This is a dream book for a book club – or for anyone who loves to read and aspires to write. A story of friendship and history, love and misery, success and failure, The Wednesday Sisters is a delightful tale for readers young and old.
Frankie, the narrator, begins to spin the enchanting tale of five women who meet at the playground with their children in the late 1960s around the Palo Alto area of California and begin developing a long, remarkable bond that will take them though history both nationally and their own. Meeting at a time when women’s lib was on the horizon, these women are a long way from burning their bras. As they get to know each other, they realize they share more than just a love of their families: they all also love the Miss America pageant. This somewhat quirky mutual amusement becomes a staple that the story can be measured by year after year. As the story progresses, the growth of the characters is exemplified in the way they celebrate and relate to the changes in the pageant, representative of the changes in America for many but more so for women.
The Wednesday Sisters, as they name their group, are made up of Frankie (the narrator), Kath, Brett, Linda and Ally. When these women discover they love books and like to write, they tentatively begin writing during their playground meeting times, comparing each other’s work, quite often some being more brutally honest than others. It takes a while for them to realize it’s a good thing to have a friend who can be so honest with them, especially about something so special to each of them. Slowly, secrets in their lives are puzzled over, then finally revealed to the others. Through their love of books and writing, they get through some of the most painful times of their lives - with the support of their other “sisters”.
While experiencing life and growing with the history of the times - living through assassinations and moon walks, and marching for women’s rights - these five women remain friends and constant supports in their writing as well as in their lives. As their story evolves, these extremely relatable characters go through crises of their own, from infidelity, cheating husbands and critical in-laws to cancer, from being unable to bear children to the rejections of their writing. All through it, however, they are there for each other.
Readers will cherish and want to share Meg Waite Clayton’s story with all their good friends. She has written a book lover’s book, a writer’s delight, and a friendship’s friend.