Hey, so, remember how much I loved Jennifer Close’s debut novel, Girls in White Dresses? I even made it one of my picks of 2011. Well, Close’s new novel, The Smart One is out today and it is also awesome. My formal review here won’t be up for awhile, but The Smart One was my editor’s pick for the April edition of Bloggers Recommend (to get the Bloggers Recommend email monthly, subscribe here).
Thanks to Close’s publisher Knopf I have three copies to give away to readers with US mailing addresses. To enter, just fill out the form at the bottom of this post by 11:59 pm Central on Sunday, April 7th.
Here’s the publisher’s description:
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 fiancé, 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.