Rating: 4/5 ****
Weezy struggles to let her children make their own decisions. She worries too much, and wants her children to be happy and secure. She’s sure every parent wants the same. Lately, her children are causing her to worry even more. Her eldest daughter, Martha, is living at home, working in retail and refuses to make use of her nursing degree. She’s anxiety prone and Weezy has to be careful how she approaches her. Her second oldest daughter, Cleo, has recently broken off her engagement, gave everyone no explanation and advises Weezy that she will need to return home due to finances. Her son, Max, is currently on track, going to college but she’s waiting for the ball to drop because his gorgeous girlfriend is sure to break his heart.
The Smart One offers readers a realistic look at young adults and the need to sometimes lean on their parents. Sure, every young adult intends to be able to make it on their own with no help, but the truth is, it doesn't always happen that way. Weezy grew up with parents who wanted her out of the house and on her own when she turned eighteen, and she had no intention to treating her children the same way. Her parents were great parents, but that doesn’t mean she has to raise her children the same way. Honestly, families can be messy and having your child return home in their twenties and thirties can be a difficult. The old family rules don’t apply anymore, and Weezy needs to allow her children to figure out their own lives.
The Smart One was my first Jennifer Close novel. I’ve had Girls in White Dresses on my ereader for a while, and I will definitely try to get to it soon. The Smart Girls was an interesting and realistic read. The characters are flawed, frustrating and likable. Martha and Cleo still struggle with their relationship, Cleo has jealously issues with how her parents coddle Martha. Max is doing well, going to school, and seems to be on the right track, but life sometimes throws you curve-balls and he finds himself living at home with everyone. Close draws readers in, and demonstrates the complexity of families. Highly recommended for those who enjoy women’s fiction.