Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: The Wednesday Daughters by Meg Waite Clayton

The Wednesday Daughters (Wednesday #2)
 
Meg Waite Clayton, nationally bestselling author of The Wednesday Sisters, returns with a compassionate, wise, and enthralling new novel of mothers and daughters, best friends who become family, and secrets and dreams passed down through the generations.

It is early evening when Hope Tantry arrives at the small cottage in England’s pastoral Lake District where her mother, Ally, spent the last years of her life. Ally—one of a close-knit group of women who called themselves “The Wednesday Sisters”—had used the cottage as a writer’s retreat while she worked on her unpublished biography of Beatrix Potter, yet Hope knows nearly nothing about her mother’s time there. Traveling with Hope are friends Julie and Anna Page, two other daughters of “The Wednesday Sisters,” who offer to help Hope sort through her mother’s personal effects. Yet what Hope finds will reveal a tangled family history—one steeped in Lake District lore.

Tucked away in a hidden drawer, Hope finds a stack of Ally’s old notebooks, all written in a mysterious code. As she, Julie, and Anna Page try to decipher Ally’s writings—the reason for their encryption, their possible connection to the Potter manuscript—they are forced to confront their own personal struggles: Hope’s doubts about her marriage, Julie’s grief over losing her twin sister, Anna Page’s fear of commitment in relationships. And as the real reason for Ally’s stay in England comes to light, Hope, Julie, and Anna Page reach a new understanding about the enduring bonds of family, the unwavering strength of love, and the inescapable pull of the past.
   
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Publisher: Ballantine Books
 
 
Kat's Review

This novel is more than just a book about Hope and her mother's secret life, it's about coming to terms with the past and acknowledging how it has shaped the person you are today. This isn't a book with a lot of action, it's a book with a lot of conversation, recollections, and journal entries. When Hope's mother dies unexpectedly, Hope arrives in England to clean out the cottage her mother used as a writing retreat, and stumbles upon the secret of her mother's past, and the life she led while away from home. As Hope begins unravelling the truth of her mother's past, she begins searching through her own.

What I enjoyed about this book was the way the "Wednesday Daughters," as Hope's group of friends refer to themselves, had authentic and nuanced relationships with each other. There was love and support, but also irritation, annoyance, and petty jealousies. This made the characters real to me, in a way that those who only offer unconditional love with no friction never could. Anna Page is jealous of Hope's relationship with her mother, while Hope felt that Anna Page had no right to mourn her mother's loss as strongly as Hope did. Julie always felt like the outsider, the twin sister who could never measure up, and now finds herself looking to replace her own sister after Jamie's death.

Add in a gorgeous setting, some Beatrix Potter, and two men mourning the loss of a woman who loved them both, and you get a wonderful mix of a love story, a tale of friendship, loss, and new beginnings. It's a book to be enjoyed with a cup of tea on a windy afternoon.

Rating: A Good Read

I have not read the Wednesday Sisters, the novel about the mothers of the women in this novel, but I will be reading it soon. The Wednesday Daughters was a book that moved slowly, but in a relaxed, meandering sort of way that I enjoyed.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from NetGalley & the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really good and I think would be a nice change of pace for me. Great review!

    ReplyDelete

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