Review: The Smart One by Jennifer Close

the smart oneThe Smart One
(Vintage Contemporaries)

Contemporary Fiction
Vintage Books (July 16, 2013)
A Division of Random House, Inc.
Paperback: 432 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0307743701
E-Book File Size: 1100 KB


The Coffey siblings are having a rough year. Martha is thirty and working at J. Crew after a spectacular career flameout; Claire has broken up with her fiancé and locked herself in her New York apartment until her bank account looks as grim as her mood; and the baby of the family, Max, is dating a knockout classmate named Cleo and keeping a very big, very life-altering secret. The only solution—for all of them—is to move back home.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
As a parent of adult children who have not left home or moved back home and then back out I was so looking forward to this book. Sadly I felt like “The Not Smart One”. This one just fell flat for me.

The characters just laid there on the page. One sister was whiny, one sister was in denial, the brother was young and had to grow up quickly, but still has to find out about real life out on his own. The mother was an enabler when it came to one child, distant from what the other two were going through and struggling to find herself outside of being just a mom. The father was totally disconnected from everyone.

I guess I just was waiting for something earth shattering to happen and it didn’t. I was hoping something was going to happen on the annual trip to the shore but two trips there were two trips too many.

I thought I maybe would see some of myself in the mom, but boy she did things like “spoiler alert” continue to plan her daughter’s wedding for months after it was cancelled! She continued to choose the flowers, go to food tastings and other “meetings” just for something to do. This women needs a job or a hobby or to volunteer for a good cause.

Her husband seems to live in his den. He teaches at the local college but never seems to leave the house.

I won’t even get started on the kids. I am just so glad they are not related to me!

I am wavering between 2 or 3 starfish on this one. I did finish it. Read it to the very last page and enjoyed a few excerpts so I will give it 3 but if it you to try it is is definitely one to pick up from the library.
still at the beach but not as tranquil

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About This Author
Jennifer Close was born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago. She is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from The New School in 2005. She worked in New York in magazines for many years and then in Washington, D.C., as a bookseller. Girls in White Dresses is her first book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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