Customer Reviews for

The Wednesday Sisters

Average Rating 4
( 171 )
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5 Star

(63)

4 Star

(54)

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(32)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

An author to watch!

Kath, Frankie, Ally, Brett and Linda are The Wednesday Sisters. They met in a park in CA in the late 1960s and developed a close friendship which spans over 30 years. These 5 women couldn't be more different but soon realize that they share an affinity for literature an...
Kath, Frankie, Ally, Brett and Linda are The Wednesday Sisters. They met in a park in CA in the late 1960s and developed a close friendship which spans over 30 years. These 5 women couldn't be more different but soon realize that they share an affinity for literature and share a secret desire to write. I really identified with Frankie. I am from Chicago and grew up in the 70s so I really appreciated all of the references to the Cubs and Northwestern University but more importantly I felt that the author really captured the Midwestern 'mentality' of the era. While reading I couldn't help but be reminded of all of the hardships my mom went through as a young woman in the 60s and 70s. She divorced when I was young and was an outcast at my Catholic Elementary School. I can see why Kath stuck it out! She was not able to go to college for the same reasons as Frankie. There were times when I laughed out loud and had to hold back the tears while reading. Meg Waite Clayton really captured the bond that women have when they develop meaningful relationships and friendships. I can't wait to pass this book on to one of my Wednesday Sisters!

posted by Anonymous on June 17, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

The Sisters Have Their Moments - But Not Many

The novel The Wednesday Sisters, while falling quite short of being original, does have its redeeming qualities. I'm sorry, but I'm tired of reading material from writers who only seem to be able to write about becoming writers. Am I alone in this? I know we're all told...
The novel The Wednesday Sisters, while falling quite short of being original, does have its redeeming qualities. I'm sorry, but I'm tired of reading material from writers who only seem to be able to write about becoming writers. Am I alone in this? I know we're all told to "write what we know" but this is getting ridiculous.

The characters in this character-driven novel fall flat at times. The stereotypes overwhelm. With the exception of one heart-wrenching scene, they fail to elicit much empathy. Even the ending was telegraphed.

The writing style was sometimes simplistic but not without merit. The chronological cultural references were too numerous and too contritely stuffed into the novel to feel at all "real".

The upside? The many truly great novels to which the the characters refer inspired me to go back and re-read several of them myself. I only wish the author had been able to capture more than a touch of their greatness.

posted by Wacky_J on April 12, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    L

    And of course along with the many other plot spoilers we have harriet klausner with her cliff note book report that tells everything. No need to buy the book anymore. And before some smart aleck pops off dont read the spoilers.....i dont. But when the spoilers go on and on and on and on and you have to scroll past yards of them, you usually end up seeing something that ruins the book, especially when dear old harriet reveals the entire plot line, including the ending. These plot spoilers should be banned.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Lovely

    I read this for a book club and really enjoyed it. Flowed well and gave a voice to different types of women.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Loved this story

    I read this book in one day, I couldn't put it down. Easy to connect to the characters and well written.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2009

    nothing new

    if felt i had read this book before - characters uninspired, trite.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I was thrilled with this book!

    I stumbled upon this book while looking for something to recommend to our book club for May. I loved the fact that the book was about strong women and apparently a bit before their time. I excitedly brought it into the vote but it did not win.

    I could not let it go so I used the gift card I received from Brad and Justin for Mother's day to purchase this among a few other treasures. I brought it with to the cabin for Memorial Weekend and devoured it word for word.

    This book featured excellent characters that I not only could relate too, but almost wished that i too could be a Wednesday Sister and join them as they discuss children and husbands, lives and dreams. I loved that they all tried their hand at writing... I loved Linda's strong personality, Kath's sweet heart, Ally's insecurities, Brett's secret heartache, and Frankie's wisdom. These five made a group that was a delight to read about! I even pulled a couple ideas out of the book to use for our book club including one great idea to have a "come as your favorite fiction character" party. I already know who I will be......

    There was a line in the book (of course I cant find it now) that talked about how most women are lucky to have even one really close friend in a lifetime... I really thought about this and it is true. I have been blessed to have many friends through the years that I would say I am very close too. What a great gift friendship is.

    I enjoyed this book and will be looking for more from this author. her characters were alive and real and what a privilege to spend time with these amazing women! A HIGH FIVE rating! I will be bringing this to book club again for another try!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointed

    I found this book to be extremely boring. I didn't really connect with any of the characters. I'm not sure that I liked the way the book was written. Found it a little difficult that the narrator flipped from present to future without much warning.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2008

    My Favorite Book This Year

    I received The Wednesday Sisters from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers. It's kind of a crap shoot as far what you get, let alone whether you get a book at all. I wasn't expecting too much with this book because I wasn't sure if it was going to be on the chick lit side 'chick lit is not my cuppa tea', but if I'd known what an awesome book it would be, I would have dropped everything and picked it up the second it hit my mailbox. My run-on sentence synopsis: The Wednesday Sisters is about five women who first meet at a local park because four of them have kids so it makes sense why they were at the park and then decide after about a month of meeting on Wednesday mornings that they would start writing together, though some of the ladies were reluctant to write, and it's about their writing and their lives and the ups and downs and the good and bad and anything in between. I LOVED THIS BOOK. When I picked up the book, I felt, not like I was reading, but like I was sitting down with a friend and she was telling me a story. I felt so comfortable and I felt so privileged to be taken into her confidence. But the novel doesn't read like the author was trying to do that...it's so effortless that I wouldn't be surprised if the author had written ten books prior to this one. Oftentimes when books have too many characters, certain characters get pushed to the wayside to make way for the story of the main character's'. The author is able to tell the story of all five women without me feeling like she's leaving anything out or pushing any characters to the side. I was always satisfied with the amount of information she gave me about each person. Her style in this regard reminds me of John Steinbeck. Meg Waite Clayton tells you stories about each person, allowing those stories to reveal their character. What was best about this book? The author was able to make me laugh and cry at the exact same time. I found myself laughing and crying every time I picked up the book. I was always crying because I was so touched by the characters and what they were experiencing, and I was laughing as the author pulled the humor out of the situations in a delicate and gentle manner. Their happiness, pain, sadness, hope, were all so raw and apparent that I couldn't help but feel connected to the characters. Even when I saw how a scene was going to play out, the author was still able to make me laugh out loud. The Wednesday Sisters is not about any crazy shenanigans they get themselves in to. It's about their lives: one battles infertility, one struggles with a cheating husband, one is blunt and outspoken to a fault, none of them are perfect, none of them have perfect lives or perfect husbands. They are real. They are you and me.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2008

    What friendship is all about!

    I received The Wednesday Sisters through the Early Reviewer program at LibraryThing. It's an excellently written story about friendship and family (and especially how friends can grow into being more than just friends, they can become family too). From the moment I started reading, I knew that this was going to be a great book. The story revolves around no-nonsense, athletic Linda, super smart Brett, quiet Frankie, Southern Belle Kath & shy Ally, friends who first meet every Wednesday in the park for play time with their kids, but where they eventually start to discuss what books they've been reading and the general small talk of forming friendships. Later, they discover that each has had a small desire in one way or another to become writers, so the Wednesday meetings change to writing critiques, as they each try to help the other into becoming better writers. The book is so much more than just about their writing, though. It's also about the hopes, dreams and challenges of young families and budding friendships. We get a glimpse into 5 years of their friendship and watch through their eyes as the world is changing around them (the story starts in the summer of 1967) and how they themselves grow as individuals with the rest of the world. This was a delight to read smartly written and nicely paced, with believable characters living real lives. I think Meg Waite Clayton describes her own book best, when the Wednesday Sisters are critiquing Brett's book and Frankie asks, 'How did you make it so funny and so touching at the same time(?)... It's a little bit of magic, that.' When I read that line, I thought the exact same thing about The Wednesday Sisters.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2008

    The Wednesday Sisters

    Wow - did this book bring back my own personal memories of growing up in the San Francisco Bay area in the 60's and 70's. I thought it extremely well researched and very believable. It's amazing how much things have changed for women since then. We take for granted so much that we were not allowed back then. My 19 year old daughter cringes when I tell her girls were not allowed to wear pants to school until I was in 7th grade - whatever year that was! I loved the characters - every single one of them. All were well rounded, all had issues that were explained by the author, all were intelligent, and all grew throughout the novel. (My one pet peeve was Kath NOT DIVORCING HER LOUSE OF A HUSBAND, good God woman! Show us that back talk backbone you show to everyone else ) And she was right to think that she was not showing her children a good example of how a healthy family is supposed to function. I really wish she had acted on that. Other than that minor comment I absolutely adored this novel and will be recommending it to all my women friends. Yeah Meg - great job!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2008

    A Warm Welcome to The Wednesday Sisters

    Meg Waite Clayton crafts a story about five women who meet in the late 1960's when they are young wives, mothers, homemakers. These five women start slow - sharing only the tips of their individual icebergs but over the next five or six years, they get to know each other intimately through their weekly gatherings in the park, through annual group viewings of the Miss America Pageant, and through each woman's personal writings. The five are all married women who begin meeting in the neighborhood park on Wednesday mornings. They sit and chat while their children play and their talks begin with their love of novels and move on to their own personal attempts at writing stories and novels. Over the years, their talks and their writing cover a multitude of personal and national events. The women are all individuals yet they feel like parts of a whole. Frankie - the wife of a computer chip designer with two young children. She is fascinated with the empty mansion next to the park, imagining the lives of its former occupants. Frankie let her new friends believe that she went to college with her husband until finally admitting that she let them believe that for quite some time before correcting them. She was a secretary at the college when she met Danny. Linda - the straightforward, tell-it-like-it-is woman who can be intimidating, yet always means well. The wife of a future doctor with three kids, she runs regularly and keeps tabs on feminist movements, peace rallies, and other gatherings of the times going on in the country. Her iceberg houses her mother, her childhood, and her regrets. Ally - the wife of an Indian man, the mother to a number of miscarried babies and the vessel for all the sadness that comes with prejudice and loss. She passes off her neice as her own daughter for a while before admitting to her new friends that she just wanted to join their gatherings in the park. She shares her fears reluctantly at first, but her friends' encouragement of her own writing leads to the creation of a story for Hope. Kath - the wife of another future doctor, but a philandering one. A true Southern Belle who believes that appearances are everything, she agrees to a radical living arrangement in order to keep up the charade of marriage. She also learns more about herself and her ability to support her children and herself when times get hard. Brett - the wife of a physicist who shares that high level of intelligence with her husband, yet forfeited any hopes of being an astranaut due to both the limitations on women at those times and her own personal iceberg - the white kid gloves she wears at all times. Those gloves are prominent in the second paragraph of the book - leading the reader to foresee a tragic outcome. Ms. Clayton throws a curve at this reader by explaining that second paragraph in chapter 13 in a wonderfully inventive way. Prompted by Linda, the Wednesday Sisters take a short road trip and by the end of that trip, Linda has guided each of them to an acceptance of who they are. She has given them the tools to believe in their own capabilities, to wake their dreams from deep slumber. A wonderful story. A wonderful group of characters. This reader predicts a best-selling success for Meg Waite Clayton and The Wednesday Sisters.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2008

    A Wonderful Walk Through the Past With Friends

    I loved this book. Of course there is the girlfriend thing, but what charmed me was the reminders of the late 1960s and early 1970s. I was surprised to realize that so many significant political events happened in such a short time when I was in high school. Meg Clayton beautifully captures the early discussions about feminism and other shifts in our social norms. Meg delivers this walk down memory lane in the delightful company of girlfriends. THis is a book for all women. I think that women who were in high school or college during the late 60's and early 70's will especially love it. It is one of those books that you will hug after reading the last page.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2008

    Wonderful, beautiful, and an inspiration

    Five women - Frankie, Kath, Linda, Brett, and Ally - meet in their neighborhood park starting in the late 1960s. Together they write, read each others' writing, and weather all that life has in store for them. Author Meg Waite Clayton hit the nail on the head with this one! I know I'm not saying much, but that's because I'm trying not to squee, which I know is not conducive to reviews. What can I say about The Wednesday Sisters without squeeing? The Wednesday Sisters really touched something in me - both their experiences writing and their experiences outside of writing. I had never really thought about what life was like for women just older than my mother, who was in junior high at the time of this novel. I knew that women have made strides forward in the last forty years, but I had no idea just how large those strides have been - imagine not being allowed in the New York Marathon simply because of your plumbing! As an aspiring writer myself, this book is a treasure. It reminds me that writing is not just making one draft, and that even if you get sixty-two rejections, send it out again number sixty-three could be an acceptance. That I don't have to write a great first draft, or even second draft - that's what revision and editing is for. That even though I'm just me, I can and should write and aspire to be published. The Wednesday Sisters is a gem. I highly recommend it to all women, to aspiring writers, and to friends, or anyone with friends. So, everyone, basically. In fact, I've already asked my mother to read it, and believe that her book club will love this book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2008

    A Must Read

    I loved this book from the second paragraph. The book is mostly told from Frankie's point of view, but each of the other 'sisters' gets their turn. For reasons I will keep to myself for now (wouldn't want to spoil anything) I most identified with Ally. Though there was a connection with Frankie as well. I finished The Wednesday Sisters 4 days ago and those women are still with me and I think they will remain for quite awhile. This isn't only a book about the relationships these women have with each other, but also about their relationships with BOOKS! Each of these women's favorite book has an influence on the way that they see life the color if the glasses that color their world view. Being that I was born in 1976, I was born after the main part of The Wednesday Sisters is finished. However, Meg Waite Clayton did a great job of giving the reader enough information to understand our culture at that time (1968 to 1974). There are so many things that I want to say about The Wednesday Sisters, but I don't want to give away all of the best/juicy parts. This is a must read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2008

    Beautiful Book

    The Wednesday Sisters surprises in its honesty. Its characters remind us of our faults, our frailty and our fortitude, both as individuals and as a culture. It is, in part, a story of friendship: of the way in which friendship deepens the humanity of those it touches. Yet it also is the story of awakening: of the awareness that we humans wear blinders, of the removal of those blinders, and of the conscious decision whether to replace the blinders or not. I found myself deeply moved by The Wednesday Sisters. It seemed to sneak up and unravel my emotions before I realized what was happening. The Wednesday Sisters made me laugh and cry, almost simultaneously. And when I turned the last page, I knew I was going to miss my friends, the Wednesday sisters: Frankie, Linda, Kath, Brett and Ally.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2008

    No tie-dyed flower power here!

    I've been around long enough to remember the sixties, and Meg Waite Clayton's book brings a much more honest perspective than most historical treatments that try to capture the decade in a few tie-dyed scenes of hippies smoking pot in a field. We didn't all burn our bras and caravan across the country in beat-up volkswagon buses singing 'I'd like to teach the world to sing.' Some of us just went about trying to live life the way our mothers taught us. Nevertheless, as Clayton's book shows so very well, 'the times they were a changing,' and we changed with them. But this is a book about so much more than the impact of the sixties on American culture. This is an elegantly and beautifully written novel about the bonds of friendship forged when five women, strangers who meet in a park in Palo Alto, California, discover a common interest in the written word. If you are a reader or a writer, or if you've ever been part of a circle of really good friends--or maybe if you just want to be--do yourself a favor. Spend a little time with The Wednesday Sisters, laugh a little, cry a little, and celebrate the power of sisterhood.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2008

    A Fresh and Interesting Novel

    The Wednesday Sisters follows five women from the time they meet in 1967 until 1974. These women are young wives and mothers, rather well-to-do, living in suburban Palo Alto, California. Their â¿¿clubâ¿¿ is focused on becoming writers, and each of them contributes both writing and criticism in order to help their sisters grow as writers. They are also the best of friends, sharing triumphs and tribulations and learning about themselves in the process. I initially assumed this book would be rather â¿¿familiarâ¿¿ (thatâ¿¿s Frankie-speak for â¿¿triteâ¿¿), but was glad to be wrong. Most of what Iâ¿¿ve read about this time has focused on the subversive and radical elements of the late â¿¿60â¿¿s, early â¿¿70â¿¿s culture in America, so it was very new and fresh to be given an insight into the lives of those whoâ¿¿d accepted the status quo and were being forced, by experiences in their own lives, to change their long-held views. Being only 27 and never experiencing that era myself, I was continually struck by how recently our culture has shifted from marginalizing women to embracing them (for the most part.) It is rarely that I come across a novel in which the characters seem so real, as they do in The Wednesday Sisters. We are not given their stories in part, but feel we have become a part of the whole, and the narrator, Frankie, has a very engaging â¿¿voiceâ¿ (as is also stated in one of her sistersâ¿¿ critiques of her writing.) I would recommend this book to anyone who reads general fiction, which is a very wide section of our population. I expect The Wednesday Sisters to become a bigger best seller than The Mrs. Americaâ¿¿s, one of the sistersâ¿¿ novels. (Which I also would really like to read, by the way.)

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2008

    A reviewer

    Meg Waite Clayton gives us a look into the lives of five very different women who share their lives and their literary ambitions while they meet once a week in the park. On the surface, Linda, Frankie, Brett, Kath, and Ally have little in common. But when they decide to meet and share their attempts at writing, they begin to develop a strong bond. At first, they are afraid to say what they really think - everyone's work is 'nice'. As they are able to start being honest with each other, about their writing and their lives, they are each changed by the friendships that they forge. Clayton is able to give each character her own voice, even though the book is narrated by Frankie. I felt like I knew each of the women by the time the book came to an end, and cared for them all. By setting the book in the late 60's she was able to tackle issues such as the burgeoning feminist movement, racism and the Vietnam war, and give insight from a perspective that would be much like that of my own family members. Clayton's writing style was warm and engaging, and I found myself quickly drawn into the lives of these 5 women. I hope to read more by this author in the future!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2014

    Just okay

    I'm not sure how I feel about this book. It was kind of boring and dragged on. I couldn't get close to the people in this book which may have to do with my age being that this was all before my time. However at times I did enjoy it and it made me laugh or cry a little. I think this book would be good for an older crowd of people in their 50's or 60's because it was more their time frame.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2014

    Loved it!!

    Interesting set of friends and the trial and tribulations of being an adult in the 70s. I've even recommended it to my buds.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Just ok

    The book seemed to be so drawn out & just didn't keep my interest until the end (yes, I had to finish it!!), then it was just ok.

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