Customer Reviews for

The Smart One

Average Rating 3.5
( 23 )
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5 Star

(8)

4 Star

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(3)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Love it!

I've been anticipating the next Jennifer Close novel and was not disappointed! Great read.

posted by 1867929 on April 8, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

aThe Coffey siblings are having a rough year. Martha is thirty a

aThe Coffey siblings are having a rough year. Martha is thirty and working at J. Crew after a spectacular career flameout; Claire has broken up with her fiancé and locked herself in her New York apartment until her bank account looks as grim as her mood; and the baby of...
aThe Coffey siblings are having a rough year. Martha is thirty and working at J. Crew after a spectacular career flameout; Claire has broken up with her fiancé and locked herself in her New York apartment until her bank account looks as grim as her mood; and the baby of the family, Max, is dating a knockout classmate named Cleo and keeping a very big, very life-altering secret. The only solution—for all of them—is to move back home.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
As a parent of adult children who have not left home or moved back home and then back out I was so looking forward to this book. Sadly I felt like “The Not Smart One” for sticking with this book. This one just fell flat for me.

The characters just laid there on the page. One sister was whiny, one sister was in denial, the brother was young and had to grow up quickly, but still has to find out about real life out on his own. The mother was an enabler when it came to one child, distant from what the other two were going through and struggling to find herself outside of being just a mom. The father was totally disconnected from everyone.

I guess I just was waiting for something earth shattering to happen and it didn’t. I was hoping something was going to happen on the annual trip to the shore but two trips there were two trips too many.

I thought I maybe would see some of myself in the mom, but boy she did things like “spoiler alert” continue to plan her daughter’s wedding for months after it was cancelled! She continued to choose the flowers, go to food tastings and other “meetings” just for something to do. This women needs a job or a hobby or to volunteer for a good cause.

Her husband seems to live in his den. He teaches at the local college but never seems to leave the house.

I won’t even get started on the kids. I am just so glad they are not related to me!

I am wavering between 2 or 3 starfish on this one. I did finish it. Read it to the very last page and enjoyed a few excerpts so I will give it 3 but if it you to try it is is definitely one to pick up from the library.
3 STAR

posted by Dollycas on August 19, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    Love it!

    I've been anticipating the next Jennifer Close novel and was not disappointed! Great read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2013

    Great book!

    I loved Girls in White Dresses and was so excited to read The Smart One. Jennifer Close did not disappoint.. the story was so relateable and I am so attached to the characters. It was hard to put the book down!

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  • Posted July 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    While vacationing at the beach, I read the perfect beach book- J

    While vacationing at the beach, I read the perfect beach book- Jennifer Close’s The Smart One. I read her previous novel, Girls in White Dresses, and liked it, but found it hard to relate the 20-something single girls, as I have passed that mark awhile ago.
    But The Smart One refers to Weezy Coffey, the fifty-something wife and mother of three adult children, so I was all about this book. Weezy is knee-deep in preparations for her daughter Claire’s wedding. Then the wedding gets called off and Claire goes into a tailspin, quitting her job too.
    So she must move back home to Pennsylvania, where oldest daughter Martha also lives. Martha was a nurse for a short time, but that didn’t work out, so she has been working as a manager at J. Crew. Martha has social issues; she really has no friends and never had a boyfriend. Coping with the world is not her best skill.
    Son Max is eighteen and away at college. Then he gets his girlfriend Cleo pregnant and they move into the basement.
    So now Weezy and her husband Will, who had been looking forward to an empty nest, find themselves with all three adult children back home. How did this happen?
    Weezy so enjoyed all of the wedding planning that she just never told the florist or the caterer that the wedding was off. She continued to meet with them, tasting menus and looking at gorgeous floral arrangements. What was the harm in that?
    I identified with Weezy, and winced when I saw characteristics in her that I do not like in myself. “Weezy had a high horse. And she could get on it whenever she wanted. Maureen used to always tease her when she’d go off on other people’s behavior. “Uh-oh”, she’d say. “Giddyup! Here comes the horse.” Ugh.
    Weezy not only had to deal with her children, but her elderly mother Bets and sister Maureen. The descriptions of family Thanksgiving celebrations and all of the maneuvering and trying to keep peace and not blow a gasket, well if you can’t relate to that, you’ve never had a family Thanksgiving.
    The story is told from alternating view points- Weezy, Martha, Claire and Cleo. Their voices are all distinct and strong , something I found a bit lacking in Girls in White Dresses.
    The details in this novel are so perfect. I loved the list of THINGS WE NEED that is taped to the refrigerator. When things got purchased, they were crossed off, and a new list was started.
    Max played hockey, and the descriptions and feelings that Weezy had about being a hockey mom brought me back to my days as a baseball mom. I don’t know how someone as young as Close was able to tap into that, but she sure did.
    She also nails the new parent feelings that Max and Cleo have when their baby is born. Those feeling you have of love mixed with sleeplessness mixed with exhaustion mixed with joy; it’s all right there.
    And I loved the idea of naming tables at your wedding after favorite books! Oh I wish I had thought of that 26 years ago.
    One of the characters, Jaz, a wise woman, tells Martha “It’s funny, you know. Not what I had planned for my life, but that’s how it works sometimes.” That pretty much sums up the theme of The Smart One. Life isn’t always what you dreamed; you play the cards you are dealt.
    The Smart One bridges the gap between young women starting out and older women, watching their children make mistakes and not knowing what to do. I think that women of all ages should read this, it will help them empathize and understand each other.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2013

    Great character development

    While this book is more of a slower read than some, I enjoyed it. She really develops the characters so you feel like you can understand them. I liked the different points of view as well.

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    Posted April 28, 2013

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    Posted May 19, 2013

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    Posted June 3, 2013

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    Posted August 8, 2013

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