Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Four Ms. Bradwells - Book Review

Nicknamed the Ms. Bradwells by a professor during their first year in law school, the four women become fast friends. For the next thirty years they will be there for each other through thick and thin. Bett needs their support now. She has been nominated for a vacant seat on the Supreme Court. During the confirmation hearings, an anonymous blog post turns up a scandal involving the Ms. Bradwells during their college days--a mysterious death. Now, thirty some years after law school, the women must pull together to help their friend and themselves.

Exploring the ideas of friendship, secrets, and the rights of women, not to mention the relationships between mothers and daughters, The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton will keep you reading late into the night. Clayton is skilled at creating believable and fascinating women characters. Each of the four women is unique and yet it made sense that their shared experiences during college would bind them as lasting friends. The conversations shared by the women, while much more dramatic, reminded me of the bantering that sometimes goes on between my own friends from college and me. And just like my friends even though we are so close, these friends do keep secrets from each other.

Each chapter of the story is told from the point of view of a different woman. While it was initially confusing for me, I caught on quickly and the style was really an ingenious way to tell the story. Each woman knew different things and had various perspectives about the other women and their history. As a reader, it was interesting to learn things from one character and then read from another character who didn't have a knowledge of these things and see how her reality was skewed because of a lack of the entire truth. So very realistic.

The plot is also well crafted. The women's history unfolds slowly but with enough mystery and emotion to keep the reader and even the Ms. Bradwells guessing and doubting each other until the very end.

If your book club does not mind excessive swearing (which unfortunately is quite prevalent in some sections--not used simply as filler, these swears pack a punch in a very emotional and dramatic scene), there will be plenty of ideas to discuss about this book. Not the least of which, is the consequences we must eventually face for our choices and actions and the choices and actions of others with whom we are close.

Ms. Clayton obviously has a deep understanding of human nature and relationships. She weaves this gift into her characters and tells a most fascinating story full of pain, drama, emotion and ultimately redemption. Well done.

I received a free copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for my honest opinion. No additional compensation was received.

1 comment:

Kristi said...

I read this book recently for my book club and really enjoyed it. Glad that you did too!