The Smart One

The Smart One With her best selling debut Girls in White Dresses An irresistible pitch perfect first novel Marie Claire Jennifer Close captured friendship in those what on earth am I going to do with my life ye

  • Title: The Smart One
  • Author: Jennifer Close
  • ISBN: 9780385362719
  • Page: 243
  • Format: Audio CD
  • With her best selling debut, Girls in White Dresses An irresistible, pitch perfect first novel Marie Claire , Jennifer Close captured friendship in those what on earth am I going to do with my life years of early adulthood Now, with her sparkling new novel of parenthood and sibling rivalry, Close turns her gimlet eye to the only thing messier than friendship family.With her best selling debut, Girls in White Dresses An irresistible, pitch perfect first novel Marie Claire , Jennifer Close captured friendship in those what on earth am I going to do with my life years of early adulthood Now, with her sparkling new novel of parenthood and sibling rivalry, Close turns her gimlet eye to the only thing messier than friendship family Weezy Coffey s parents had always told her she was the smart one, while her sister was the pretty one Maureen will marry well, their mother said, but instead it was Weezy who married well, to a kind man and good father Weezy often wonders if she did this on purpose thwarting expectations just to prove her parents wrong But now that Weezy s own children are adults, they haven t exactly been meeting her expectations either Her oldest child, Martha, is thirty and living in her childhood bedroom after a spectacular career flameout Martha now works at J.Crew, folding pants with whales embroidered on them and complaining bitterly about it Weezy s middle child, Claire, has broken up with her fianc , canceled her wedding, and locked herself in her New York apartment leaving Weezy to deal with the caterer and florist And her youngest, Max, is dating a college classmate named Cleo, a girl so beautiful and confident she wears her swimsuit to family dinner, leaving other members of the Coffey household blushing and stammering into their plates As the Coffey children s various missteps drive them back to their childhood home, Weezy suddenly finds her empty nest crowded and her children in full scale regression Martha is moping like a teenager, Claire is stumbling home drunk in the wee hours, and Max and Cleo are skulking around the basement, guarding a secret of their own With radiant style and a generous spirit, The Smart One is a story about the ways in which we never really grow up, and the place where we return when things go drastically awry home.

    • The Smart One ¦ Jennifer Close
      243 Jennifer Close
    • thumbnail Title: The Smart One ¦ Jennifer Close
      Posted by:Jennifer Close
      Published :2019-08-10T10:31:37+00:00


    About “Jennifer Close

    • Jennifer Close

      Jennifer Close is the best selling author of Girls in White Dresses and The Smart One Her new novel, The Hopefuls, will be out in July 2016 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 She now lives in Washington, DC, and teaches creative writing at George Washington University.



    819 thoughts on “The Smart One

    • This novel depressed the hell out of me. Instead of feeling smart, or even enlightened, or possibly encouraged, I just feel clinically depressed, like I need to see a shrink right now for a Tuesday afternoon appointment, once a week for the rest of my life. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this novel, because I did, but now I feel as though I need to adjust my prescription medication.Comparing and contrasting motherhood unabashedly from two distinct perspectives, THE SMART ONE gives us Weezy [...]


    • It always comes as a shock when I’m reading a book about a twentysomething careening towards her thirties and the author makes a cultural reference to the character’s childhood — in this case, the Babysitter’s Club — and I realize that I’m essentially the same age as the character.I’m not just growing up — I am a grown-up. Full-fledged adulthood, with all its bill-paying, career-building, and marriage-considering, responsible glory. And yet every time I have that realization, I a [...]


    • Eh. I wanted this book to get better. It didn't. It wasn't terrible, but it was nowhere near great. If I could draw this book, it would be a flat line.Some of the characters are so unlikeable they are grating. I kept waiting for someone to commit Martha, who was clearly insane. I felt pity for Weezy, because apparently you have to be doing something wrong as a mother if none of your kids are prepared to deal with reality as adults. Claire was tolerable, if only because she was the ONLY character [...]


    • I don't know how I came to pick up this book, I usually go with the date (those publishing earlier, I read first). When I started reading it, I was hooked! Three siblings go back to their childhood home after failing on their own. It follows the lives of the Coffey kids: Martha, the supposed "smart one" who couldn't handle her career as a nurse; Claire, the street smart but super broke and broken hearted; and Max, the baby brother who got his girlfriend knocked up. Usually, a novel like this doe [...]


    • I have no idea what this book was trying to say. It gets one star because it was at least well written. It was just load of random events happening to a family (none of them very interesting) no one moved forward or did anything it was like one of those films where there is loads of dialogue but no story. Not worth the time I spent reading it.


    • The Smart One revolves around a year in the life of a family, one where much happens: things fall apart, are pieced back together, or completely replaced. It's a slice of life book - there is no goal, no driving force, and no hope. I found myself involved in their lives, looking forward to a blow up about the various issues they were all hiding. But there was no blow up and no resolution. Life continued on, as it always does. What did I think of this book? I'm not entirely sure.This isn't normal [...]


    • Jennifer Close has perfectly depicted the stress and chaos of returning to live at home as an adult. Written from the perspective of four different women, The Smart One removes readers from the comfort of rooting for a single protagonist and instead shifts constantly between college-going Cleo, the slightly neurotic Martha, over-worrying Weezy, and debt-ridden Claire.The Smart One attempts to refuse stereotypes of mindless Chick Lit and focuses on more realistic issues than shopping and man-trou [...]


    • I wasn't sure about The Smart One when I started reading it. Claire and Martha, Weezy's daughters, weren't characters I really liked or could really relate too. Both of them were clearly depressed (not clinically, just in a "life is hard" way) and there wasn't much joy in their life - which ironically, made them a bit judgmental. But then we get to Cleo - and that's when I got really hooked into the novel. I guess it shows my current passion for YA fiction, since Cleo is the youngest of the girl [...]


    • It's not often that I want to hug a book as much as I want to hug this one. Jennifer Close's writing is at times acerbic, at times so vulnerable, always full of the tang of originality and intelligence that isn't sparked so often by typical chick lit storylines -- of which there are a few here. No character's strife doesn't feel real, even if the characters themselves are ones we've seen before.A humbling confession: the parts about Cleo and the Coffey family's ancient dog made me cry.



    • I hated this bookI kept hoping it would develop into something more. The characters and their lives and situations were all depressing. They were petty and mean and although some families relate to each other that way I prefer to read something that has some redeeming quality for someone in the novel. I guess for this novel it is the baby.


    • Solid chick literary fiction. As my pal Melissa points out, I didn't particularly like any of these characters. I did appreciate that almost nothing turned out as I thought it might - nothing is more boring than predictability.


    • This is another title that I don't think accurately conveyed the story, at least as tied to the book blurb. I suppose it could fit if it referred to each POV person thinking they were the smart one but still able to make obviously not smart decisions wrt to their lives - but that would require the blurb writer to read the damn book! (A riff on "cover artist - read the damn book!" which occurs from time to time.) This isn't comparable to Anne Tyler unless you consider inner POVs to be "Anne Tyler [...]


    • When I received an email asking me if I would like to review Jennifer Close’s second novel, I said yes immediately. I know her debut novel was immensely popular, and I have it on my shelf somewhere to be read, and so I knew Jennifer Close came with some backing behind her, especially after I read that her novels are witty, and the novel version of Girls (not that I base what I read on Girls since I’ve never seen it, but I know the gist of what it’s about and so, a book like Girls is going [...]


    • I didn't know what to expect when I began reading The Smart One, by Jennifer Close. This was my first time reading a book by her and I was pleasantly surprised to find myself immediately hooked.This story follows the perspectives of four women in the Coffee family over the course of a year, and although each character is drastically different from the next, I found a little bit of myself in each of them.Weezy is the mother figure, and although her life has turned out better than she ever hoped i [...]


    • Weeezy's number one priority is to see her children grow up stable and happy. However her expectations are shattered when they are not living beneath the life she had planned for them. Martha her oldest child is single working at a job that she secretly detests but does to make ends meet. Although she wants to practice her nursing, she is torn between staying at a job for the sake of her co workers or taking the alternative route. Weezy is not only overprotective over Martha, she also tries to l [...]


    • Jennifer Close is very good at capturing the early adulthood experience of a certain demographic (her books kind of remind of the TV show Girls). As someone who falls into that demographic, I can relate to her characters, particularly those in The Smart One. I expected this book to be written entirely from the mother's point of view and am glad that it wasn't, as I related most to the two daughters, who are both 30/almost 30, yet living at home and kind of stuck. One quote that I liked (of cours [...]


    • The Smart One is an introspective look at the lives of all the female Coffey family members. The book is very character driven. Every chapter alternates perspective, while many events overlap. Having multiple characters reference the same events, revelations, or family fights, was really interesting and very well done. Each character has a very specific voice, that represents how easily people view or perceive the same situations differently. But, even though their is a focus on these events, th [...]


    • I enjoyed reading this book, but it won't win any awards for great literature (not that it pretends to be!) The story was interesting enough and there were some astute insights into that lifetime sentence otherwise known as parenthood. The writing is solid and I had no problem with the pace. I found the characters annoying and I was often especially frustrated by the matriarch, Weezy (did NOT like that name - it infantilizes the character and is an ongoing and unpleasant reminder of breathing di [...]


    • I really loved Girls in White Dresses as a light read that still managed to make funny and astute observations about my generation as we grow up post-college so I was excited to see another book from Jennifer Close so soon. However, this family story told from the perspectives of two sisters, their mother and their brother's girlfriend didn't have any of the irreverence or sad humor of her first book. Instead, the neurotic characters came across as miserable-- each lived in some suspended state [...]


    • The Smart One is a wonderful story about the Coffeys' (and, by extension, those connected to them: relatives, girlfriends, best friends, friends from high school, colleagues) and the ups and downs in their lives. Each chapter by each POV is absolutely wonderful, drawing the readers into the lives of this family and the perspective of each character in focus. The author does a fantastic job is really bring their perspectives to life, understand what it means to be a mother worrying for her childr [...]


    • The Smart One by Jennifer Close is a fun, quick read. I sometimes need a Chick-lit book to read at the pool or while the kids are at swimming lessons. If you are a chick-lit reader, you'll enjoy this book. I'm not even sure how I happened upon it. One of the main characters, Claire, is a twenty-something single stumbling through her own life experiences and making mistakes as she goes along. Inevitably, her choices cause her to move back home. Claire's sister, Martha, is also going through life [...]


    • I contrast this book with Alena Graedon's The Word Exchange. Both are published on the past year or two about 20 something's in New York City. This book, The Smart One by Jennifer Close is a realistic look at the dull, boring life of conventional middle class and downwardly mobile suburban types who are cabined, cribbed, confined. They lack the inspiration to aim for anything beyond respectability. There is no originality, no art, no science, no beauty. And if there is beauty it is to be control [...]


    • Things are not going well for Weezy Coffey's three adult children. Her oldest, Martha, has abandoned her nursing career and moved back home to her childhood bedroom. Claire and her fiancé Doug have broken off their engagement, and when Claire is unable to pay her own bills, she, too, moves back home. Finally, Max, the youngest of the Coffey children, gets Cleo, his college girlfriend, pregnant, and the two of them move into the basement. Living under the same roof proves to be a challenge for t [...]


    • This is a story of a proud family matriarch, struggling with her own quirks and obsessions, trying to hold her family together amid a growing and pervasive dysfunction. All three of her college-educated adult children have moved back home for various reasons, all boiling down to a series of 'failure-to-launch' issues. Throughout the book, I got the impression that it was building to a big and unexpected resolution, but. really happened at all. The two daughters got decent jobs and moved back out [...]


    • After reading Julia's Chocolates this book was quite the let down.It started out promising and then it fell flat. Not only did the main character get on my nerves, but I felt like I was reading the book in the 50's until I remember The Babysitter's Club reference. I do not understand how In this day and age a college senior getting pregnant is a huge situation in this book. I'm sadly disappointed in this book. I probably should have read a murder mystery before I started this book to clear out m [...]


    • Couldn't get into it. Maybe 50 pages and then just stopped. Life's too short to read books that don't grab you for whatever reason, I think.ough I'm a total hypocrite because I will plug away at the books I feel I "should" read, ie the classics. But The Smart One just never caught my interest and I had a pile of new books I wanted to read taunting me from my bedside table!


    • I struggled hard on this one. Found all the characters super unlikeable and grating. No wonder Martha's therapist was exasperated, no one evolved or grew. Just a lot of first world problems coupled with excuses for behaviors. It's a well written book and "The Hopefuls" was one of my faves of the year so there's that.


    • I am done trying to like this author. This book was a little better than her last, but I couldn't even give it 3 stars because I did not like a single character. The only reason I finished either of her books is because I refuse to give up on books half way through. Overall, I would not recommend this to anyone and would probably warn people from her writing.


    • Sweet, funny, realistic, enjoyed it but didn't love it like I loved Girls in White Dresses. I hated a couple of the characters, so I liked that the book was told from multiple points of view and didn't focus too heavily on them. And now I want to read a follow-up book about Claire.


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