The Wednesday Daughters by Meg Waite Clayton
Published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House
Review copy provided by the publicist
Close friends Hope, Anna Page, and Julie set out on a journey to remember Hope’s mother, Ally Tantry, who has recently passed away. Ally was part of a close group of women, also including Anna Page’s mother and Julie’s mother, who called themselves the Wednesday Sisters because they met every Wednesday for years. While the three of them are only planning to sort through Ally’s things, what they find is a complicated family history, and as they do so, they grapple with their own struggles life has thrown at them in recent years.
A few years back, I fell head over heels in love with Meg Waite Clayton’s The Wednesday Sisters, so when I found out there would be a sequel, I jumped at the chance to pick it up. Unfortunately, I found myself underwhelmed with this book overall, although it was not without its bright moments. I think the problem I had with the novel is that I was SO in love with the characters from the first book, and The Wednesday Daughters is not about those characters, it’s about their daughters (obviously). And I missed the characters from the first novel I’d loved so much.
What I did like about this book was that the characters were also good! I liked the relationships between Hope, Anna Page, and Julie, and I liked how the reader slowly got to know them and their individual stories over the course of the novel. What kept me turning the pages was finding out how things had ended up for the Wednesday sisters and their kids, and how their lives were all interrelated and connected even as the years went on and they got older.
For whatever reason, I was less interested in the search to find out more about Ally’s past. While I loved her character in the first book, I couldn’t quite get invested enough in learning about her family secrets and such. I just wanted to spend more time with the characters in the present, and get to know them on a deeper level, and heck wouldn’t it be great if one or two of their moms showed up? One does, at the end, but I’d have liked to see more of all the Sisters.
But Clayton writes beautifully, and I’ll continue to be a fan of her novels even though this one was less than stellar for me. I’ll leave you with a quote from the book – I don’t usually insert quotes into my reviews, but this one stuck out to me so much that I just had to share it.
But it’s a hard thing, to share our shames, or what we think are our shames, even with our closest friends. We fear that admitting them will cost us the love of those whose love we most need. We forget that’s why they love us: not for our perfection but for our humanity.
This sort of sums up what the book was about, to me, so if you like these kinds of stories I would recommend picking up the first book in this two-part series, The Wednesday Sisters, before thinking about this one.