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A Clean Slate

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3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  734 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
A Clean Slate chronicles the days of Kelly McGraw, a Chicago woman who suddenly can't remember the last five months of her life, a time when she was dumped by her soon-to-be fiance and laid off by the company she thought would make her partner. Overwhelmed and confused but otherwise feeling wonderful, she begins to realize that she has a clean slate in life. She can do any ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Red Dress Ink (first published 2003)
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How to Be Alone by Tanya DavisThe Sweet By and By by Todd  JohnsonAsking for Trouble by Elizabeth YoungGirl in a Spin by Clodagh MurphyA Promising Man by Elizabeth Young
Clotheslines
9th out of 17 books — 2 voters
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingThe Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownThe Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Best Books of 2003
204th out of 346 books — 185 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,255)
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Jennifer
Jan 31, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
This wasn't a typical chick lit book, although it did have some of those elements with a twist. I liked how it didn't have a neat and tidy happily-ever-after ending. It was more realistic in that the character doesn't know what will happen, but she is optimistic. I liked how she sucks it up in the end and takes jobs that she thinks are "beneath" her in order to pursue her passion. She doesn't automatically start out making big bucks doing photography. She starts at the bottom as an assistant mak ...more
Writer's Relief
Jul 17, 2014 Writer's Relief rated it really liked it
At some point in life, you may have wished for a new beginning, a chance to erase all of your misfortunes. In Laura Caldwell’s A CLEAN SLATE, Kelly McGraw is suddenly given an opportunity to start over from scratch and is left to wonder…why?

Her life was going according to plan: Her long-time boyfriend was on the cusp of proposing, she recently moved into an amazing Chicago townhouse, and her boss was sure to name her partner of the firm.

But Kelly wakes up one morning to find that she is now si
...more
WhiteOak Library
Although the group wasn't thrilled with this title, we still had a great discussion and our book club is growing!

Questions for discussion:

1. One of the themes of the novel is the concept that our lives are always ours to remake. Why does it take a memory loss for Kelly to realize that? Where do you see her in five years? Ten years?

2.Did you fault Laney when she admitted that she had, in a way, enjoyed it when Kelly was depressed? Have you ever experienced a time when you felt needed and importan
...more
Donna
Oct 01, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it
A good quick read. I liked the story, it was fun & light.

Although there was nothing earth shattering or truly breathtaking about this book, the characters were likable enough and the (not too subtle) underlying theme/moral of the story is universal. Everyone needs a reminder to stay true to themselves and not get caught up in the daily grind and expectations of society from time to time.

Caldwell was able to convey this gentle reminder throughout the story without the use of symbology and me
...more
Mcvalens
Dec 24, 2014 Mcvalens rated it really liked it
A kind of light story. Entertaining but not fabulous. Not likely to re read this one.
Alarra
Sep 11, 2009 Alarra rated it it was ok
Shelves: chicklit
Eh. Fairly standard chick lit, where the female protagonist undergoes some painful emotional life change (in this case, her boyfriend dumps her on her 30th birthday, just after she's been fired) but finds that ultimately it's the best thing that could've happened to her because it enables her to find her true life goal and partner. There's a small twist, but I was disappointed with that in the end, because they could've used the twist and explored so much more, but it stuck to very safe, familia ...more
Karen
Dec 26, 2010 Karen rated it liked it
This was the second Laura Caldwell book I have read, the first being The Rome Affair. I liked them both. This one in particular was a very quick read--not very deep, but fast-moving. I live in the Chicago area, so enjoyed all of the city references and this was also true in The Rome Affair as well. Not extremely memorable, but a nice break. The story moved along quickly, I liked the main character and was looking forward to how Caldwell would bring everything to light.
Meaghan
Jan 22, 2014 Meaghan rated it it was amazing
great story - chick lit without a romance. very fresh.
Suzanne
Aug 18, 2007 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Eileen
A Clean Slate is about a woman who loses her memory of the last five months of her life, and the reader is taken through her journey trying to figure out what happened to cause the loss in her life. It is easy to feel a connection to the main character and feel for what she is going through. It was a quick read for me because I really enjoyed it.
Sandy
Feb 12, 2013 Sandy rated it it was amazing
Ok, I couldn't put this book down. I was fascinated by the whole theory of not remembering what had happened. I loved the main character though, could really relate to her. The only thing was I kept feeling like I was getting headaches as I was reading (but that is just my hypochondria)
Courtney
Oct 10, 2008 Courtney rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was great characters, relationships and story. I think I liked it so much because I could identify with the character. It was pretty much the last year of my life to a T, without one part - which I won't list because it would spoil. Enjoy!
Melissa
Aug 04, 2010 Melissa rated it liked it
I liked the plot of this book more than the average chick lit. While it did have some of the trappings of normal chick lit (breakup, make over, trendy apartments), it managed to go a bit deeper at the same time. An easy read and an enjoyable read.
Talea
Jan 20, 2008 Talea rated it liked it
This book was alright. I liked the premise and liked the writing, but the plot was clearly fiction....one of those things where 'oh look! I've just been offered a perfect job! How lovely!'
Not bad at all though, nice easy chick-lit.
Lori
Mar 07, 2008 Lori rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book! I really love Laura Caldwell and her writing. This book really inspired me to take a look at my own life and figure out what i WANT to do instead of what i NEED to do all the time! Maybe someday soon I'll figure it out!
Sara
Jan 05, 2014 Sara rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Easy chick lit read!
Melanie
May 08, 2009 Melanie rated it really liked it
This book was a lot of fun to read - the memory loss, which could've been so soap opera, was handled in a refreshing and interesting way; the characters were realistic; the story well done. I really enjoyed it.
Ali
Nov 04, 2012 Ali rated it really liked it
This is a fast, fun read. I've read this sort of plot line before once or twice, but this is a new take on it with none of the predictable elements. The style reminds me of Emily Giffin somewhat.
Amy
Sep 08, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it
I really liked this book and read it several years ago but it really seems surreal like what would happen if you couldnt remember pieces of your life tomorrow? Its hard to imagine.
Sharla Rivera
Jan 24, 2013 Sharla Rivera rated it it was ok
Chick lit at its finest. I finished this title in 2 days. I was expecting a creative ending but didn't get one. Not sure I would read this author again.
Christina
Apr 25, 2008 Christina rated it really liked it
I read this book a long time ago but still remember liking it. It is a story about a girl that loses her memory and I remember breezing right through it.
Sherri Hunter
Mar 09, 2010 Sherri Hunter rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
Not as good as her other book, BURNING THE MAP, but I thought it was pretty good. Not sure what I would do if I couldn't remember the last 5 months
Laura June
Oct 05, 2011 Laura June rated it really liked it
A fun read with more depth than most chick lit I've read. It gets you to think about what you would do differently with your life, given the chance.
bookczuk
Dec 22, 2008 bookczuk rated it it was ok
Quick read, okay book-- good premise, though the neurological nurse in me kept thinking maybe this gal needs a brain MRI or Brain CT....
Tracy
Aug 25, 2008 Tracy rated it really liked it
This was a super fast read, and entertaining enough for me to choose to read it instead of giving into my current Sudoku addiction!
Dawn
Sep 10, 2009 Dawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: red-dress-ink
This book is a great example of a young woman who is given the chance to start over her life with a "clean slate".
L-baus
Sep 12, 2007 L-baus rated it liked it
Chicklit written by my former legal writing instructor. She does a great job making this story premise believable.
Lindsey Fees
Nov 06, 2011 Lindsey Fees rated it liked it
Just finished. A Clean Slate is a cute, but unlikely story. A good combination of casual fluff and serious.
Kristine
Aug 23, 2009 Kristine rated it it was ok
ehh...I wanted to like it. I really liked the characters, but the story was just ok. A bit disappointing.
Elizabeth
Feb 24, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
This is a quick beach or airport read. The story line is ok, but the end is pretty predictable.
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Laura Caldwell is a Chicago-based lawyer turned novelist. Her first book, Burning the Map, was selected by Barnes & Noble.com as one of The Best of 2002. Following that, A Clean Slate received a starred review from Booklist. The release of The Year of Living Famously and The Night I Got Lucky prompted Booklist to declare, “Caldwell is one of the most talented and inventive...writers around.”

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