Monday, April 29, 2013

The Smart One by Jennifer Close

Family sagas are some of my favorite books to read and I was easily wrapped up in the latest novel by Jennifer Close. Fun and totally realistic!

The matriarch of this dysfunctional family, Weezy, had been labeled "the smart one" growing up, while her sister was the pretty one who would most likely marry into a great family. Weezy ended up being the one to marry well, despite her mother's rather rude childhood remarks, and the book chronicles a time in Weezy's life when her own children are finally grown up, but each struggling in their own way. What results is all three children returning to their home with life messes in tow. 

Each character is well-developed and likable, even with their obvious flaws. Claire starts the story off by canceling her wedding and becoming a hermit in her apartment, leaving her mother to deal with her depression and the aftermath of a canceled wedding. Her sister Martha is stuck working in retail after deciding to quit school, and Max, the lone male sibling, brings his gorgeous and overly confident girlfriend home with him -- a move that definitely stirs the pot. 

Laced with both humor and the reality of modern day families, I found this a great gateway book to summer reading. Smart AND funny. Close has a knack for creating characters you'll both love and want to strangle... the mark of a great writer in my eyes. 

Thanks to Random House for sending a review copy!

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