Review & Giveaway: The Four Ms. Bradwells

The Four Ms Bradwells

The Four Ms. Bradwells
By Meg Waite Clayton
(Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780345517081, March 2011, 336pp.)

The Short of It:

A pending Supreme Court appointment and a secret which could ruin it all. How much are friends willing to sacrifice in order to keep things under wraps?

The Rest of It:

Lainey, Mia, Betts and Ginger have been friends since their days at the University of Michigan. While studying law, their teacher aptly nicknames them “the Ms. Bradwells” after discussing a case where a woman was not allowed to be appointed to the Court.

Several years later, many of them have families of their own yet they still remain the best of friends. Betts is about to be appointed to the Supreme Court and as she completes the interview portion of the appointment, a secret from the past threatens to surface. The four women decide to spend the weekend at Ginger’s family home on Chesapeake Bay to discuss their options and to avoid the media.

There are many things that I enjoyed about this book. The story centers around four, very strong women. I found this refreshing. Usually when reading a book like this, I get frustrated with the women because they are too timid or weak. I never felt this way while reading this one.

I also enjoyed the setting quite a bit. A beach house on Chesapeake Bay is pretty perfect no matter how you cut it and Ms. Clayton does a wonderful job describing the house and its immediate surroundings. I also enjoyed the closeness of these women. Sometimes the interactions between women can seem forced, but I did not get that here. There was the closeness I mentioned, but also a realistic tension to the characters that made them seem real.

However, I did have some issues with the book. This is where the setting sort of worked against the story. Once they got to the house, the only things really discussed were things that happened on the Bay. Through flashbacks we’re given the rest of the story but as a reader, in order for me to really understand how these women think, I needed to know more about their lives prior to becoming “The Bradwells” and unfortunately, there wasn’t much said about their lives prior to college.

As for the secret, it was sort of anti-climactic and a bit predictable. Since I don’t classify this as a mystery, I didn’t expect there to be a big reveal or anything, but it seemed rather abrupt in the telling.

Overall, the book read like a play to me. It was pretty much confined to the one setting and although I loved the setting, I think it stole the show a bit.

But, if you are intrigued with the setting and enjoy reading books with smart female characters, enter to win your own copy. Details below.

Meg Waite Clayton

To visit Meg’s website, click here.

To visit her blog, go here.

To follow her on Twiiter, @megwclayton.

To follow her on Facebook, go here.

To view Meg’s other TLC tour stops, click here.

TLC Book Tours

Source: Review and giveaway copy provided to me by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.

Shop Indie Bookstores Red

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.


This giveaway is for one copy of The Four Ms. Bradwells and is open to the US and Canada. A winner will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the publisher. Only one entry per person.  Giveaway closes on April 22, 2011 (pacific). I will contact the winner for his/her mailing address.

To enter the giveaway, please click here. (This giveaway has closed! Thanks!)

18 thoughts on “Review & Giveaway: The Four Ms. Bradwells”

  1. I like the sound of a book that is “thinking women’s lit” versus some of the vapid stuff you read. But your complaints sound pretty valid. Nice job on the review.

  2. I’m very interested in reading this book because of the strong female characters. I also love the setting. I’m curious to see if I find anything lacking in the characters because we don’t get information about their childhood, adolescence or family which surprises me especially as one of the women is going to sit on the supreme court.

    Thanks for hosting a giveaway of this book, Ti!

  3. I’ll likely read this one at some point regardless. I still like women’s friendship books. Keep thinking I’ll get tired of the, but not so far. Thanks for sharing, Ti!

    1. I like books about women’s friendships too. In my personal experience, at least with the women around me, there seems to be a bit too much competition and not enough true friendship or closeness. I always wanted girlfriends like those in Sex and the City, but I haven’t found them yet 🙂

  4. I’ve heard that the secret is very predictable, but I’ll still be reading this book anyway since it was our choice for book club next month. I’m hoping the good points of the story outweigh the issues people have had.

  5. this is the first time accross the author and would love to mingle with The Four Ms. Bradwells

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

  6. I can’t help it, I love anything having to do with politics and secrets. I entered the giveaway. 🙂

    Someday you’ll have to explain how you got that link to the form in your post. I had to go through a different system (other than Google) for my giveaway because I couldn’t figure it out.

    1. Super easy. Once you create the form in Google Docs, just visit the live form and then copy the URL into your post. You can also email the link to yourself and add it that way.

  7. It’s too bad this one wasn’t exactly your cup of tea, but since I live very close to the Bay in question I think I’d enjoy it more than you did. 🙂

    Thanks for being on the tour Ti!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s