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The Wednesday Sisters

(Wednesday #1)

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  13,076 ratings  ·  2,274 reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Friendship, loyalty, and love lie at the heart of Meg Waite Clayton's beautifully written, poignant, and sweeping novel of five women who, over the course of four decades, come to redefine what it means to be family.

For thirty-five years, Frankie, Linda, Kath, Brett, and Ally have met every Wednesday at the park near their homes in Palo Alto, Ca
Paperback, 306 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,076 ratings  ·  2,274 reviews

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Alina Borger
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's what I believe: we need The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton.

Clayton's stories will help third- and fourth-wave feminists avoid political matricide. The pungent stench of fear and powerlessness that Clayton's characters face at critical junctures in their lives are--in a large part--history because of the work of second wave feminists.

I offer the following in a desperate attempt to convince high-school and college-aged women to read this scandalous book.* With their mothers. And the
Jun 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came away from this book missing my great group of girlfriends I left behind in California. The ones who support me and encourage me....the ones I used to meet for coffee so we could discuss everything we needed to without the "guys" around. This book showed how easy it is for women to find some kind of common ground to bind them together. The women in this novel hadn't known each other forever when they met for the first time but by the end of the book they had become sisters in ...more
Mar 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-09
I really liked this book. It made me think of my best friends and the bond of friendship among women. Meg captures all of that beautifully. The other thing I really appreciated about this book is it wasn't a male bashing - woman's power sort of book. There are good men in it, great men and a crappy man. I am so sick of books that make women perfect and men the root of all evil. Loved that.
Jul 15, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2009
When I read the teaser on the inside jacket of this book, I thought I was about to embark on the great story of five women writers in the late 1960's and early 70s. What I got instead was five paper doll cut outs that were passed off as characters that were barely distinguishable from the next one as they crowded around their picnic bench talking about how nice their writing was while a housekeeper watched their passel of children for $1.60 an hour. All of the characters were flat. Two of these ...more
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book. It seemed to have all the ingredients that would attract someone like me: the book primarily takes place from 1967-1975 and I graduated from high school in 1970; the women meet to encourage each others' writing efforts and become friends in the process; and there is a lot in here about women juggling children, marriage and sometimes a career. But this was not a sweeping novel of five women's lives. The later years are rushed through and tacked on at the end. The women ...more
Oct 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hated that the author spanned nearly 10 years -- presumably to fit in more historically-significant events? Unfortunately, I read The Help before reading this and loved how that author treated some of the same theme in a more compelling way. I struggled to find a theme I could latch on to and rally for in The Wednesday Sisters, and I suppose it's supposed to be feminism and sisterhood. I just wasn't feeling it. I might have loved the story if it wasn't written solely from Frannie's point of vi ...more
They're not sisters and they don't meet on Wednesdays,; not anymore. The Wednesday Sisters...Frankie, Allie, Linda, Kath and Brett...are five women who meet in the park in 1968. Strong, smart and talented, they grew up in the 1950s when women became wives and mothers, not realizing it was possible to do anything else. In the following decades, the women continue to meet and realize that they each have an interest in writing. They become a writing group, reading, critiquing and supporting each ot ...more
Sandy T
What drew me to this book was that I had read it was set in Palo Alto, California, my old stomping grounds. It was fun to read about familiar places: Stanford University, Stanford Mall, University Avenue, Winchester Mystery House, the Linear Accelerator, etc., and even Menlo Park, my home town...
The story is about 5 young mothers who meet in a park in the late sixties. They discover their shared love for reading and writing. They decide to meet once a week in the park to read and critique each o
joyce g
Another half star would really make more sense for this weighty book about the friendship of a group of women who met randomly. It tells of their lives and lives and true passion, writing. Lovely.
Mar 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book as a quick beach-read. There is no plot to this story; it reads as more of a memoir-style book. It had enough references to past pop-culture to make it relevant to me, but didn’t get bogged down in them…which kept the story moving along. However, I thought the character were unevenly developed. Revealing in some areas, but then not in others: really, it took 8 years of friendship for Brett to reveal her glove-secret? And really, none of her supposed friends would know or ask be ...more
Mari Anne
Dec 31, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Wednesday Sisters should be my kind of book. It's all about a group of women who meet regularly to critique each other's writing. Sounds like something I would love doesn't it? Well unfortuntately reading about writing is really dull. This book also seemed to strive too hard to become either a record of the feminist movement or a revival of it. I couldn't really tell which but either way the reader was beat over the head with the tenets of feminism in just about every chapter.

The writer als
Susan Peterson
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Wednesday Sisters is a nostalgic, heartfelt, honest look at 5 young married women who become more like sisters than friends. Beginning in 1967, this wonderful book follows these women through the joys and sorrows, the disappointments and accomplishments that make up their lives. As the women endure illnesses, infidelity, and insecurity, they are living through Miss America pageants, Vietnam, women's lib, prejudice, and astronauts landing on the moon. As the years go by, they slow
Jan 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Wednesday Sisters recounts a friendship among five women who live in California during a pivotal time in American history. Their common bond is a love of books, which eventually turns them in the direction of becoming writers themselves. I loved the references to books that I also found enthralling. The novel traces their individual challenges that include infidelity, inter-racial marriage, cancer, infertility issues and assorted insecurities. The sense of the women's movement is strongly re ...more
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book appears to garner very mixed reviews, however it struck a chord with me. It has several themes occurring simultaneously and yet they complement each other as opposed to competing. The characters are unique and I found I wanted to be a part of their group. While I cried several times throughout the book, I found it uplifting. On a personal note, I found more understanding of what women experienced during that time period than I ever have before, all through their casual commentary on da ...more
Nancy Baker
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful story about female relationships -- those kind of relationships forged in brutal honesty, understanding, compassion, and forgiveness. Five women with at first nothing more in common that a Wednesday afternoon in a park. A woman in gloves, another woman's stares, an innocent word and magically a friendship is formed that will sustain them through trials of infidelity, childbirths, miscarriages, childhood traumas and more. The catalyst that keeps them together is words -- printed ...more
Anita NotherBook
I had high hopes for The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. (Maybe I had such high hopes that I had raised the bar too high?) I had read somewhere that Ms. Clayton used to be a corporate transaction attorney at a large law firm. After she ceased practicing law, she wrote this book. As a lawyer and aspiring writer, I was drawn to it from that angle. Then there was the fact that the book is about a group of aspiring writers, who form a writing group and try to publish. That sounds like me, so ...more
Laurie Buchanan
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t begin to share the gamut of emotion I experienced with every turn of the page. These women, The Wednesday Sisters — who actually meet on Sunday and aren’t related — have a way of crawling under the reader’s skin as they bring everything from good, bad, to indifferent, out into the open in an up-close-and-personal way. From out loud guffaw laughter, to anger and tears, Linda, Brett, Kath, Ally, and Frankie will rivet themselves to your heart!
Catherine McKenzie
A book filled with friendship, humor, insights and a little history too.
It's the late 1960s. You're a housewife with a few little kids, and you're bored. And lonely. One day, at the playground, you strike up a conversation with someone else similar to yourself. This happens a few more times, and voila! You have the premise of The Wednesday Sisters.

Five women make up the Wednesday Sisters. There's Frankie the narrator, Brett, Kath, Ally, and Linda. Each is married to a successful man, and each struggles with her own lack of "things to do" because they're each intelli
Sep 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The quick synopsis: 5 women meet in a neighborhood park in the late 1960's in Palo Alto, California. It's not too long before they begin meeting weekly (on wednesdays), they watch the Miss America pageant together every year, and soon form a writing society. Over the years they become a loyal, supportive, tell-you-how-it-is, be-there-when-you-fall group of women . . . . friends.

What I love about this book:
*They push (sometimes demand), inspire, and give each other permission to reach for their d
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, this was such a great book idea that I couldn't wait to begin reading. This was a selection in my book club, and I'd recommend it to all women's book clubs. It's a great book for discussion, and I have to give it credit.

However, as an enjoyable read, I found it lacking. The characters are a bit stereotyped, and although I love the time period, it didn't truly come alive for me. I think everything just fell a little flat for me--setting, characters, plot, etc. Some of the ideas were
Allison Renner
The story was enjoyable, but there was far too much backstory. The main speaker jumped around a lot from past events, to referencing present times or what she knows now, then going back to the past event. It disrupted the story a lot; it probably would have been a more enjoyable read if it was straight-forward chronological.

There was also a bit too much history, and that took away from the story. I found myself getting caught up in the story, then the next chapter would start by announcing the y
Mar 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I should have loved this book from cover to cover, I closed it with a "bllptht" sound of frustration. There are so many endearing qualities about the piece: the perspective, the unapologetic behaviors of the characters, the idea of women bonding together amidst adversity. I just wished Clayton had stopped there. Instead, she tries to canvas the late 60s and early 70s historically while packing in EVERY adversity five women could possibly bring to the table in their lifetimes: infidelity, g ...more
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
After hearing from a couple friends that this book was fabulous, I knew I wanted to read it, but there were stacks of books ahead of it, so I used an Audible credit that had just been waiting for a good book and I listened to it! I started it a few days ago, and I honestly could not stop listening. I listened while driving, while working out, while walking the dogs, while getting ready in the morning, while cooking... you get the picture. :) It was such a great story and now I am so excited to r ...more
Lois Duncan
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I started reading this book I thought it would be your average, chick-lit story of a group of women friends (whom you couldn't tell apart) sharing the ups and downs of each other's lives. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I COULD tell the women apart, they had distinct personalities and interesting personal stories, and -- the bow on the package for me -- they all wanted to be writers. The book itself was well written, and I enjoyed it a lot.
Patricia Andrews
I love this book. It's about friendships, loyalty, and life's lessons.
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Charming book...shows how women bond...light and an interesting read. The way the women and most women bond is extraordinary...this book shows that wonderful world of female bonding and support.
I had an ever so slight problem keeping Kath and Linda separate in my mind, although I really shouldn't have because they were written so very differently. I loved the notion of this totally brutally honest yet supportive group of writing women. I also loved the whimsy of them not being sisters, not meeting on Wednesday... And one of the things I liked the most about the book (though I didn't think I was going to when I first encountered it) was the way the author doesn't make any bones about th ...more
Krista Dolan
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of The Wednesday Sisters from an awesome colleague during our holiday swap, and I finally got around to finishing it! I did enjoy this one-- the characters all sucked me in a bit especially Ally and Linda. Kath was frustrating to me simply because her "ending" is not what I wanted, but I suppose it makes sense given the social constraints of the era.
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick beach read, female friendship, some bits felt very true, some felt a bit iffy / unlikely.
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Around the Year i...: The Wednesday Sisters, by Meg Waite Clayton 1 18 Sep 11, 2016 11:16AM  
Novel Readers : Frankie's Book 3 12 Oct 24, 2013 06:33PM  
Novel Readers : The Old Mansion 1 10 Oct 22, 2013 04:54PM  
Novel Readers : First impressions 5 10 Oct 20, 2013 07:52PM  
Sisterhood of the...: The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton 41 28 Aug 26, 2013 04:18AM  
52 weeks, 52 books: Week 23: The Wednesday Sisters 12 82 Jul 19, 2013 02:22PM  

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Meg Waite Clayton is a New York Times bestselling author of the forthcoming THE LAST TRAIN TO LONDON (HarperCollins, Sept 10, 2019), the #1 Amazon fiction bestseller BEAUTIFUL EXILES, the Langum-Prize honored national bestseller THE RACE FOR PARIS -- recommended reading by Glamour Magazine and the BBC, and an Indie Next Booksellers' pick -- and THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS, one of Entertainment Weekly's ...more

Other books in the series

Wednesday (2 books)
  • The Wednesday Daughters
“we could hurt each other even when we weren't trying to, and that none of us was as perfect as we liked to pretend.” 21 likes
“Linda asked that morning what it was about Charlotte’s Web that Ally particularly liked; maybe it would help to think about that, since it was Ally’s model book.
“I like the family that comes together in the barn,” Ally said without hesitation. “I like that they aren’t all the same thing; one is human and one’s a spider and one’s a pig. I like that it has nothing to do with blood relations, and everything to do with love.”
More quotes…