Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wide Smiles of Girls” as Want to Read:
The Wide Smiles of Girls
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wide Smiles of Girls

3.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  66 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Sisters Mae Wallace and March are two years apart, and worlds away from being anything alike. Mae Wallace is the dependable, older sister, who weighs her words before she speaks, and sees the world as a project to be saved. March, happily overweight and charismatic, has the world on a string. Babies, men, and teachers love March, and she loves them right back. Mae Wallace ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Thomas Dunne Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wide Smiles of Girls, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Wide Smiles of Girls

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 161)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 29, 2015 Grace rated it did not like it
This story was weak overall. It started with potential and at several different points the story could have gone a few different directions that would have held more promise. This main character, Mae Wallace, is emotionally stunted and overly obsessed with her younger sister. She sees her through rainbow colored glasses and allows herself to be verbally and emotionally abused by her sister. Typically when we grow up the relationships we have with family members we no longer live with change, som ...more
Sarah Beth
Jul 29, 2012 Sarah Beth rated it liked it
The Wide Smiles of Girls is about the bond (or lack thereof) between sisters Mae Wallace and March. Mae Wallace, who narrates the story, is the responsible and predictable older sister. March is the younger, vivacious, voluptuous younger sister who is impulsive and constantly falling in and out of love. When March has a tragic accident, it transforms their relationship and both of their lives dramatically.

Following March's accident, Mae Wallace quits her job and leaves her home and boyfriend Vi
Oct 18, 2010 Brooke rated it it was ok
This book started off better than it finished. Learning about Mae's and March's relationship at the beginning of the book was interesting, however the large span of years between the chapters did not allow the reader to gain a strong sense of their relationship. The rest of the book really didn't go anywhere until the end. I felt that certain relationships were rushed and was somewhat disappointed that the author decided to neatly wrap everything up.
Aug 11, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: popular-lit
I liked this story of two sisters who were close and are torn apart by circumstances. Anyone who has a sister can relate. Sometimes you just want to yell at the two women to JUST COMMUNICATE!!!!! But, of course, that's easier said than done even in real life. Fenske is a good story-teller; she provides enough detail and images so we feel like we are present. Overall, a great read for summer vacation :)
Oct 16, 2011 Kendra rated it it was ok

I felt like this could have been a very good book about sisters and love and tragedy and whatnot...but the author isn't a strong enough writer to create something interesting instead of something that felt very "what's the point?" I was bored.
Jun 20, 2012 JoAnn/QuAppelle rated it liked it
At first this was a 4 then a 3, then a 4 again. Now I am giving it a 3+. Indecisive.

But I did read it in a little more than a day, so I would say it held my interest.

Not a bad story, interesting locale. Good character development.

Apr 02, 2011 marsha rated it liked it
This was interesting because the main character allowed others in her family to define her, and it resulted in a lot of unhappiness. Not a fantastic book, but the message hit home!
Aug 27, 2009 Nancy rated it it was ok
an easy read that follows the difficulties of was okay for reading in car while waiting to pick-up sisters with their own difficulties (my kids)
Lisa Griffin
Confession. I'm friends with the author. Way to go Jen for the writing this book while pregnant, working full-time and managing a toddler at home.
Jul 07, 2009 Courtney rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, borrowed
This one started slow, but then picked up just a little bit. I liked the story, but didn't really connect with any of the characters.
Aug 07, 2011 Becky rated it liked it
I liked the middle of this book the best! The beginning was kind of slow and I didn't really care for the ending!
MeaLenea Homer
Aug 28, 2012 MeaLenea Homer rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've ever read. To anyone who has a sister, this book is for you. -Life changing
Tiffany Peck
Jul 07, 2011 Tiffany Peck rated it liked it
This started out as a good read but the ending got a little lost for me.It wasn't believable ending.I was disappointed.
Samantha Randall
Jun 10, 2012 Samantha Randall rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. Very good for something I just randomly picked up from a library shelf.
Jan 30, 2012 Penny rated it really liked it
It was a really good story, well written, and best of all, no swearing!!!
May 18, 2010 Amber rated it liked it
Good. Not great or amazing, but a decent book with decent characters.
Missy  Miller
Nov 03, 2009 Missy Miller rated it did not like it
So sad...ithad potential but went nowhere....could be a good movie
Jul 10, 2015 Jo rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
gentle read of the complex relationships in families...
Jul 01, 2009 Kc rated it really liked it
Cute, but sad. . . about 2 sisters growing up together
Aug 22, 2009 Lpholley is currently reading it
like it so far! quick read
Nov 30, 2009 Christine rated it liked it
It was a lesson in communication. So many times we think we are communicating, but the other person really doesn't understand our meaning. It would save a lot of heartache if we would learn to be clear in our communication. It was good, but it kind of dragged along, I think the author wants to make a sequel, she left a lot of unresolved issues...
Jane marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2016
Janet marked it as to-read
Feb 01, 2016
Erin Trimmer
Erin Trimmer rated it liked it
Oct 13, 2015
Stephanie Post
Stephanie Post marked it as to-read
Oct 13, 2015
Kellie Demarsh
Kellie Demarsh marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2015
Lisa rated it liked it
Mar 17, 2015
Karen rated it liked it
Feb 06, 2015
Abby marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Jennifer Manske Fenske is the author of the novel, Toss the Bride. Her essays have been published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Arizona Republic, and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel as well as New Parent and The Lutheran magazines.
Jennifer is a graduate of Clemson University, where she studied fiction writing with Mark Steadman. She received her M.A. degree at the State University of New York a
More about Jennifer Manske Fenske...

Share This Book

“Sometimes you go through life and the wrong thing happens.” 3 likes
“I missed him often with a fierce longing, and then sometimes I didn't.” 2 likes
More quotes…