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The Smart One
     

The Smart One

4.1 14
by Ellen Meister
 

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Bev is the Smart One, who finally leaves her artistic ambitions in chalk dust (and her humor-impaired husband in the arms—and legs—of his nubile protégée) to become a schoolteacher. Clare is the Pretty One, who married well and seems to be living a designer version of the suburban dream. Joey is the Wild One, struggling to stay clean and sober

Overview

Bev is the Smart One, who finally leaves her artistic ambitions in chalk dust (and her humor-impaired husband in the arms—and legs—of his nubile protégée) to become a schoolteacher. Clare is the Pretty One, who married well and seems to be living a designer version of the suburban dream. Joey is the Wild One, struggling to stay clean and sober now that she's used up her fifteen minutes of fame as a one-hit-wonder rock star.

They love each other but mix like oil, water, and hundred-proof gin . . . a combination that threatens to combust over family tensions, suspected infidelities, a devastating accident, a stunning confession, and the sudden reappearance of their handsome, now all-grown-up former neighbor, Kenny Waxman, who's back in town making his mark as a TV comedy writer.

It seems they'll never understand where their differences begin and their own destructive tendencies end. Then it happens: the sisters discover a decades-old body stuffed inside an industrial drum and begin a bold, heartbreaking, and sometimes hilarious journey that will either bring them together . . . or tear them apart for good.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Now divorced, 35 and resolved to become a teacher after a series of entry-level design jobs, Bev Bloomrosen takes up temporary residence in her parents' Long Island home while they're in Florida. There, she immediately gets drawn into older sister Clare's marital woes and younger sister Joey's struggle to stay off drugs. Romantic complications soon arrive in the form of the neighbors' son, Kenny, a comedy writer whose tangled past involves both Bev and Joey. The sisters share an adventure while removing an industrial drum from beneath Kenny's parents' house-until they open it to discover the body of a pregnant woman, possibly killed years earlier by Kenny's father (who is now in Florida with advanced dementia). Meister (Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA) develops this uneasy mix of soap-opera secrets and slapstick humor with twist after twist to the point of reader exhaustion. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

In this character-driven novel, the relationship of a trio of sisters is pushed to the brink by long-simmering jealousies and grievances brought to the surface by old flames and new loves. Bev is the middle sister, the smart one, divorced and between jobs, always conscious of meeting her family's expectations. Eldest sister Clare feels pressure to live up to her reputation as the pretty one, with her storybook marriage, beautiful family, and affluent suburban home. Youngest sister Joey is the talented one, the former rock star-turned-recovering drug addict who resists every encouragement to return to the stage. When the sisters discover a body concealed in a drum found in the crawl space beneath a neighbor's home, their sleuthing plays out against family drama and romantic tugs-of-war. Despite being punctuated by a couple of wrenching plot points and the somewhat ambiguous resolution, the novel is fast-paced and features great dialog. Meister's second novel (after Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA) is a fresh take on the familiar "she's the smart/funny/talented one" refrain. Recommended for all public libraries.
—Amy Brozio-Andrews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061873195
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
644,006
File size:
651 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

A former advertising copywriter, Ellen Meister left the business world behind to raise a family and chase her fiction-writing dreams. She lives on Long Island with her husband and three children. This is her second novel.

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Smart One 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so good, I found myself ignoring chores just to get a few more pages in! The characters are easy to connect with and the story flows so smoothly, you will easily get get caught up in this book and not want to put it down! I highly suggest this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Apparently I read a different book than the other readers.  I found it to to childish and boring.
Sicilian More than 1 year ago
A nice interplay between sisters that allows us to watch their relationship grow and laugh with them. Nice intermix of humor, love, romance and mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it! Could not put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I grew up with Ellen, and she certainly has managed to capture suburban Long Island with an astute aplomb. The characters are intriguing, the story surprising and compelling, and the main characters' name is simply, beautiful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. Meister's writing is deft and witty, and the characters are engrossing and the plot is compelling. Meister proves Wolfe wrong -- and Kansas's famous Dorothy correct -- you can go home again. And then she mines that concept for gold. When Bev Bloomrosen, the 'smart' sister, is cornered into living in her parents' home for the summer, it starts a series of snowballing events that are either going to destroy her family or cement their bonds. An old flame breezes into town, charming Bev (and readers) with his nonstop wisecracks just as Bev and her sisters make a ghastly discovery practically in their own backyard. I absolutely fell in love with Bev, who manages to hold her own when it comes to funny one-liners, and was more than enamored with the rest of her family, too. Meister manages to masterfully mix a dark mystery with sizzling romantic entanglements and heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) family drama. I know plenty of people are going to call this a 'beach read' because it is a riveting, engrossing pageturner, but it's also blessed with a charm and intelligence that make it resonate with class and soul. Just like its main character, this book is one of the smart ones.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Med cat lives here