Jennie's Reviews > The Four Ms. Bradwells

The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton
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's review
May 25, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: legal, mystery
Read from September 18 to 19, 2012

This is more of a 3.5 for me - I liked the premise, I liked the setting, and I liked Ms. Clayton's writing, but it could have used some tightening up. At its heart, it is a mystery, but it sometimes veered off-course.

What's alternately great and awful about this book is that it perfectly captures what it is like to have gone to law school: how the competitive environment colors every interaction, even with people you consider friends, well after graduation. Thirty years later, these women are still trying to figure out who is the smartest, who is most accomplished, who has the best life. Despite their sisterly bonds, this friendship is based on a tension that permeates everything.

For that reason, this book was hard for me to read - but still compelling. I hated the competitive aspect of law school, and the way it interfered with friendships. The book poked at my insecurities all over again (am I doing enough? Is my career more or less impressive than my peers? Should I be happy with what I have, or should I try to look better on paper?).

If you want to know, on a personal level, what it's like to be a lawyer, read this - especially if you're a feminist and enjoy a mystery. It has flaws, but I ultimately liked what Ms. Clayton was getting at.

And their boat is named Row v. Wade.
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Quotes Jennie Liked

Meg Waite Clayton
“The bride will keep her name and, after considerable negotiation, the groom will, too.”
Meg Waite Clayton, The Four Ms. Bradwells

Reading Progress

09/18/2012 page 149
46.0% "So far very compelling, but almost painful to read. Her portrayal of the competition and resentment, even between friends in law school, is spot-on."

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