Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Review: The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton

The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton

Hardcover, 321 pages
Ballantine Books (March 22, 2011) 

I received a copy of this book for participation in the Manic Mommies Book Club, hosted by Mari from Bookworm with a View

Summary from Goodreads:
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.
My Thoughts:
Once upon a time, way back in junior high and high school, I had a dream that I would become a Supreme Court Justice.  I have an uncle that still suggests that I should become a lawyer.  The Four Ms. Bradwells made me very nostalgic and dreamy - it even filled me with a little bit of regret for what might have been.  I think for this reason alone, Betts was my favorite character in the book.  I admired her ambition, her intellect, her love for her only daughter, and I grieved that she didn't have her husband to share it with.

The friendship between the four women was so interesting to me.  I do not have similar relationships to compare this to, and it made me wish that I had similar friends that I grew up with, that knew (most of) my secrets and who were there to rescue, protect and encourage me whatever the circumstance.

I really enjoyed The Four Ms. Bradwells.  Although it brought up feelings of regret and what-if in my own life, I think that the author's ability to vividly describe the four women and to give the reader something to relate to made it a success.  I'm looking forward to hearing the thoughts of other members of the Manic Mommies Book Club this week - I'd like to know if I was the only one who found a little piece of themselves in Betts, Laney, Mia or Ginger.

Have you read The Four Ms. Bradwells, or is there another book that you've read that had you looking back at your childhood dreams with a new light?


  1. I am not quite to the middle of The Four Ms. Bradwells. I think I would like it more if I could find some time to read without being interrupted.

  2. I just finished The Four Ms. Bradwells last night. I really enjoyed it and thought it could be the impetus to start plenty of interesting discussions for a book club. My own book club, however, would balk at the excessive use of crude language.