With her New York
Times bestselling debut, Girls in
White Dresses, Jennifer Close captured friendship in those
what-on-earth-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life years of early adulthood. Now, with
her sparkling new novel of parenthood and sibling rivalry, Close turns her gimlet
eye to the only thing messier than friendship: family.
Weezy Coffey’s parents had always told her she was the smart
one, while her sister was the pretty one. “Maureen will marry well,” their
mother said, but instead it was Weezy who married well, to a kind man and good
father. Weezy often wonders if she did this on purpose—thwarting expectations just
to prove her parents wrong.
But now that Weezy’s own children are adults, they haven’t
exactly been meeting her expectations either. Her oldest child, Martha, is
thirty and living in her childhood bedroom after a spectacular career flameout.
Martha now works at J. Crew, folding pants with whales embroidered on them and
complaining bitterly about it. Weezy’s middle child, Claire, has broken up with
her fiancé, canceled her wedding, and locked herself in her New York
apartment—leaving Weezy to deal with the caterer and florist. And her youngest,
Max, is dating a college classmate named Cleo, a girl so beautiful and
confident that she wears her swimsuit to family dinner, leaving other members
of the Coffey household blushing and stammering into their plates.
As the Coffey children’s various missteps drive them back to
their childhood home, Weezy suddenly finds her empty nest crowded and her
children in full-scale regression. Martha is moping like a teenager, Claire is
stumbling home drunk in the wee hours, and Max and Cleo are skulking around the
basement, guarding a secret of their own. With radiant style and a generous
spirit, The Smart One is a story
about the ways in which we never really grow up, and the place where we return
when things go drastically awry: home. Download and start listening now!