journal

"Though Clayton telegraphs her political points along with her plot and characterizations, there is a definite market for this kind of self-congratulatory women's empowerment." - Kirkus Reviews

"Meg Waite Clayton writes with intelligence, wisdom, and humor about women's friendships. To steal from Holden Caulfield, after reading The Four Ms. Bradwells, you'll wish the characters were terrific friends of yours and you could call them up on the phone whenever you felt like it." - Tatjana Soli, New York Times bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters

"An exquisitely written novel about the heartbreaking and heartwarming moments of life and friendship and everything in between, The Four Ms. Bradwells will resonate with you long after you've turned the final page on these wonderful women. Don't miss a second of their journey." - Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of Time of My Life and The One That I Want

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Reader Reviews

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Elizabeth

Takes a while to get into
Spending three days at Chawterely House was going to be memory-filled, fun, and somewhat painful for Betts, Ginger, Laney, and Mia. They were going to spend some time together while Betts waits for the confirmation of her appointment to the Supreme Court.

The house was only accessible by boat, the girls had spent many summers and spring breaks there, and it hadn't been lived in since Ginger's mother, Faith, had died. The description of the house and its many rooms made you envious of all the parties and family gatherings that most likely had taken place there. Their first night was spent reminiscing and getting reacquainted for what in all likelihood was the last time they would see each other for a while.

The following morning a news article appeared in the paper that possibly would have an impact on Betts' nomination. Everyone realizes what might happen because of the article, and they go to the lighthouse to re-live the first spring break they spent on the island and trust that reporters don't make their way to the remote island.
The reporters do make it to the island, things get a little tense among friends, and secrets become revealed after 30 years of keeping them hidden from each other.

The book really didn't get interesting until a little over half way into the book...it was about lasting friendships and how friends overlook each other's faults sometimes for a good reason and sometimes not.

Even though Clayton had a clever idea of having flashbacks of a scene that panned to the same scene happening in the present, the book was very confusing and wasn't easy to follow. I found myself having to keep checking back to see who was talking and what was actually taking place. It seemed as if there were some kind of inside secret that wasn't being revealed to the reader. I really enjoyed THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS, and was expecting the same in this book. 3/5.

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Author Information

Meg Waite Clayton Author Biography

Meg Waite Clayton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of a number of novels, including The Wednesday Sisters and The Wednesday Daughters. She attended the University of Michigan thinking she would become a doctor, and emerged as a corporate lawyer in a tidy blue suit. Clayton was thirty-two by the time she worked up the nerve to give writing a serious try, and pregnant with her second son, who was eleven when my first novel was published.

Along the way, she wrote short stories and essays, and more than a few pages that are in the proverbial drawer. She sent stories out again and again, revising each time until they did finally start appearing in publications like Shenandoah, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Literary Review. Clayton's fiction is not closely ...

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