Disclaimer: I was given a free ARC of this copy with the understanding that it would not influence my opinion or review of it at all. These are my real thoughts on the book.
The Wednesday Daughters by Meg Waite Clayton is an interesting look at the relationships forged through a lifetime and what happens to them when the people involved are recovering from losses.
I received an ARC of this through GoodReads probably almost a year ago now. (I am the worst! I shouldn't ever ask for ARCs because it takes me so long to read them.) I've been making my way through it for about two months -- it's kind of been a book that's been hanging around in my bedroom for when I have a couple minutes to read (it's got pretty short chapters for the most part, so it was handy to have to read there). I finally finished it last night.
I really wasn't sure how I felt about this book in the beginning. On the one hand, it had mostly female characters including a mixed-race main character (who felt very awkward about being mixed-race for the most part). It takes place in England which is pretty cool. But it also takes place after the death of Hope's mother. So it's all very sad and everyone's grieving in their own ways. And that was hard to jump right in to. Also Beatrix Potter plays a large part which I kind of had to adjust to because it's been so many years since I've read any Beatrix Potter books.
Eventually though, I thought this story truly bloomed into something lovely. As the characters recognize their own faults and flaws, I think you get a good understanding of how major loss changes people and their priorities. Clayton really shows how people grow and change with the challenges of life. I didn't read the Wednesday Sisters (which is sort of the first book) so I'd be interested to see how that changed my opinion, but over all I thought it was beautifully written. I think it'll be a sure sell for people who like slow build stories with very well-written female friendships.
Favorite Quotes: "If there is no end of failure, I said, then perhaps there might be no end of success, too, if you just go on about putting words to paper? / If there is no end of failure, Allison, Bea said, success must b the act of putting words to paper as best we can."
"Family history is little more than expectation to be overcome [...] A straitjacket of limitations on who we otherwise might be."
"We can't help who our parents are [...] We can't help that we love them--I can't and you can't and we shouldn't, even when we hate what they do. But we aren't them."