The Smart One

The Smart One

A Novel

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
7
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From the author of the best-selling Girls in White Dresses (An "irresistible, pitch-perfect first novel." -- Marie Claire ): a gloriously funny new novel of sibling rivalry, thwarted expectations, and that place you return to when things go staggeringly awry: home.

nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Weezy and Will Coffey raised their children, Martha, Claire, and Max, to be kind, smart, and independent. They gave them help with their homework, a dog, and homemade birthday cakes. It's true that Martha's a little too sensitive--she calls Claire several times a week to discuss natural disasters and local crime. And Claire has a short fuse with her sister--she becomes irate when Martha suggests that the two of them attend couples therapy. And Max, the baby and a senior in college, is a little too happy-go-lucky--though not as lucky as everyone would hope. Still, their parents did their best preparing them for the world. So why, Weezy wonders, is Martha living in her childhood bedroom after a career flame-out? And why has Claire canceled her wedding and locked herself in her New York apartment? And how has Max managed to get himself into a girlfriend fiasco? A story about the ways in which we never really grow up, The Smart One is a witty, gossipy, perfectly-drawn portrait of family life.
Publisher: Toronto : Bond Street Books, c2013
ISBN: 9780385676458
Branch Call Number: CLO
Characteristics: 339 p. ;,25 cm

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madoc22
May 29, 2017

I loved this book. It is definitely not an action or plot driven story. It is more in the line of a study of characters and how they deal with the ups and downs of real life. Life is made of little moments, so is this book. The writing of Jennifer Close is superb. Her sense of observation is rare, especially for such a young writer. I found myself smiling a lot and at times laughing out loud because I could relate to the comments. To me, the style of writing is more important that the plot, so I reveled in this book. If you are looking for drama and action, this is not for you. If you are looking for fine writing and identification with life's little moments, enjoy!

cgloden Oct 25, 2013

I thought that this book was really boring. It jumped all over the place and had a really weird ending.

c
calvoer
Aug 14, 2013

Family relationships under the microscope, minutely observed. Fans of Ann Tyler (as in "Digging to America"), will recognize the dry, acerbic, measured style and clever dialogue. However, I became impatient for something to happen about halfway through. Some of the characters did not quite come off for me. One of the sisters in particular, Martha, remained a puzzle. All the Coffey family female characters were described as "smart," yet behaved like they had bubbles for brains. I'd say this book is definitely a cut above chick lit, although nearly as forgettable.

t
TracyGuza
Aug 07, 2013

I loved this book. I've been a little homesick for the East coast and the NY/Philly setting and boisterous crazy family in this book reminded me of my own.

Fast read - perfect for sitting in the sun.

ksoles Jul 04, 2013

Jennifer Close's new novel depicts a trio of grown offspring who return to the nest: Martha, a lapsed nurse who manages a J. Crew store, resents her therapist and gets dumped by her real-estate agent; Claire, who, after breaking up with her fiancé, lives in her New York apartment until her bank account dries up; and Max, the charming college senior who has a gorgeous girlfriend and a bright future until he gets his girlfriend pregnant.

Meanwhile, Weezy, the well-meaning but neurotic matriarch, shoulders the blame for the shortcomings of her children, all of whom now reside under her roof along with her oblivious husband, Will. It becomes obvious that Weezy cared for her children too well; they have grown into clueless adults incapable of hunting for real estate, paying bills and cleaning up after themselves.

"The Smart One" provides a light, entertaining summer read. Close displays her talent with spare but satisfying prose and unflinchingly describes her characters with a sense of immediacy. These characters neither undergo spectacular redemption nor do they emerge as heroes. But, eventually, they do eventually manage to embrace their true selves and find some happiness in the process. What else can a mother hope for?

sablegirl Jun 11, 2013

I love this book and enjoyed reading about the different disfunctional relationships each child had with one another and parents. I should say "enjoyed" but was amused by some of the exploits. I recommend this book.

t
tegan
Feb 22, 2013

I loved this book. The narrative switches between different members of the family: Claire and Marta (sisters); Weezy (the mother), Cleo (girlfriend of the brother). The writing is pretty funny - some of the moments were especially hilarious as I could imagine my mom or sister doing that exact thing. This is the best book I have read so far this year.

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