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Smart Women

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Margo and B.B. are each divorced, and each is trying to reinvent her life in Colorado-while their respective teenage daughters look on with a mixture of humor and horror. But even smart women sometimes have a lot to learn-and they will, when B.B.'s ex-husband moves in next door to Margo...


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Margo and B.B. are each divorced, and each is trying to reinvent her life in Colorado-while their respective teenage daughters look on with a mixture of humor and horror. But even smart women sometimes have a lot to learn-and they will, when B.B.'s ex-husband moves in next door to Margo...

30 review for Smart Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maia

    I read this in one go on a plane and, while its light, airy feel--a mix of very 80s melodrama and romance--was soothing when cooped up with complete strangers for 10 hours, it was also very annoying and trying. The main reason: I didn't really like any of the characters. Like nearly every other woman who grew up in the late 70s or 80s, I'd read plenty Judy Blume teen fiction as a tween & teen, and mostly I enjoyed them, though I never counted them as 'literature'. Still, her realistic I read this in one go on a plane and, while its light, airy feel--a mix of very 80s melodrama and romance--was soothing when cooped up with complete strangers for 10 hours, it was also very annoying and trying. The main reason: I didn't really like any of the characters. Like nearly every other woman who grew up in the late 70s or 80s, I'd read plenty Judy Blume teen fiction as a tween & teen, and mostly I enjoyed them, though I never counted them as 'literature'. Still, her realistic characters and situations spoke to me and I found many of her books compelling, even addictive. And yet, like many essentially children's writer, Bloom never really makes the transition to adult fiction very well or even convincing. Ages ago I read 'Wify' and, while decidedly stronger and better than 'Smart Women', both the characters and the situations left me a bit annoyed, just as now. 'Smart Women' is a very early 80s story, pre 'Working Girl' or 'Fatal Attraction' and still immersed in the post 60s battles that gave way to the Women's Movement, albeit already with an inkling of the 'costs' said movement also brought to many of the women of that generation--mainly, those born in the mid to late 30s and early to mid 40s. Basically, these are women who have cut themselves off from the priorities their mothers saw as fundamental, who took their college education more seriously (not just to meet Eligible Men) and who, finding themselves in stifling marriages (who often married the Wrong Man) embark on careers and a path of self-discovery, a search for the self that to modern, post-feminist women may at times seem rather similar to the search that control the lives of teens and not adults. So these are women managing their lives and yet being anything but 'smart.' That's the point of the title, and the storyline. We've two adult leads, Margo and B.B (a.k.a Francine) and two girl teens, their daughters, Michelle (17) and Sara (13) respectively. Margo is a NY Jew who married a successful dentist because, why not? Until she could stand neither him nor the marriage and, as an architect, took herself off to Boulder, CO, to 'find herself', along the way entering and exiting several mostly pointless love and sexual affairs--all very late 70s, early 80s. God, but sometimes these women seem sooooo stupid!! :) Margo is supposed to be an optimist but simply comes off as naive and childish, so obsessed with feeling good and having her fun that she seems oblivious to her job as role model and protector of her kids. She certainly seems oblivious to Michelle's very obvious adolescent angst--while Michelle herself comes off as a pain, simple as that. Worse, though, is what comes off as Margo's complete inability to understand the depth of tragedy behind B.B.'s much stronger story: B.B. lost her son when he was 10 in a car accident produced, if by accident, by her then husband Andrew, now, for no logical reason, lover to Margo. B.B. herself is, fictionwise, a stronger character because there is at list a logic to her story and her personality. She was brought up to be beautiful, perfect and in control of men to counteract her philandering Irish father and reassure her mother, who it turns out later had actually been having an affair with her own sister's husband! B.B. marries Andrew, a man who seems more in awe of her beauty than in touch with her inner self, and loses it completely when her son dies in Andrew's car crash. Still, if you'd like a Lifetime soap opera, this is it!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Colvin

    I own a tattered, aging copy of this book that I swiped from my mother as a teenager. This is one of those that I consider a "comfort book". Growing up, I read a LOT of Judy Blume...the Superfudge, the Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing..Blubber..Are You There God, it's Me, Margaret..an 80s childhood simply wasn't complete without her. This is one of her novels for grown-ups..and it's great. Sad and touching, but fun and light at the same time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Casey O'neill

    This book was not about any smart women. It was about stupid women and their stupid mistakes. The main character is pitiful and we're supposed to feel sorry for her since she's all on her own and going through a divorce but I just couldn't go there. She made stupid decision which let to obvious consequences and a no-big-surprise-there divorce. Loved Judy Blume's books as a kid and I'll continue to read them to my children. She should have stuck to the kid books too. This one made me want to tear This book was not about any smart women. It was about stupid women and their stupid mistakes. The main character is pitiful and we're supposed to feel sorry for her since she's all on her own and going through a divorce but I just couldn't go there. She made stupid decision which let to obvious consequences and a no-big-surprise-there divorce. Loved Judy Blume's books as a kid and I'll continue to read them to my children. She should have stuck to the kid books too. This one made me want to tear my hair out and take the women out for a stiff drink and a stern talking to. Uggh! She made this poor girl out to be a victim. It was terribly disheartening. Still, the writing was decent (for chick lit) and it was a quick read. I was at least able to get through it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Madi J

    Although none of the women in this book ever actually prove to be very smart, they are normal, real women with great stories and personalities. I love this book, just like all Judy Blume books. Everything feels so honest and real. I love the many voices and points of view of all the characters and how they all tangle together. Great book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Roro

    Ugh! I used to LOVE Judy Blume as a kid, and somewhat into my adult hood! I remember reading "Are you there, God, It's me Margaret?" Which was such a pivotal book in my youth. And reading "Wifey" in high school, where my friends and I underlined and dog-earring the pages of a tattered paperback with "the good stuff" printed on it. So, naturally, all these years later, I thought I would love to read the only book I hadn't read by my once-favorite author. One written many years ago, but would Ugh! I used to LOVE Judy Blume as a kid, and somewhat into my adult hood! I remember reading "Are you there, God, It's me Margaret?" Which was such a pivotal book in my youth. And reading "Wifey" in high school, where my friends and I underlined and dog-earring the pages of a tattered paperback with "the good stuff" printed on it. So, naturally, all these years later, I thought I would love to read the only book I hadn't read by my once-favorite author. One written many years ago, but would fulfill my "I've read every book by this author" card. Well, apparently my tastes have changed. This book was mediocre, at best. It was very robotic, predictable, and blah! Margo, the lead character was not very likable and loved her hot tub more than her ingrate children. BB, the other main character, was written as a psycho ex wife who had no depth. Somebody with no personality and a very insubstantial and dull personality. The sex scenes portrayed in the book were almost embarrassing. And not in the way I enjoyed-embarassing. They were forced and unnecessary. I put myself on a wait list almost a year ago, just about to give up hope, but became super excited when it finally came in. But the fact I HATED the 80's, with it's Jazzercize, shoulder pads, and feathered hair, this book just brought back all the horrible memories ... I should have known better. I really hoped to find a little hidden gem in this book, but truthfully it wasn't. These woman in the book (the teens, as well) were not smart, as the title proclaims! They were all simplistic, shallow and very vanilla. The men were arrogant and selfish. No character was easy to like. I really wanted more from this book. I suppose Soooo many other authors ive read since Judy Blume's Hay-Day have since taken her place in my life. She was a pioneer in her day, I admit, but like all pioneers, they are gone...and probably put away on a shelf to forever collect dust and never to be opened again.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    It's been a really long time since I've read a book by Judy Blume. I've also read very few of her adult books. This was nice. It felt nostalgic, in the writing style and the characters and the setting. There was something comforting about it. I also thought that all of the characters (the adults, at least) were awful people, especially when it came to parenting, but I like reading about awful people, so it was fun.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    Who doesn't love the drama of a Judy Blume book? This was a different POV take on a lot of characters. The main was Margo, who after a divorce moved from NYC to Bolder, Colorado. She had 2 kids Michelle and Stuart. Her ex Freddy, a dentist, is remarried and in typical form plays the kids against her. I enjoyed the different POV and how what actually comes out of your mouth is rarely what you feel. I think A lot of Margo's behavior was more than honest. I think a lot of divorced woman hide their Who doesn't love the drama of a Judy Blume book? This was a different POV take on a lot of characters. The main was Margo, who after a divorce moved from NYC to Bolder, Colorado. She had 2 kids Michelle and Stuart. Her ex Freddy, a dentist, is remarried and in typical form plays the kids against her. I enjoyed the different POV and how what actually comes out of your mouth is rarely what you feel. I think A lot of Margo's behavior was more than honest. I think a lot of divorced woman hide their sex lives, boyfriends and tend to behave for the benefit of the kids. So, what I appreciated about Margo was that she was out for herself in a lot of ways. In addition to Margo there were her two friends, BB who was so troubled and Clare who was a real best friend. B.B. and Margot are casual friends, her daughter Sara was at the other end of BB's abuse. She was so manic and nobody saw it except Sara and she was too young to understand. BB and her ex had a son Bobby who was killed in a tragic car accident while Andrew drove him and two friends home from a baseball game. The fact that BB kept this a secret was really her downfall. She has feelings that were sealed up for years. Clare had a daughter "Puffin" what kind of a name is that? She was very successful and her ex Robin comes back. The two were never divorced. The cutest thing was when Puffin hooked up with Stu, Margo's son. Then they had a lot to deal with and that is a reveal and spoiler too! When BB asks Margo to help get her husband the rental next door for the summer, Margo helps. she and Andrew resist each other, I think Margo resisted more, eventually they get together. I know Margo promised herself she was going to be serious and resisted him for that reason. Tons of drama and overall I thought it was a solid 4* book. People who wrote and reviewed made comments about the time and it takes place in the 80's. I really didn't see that many references and where some saw this as a negative I saw it as a non issue.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shauna

    My first Judy Blume book written for adults! While spontaneously updating Goodreads with all the Judy Blume books I'd read in my youth, I saw that I'd read fourteen in total, and figured I'd give the adult ones a try now that I'm, you know, an adult. This was an easy read, and it brought me back to reading Judy Blume books in childhood, as the writing style hadn't changed (when I was young I remember most noticing her plentiful use of ellipses in dialogue, and the way she often referred to items My first Judy Blume book written for adults! While spontaneously updating Goodreads with all the Judy Blume books I'd read in my youth, I saw that I'd read fourteen in total, and figured I'd give the adult ones a try now that I'm, you know, an adult. This was an easy read, and it brought me back to reading Judy Blume books in childhood, as the writing style hadn't changed (when I was young I remember most noticing her plentiful use of ellipses in dialogue, and the way she often referred to items solely by their brand). As for the book itself, the story and characters were interesting but not particularly compelling. So, just okay. I don't doubt its ability to resonate more strongly with others, but really I was just happy for the Judy Blume nostalgia.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    great grown up judy blume read. reminiscent of adolscent judy blume reads. if you liked her as a teen, you'll love her more as an adult.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    This is maybe the fifteenth time I've read this book since I was a teenager, and certainly the first time since I've been older than the "smart women" of the title, both of whom turn 40 in the year of the events of the book. Though it represents a very specific moment in the "first generation" of divorced women--raised in the 50's, married in the 60's, divorced in the 70's--there is still so much that transcends its era and remains funny and poignant and often reflective of adult fears like This is maybe the fifteenth time I've read this book since I was a teenager, and certainly the first time since I've been older than the "smart women" of the title, both of whom turn 40 in the year of the events of the book. Though it represents a very specific moment in the "first generation" of divorced women--raised in the 50's, married in the 60's, divorced in the 70's--there is still so much that transcends its era and remains funny and poignant and often reflective of adult fears like losing one's grip entirely under the weight of life's challenges and sorrows. As in so many of JB's books, there are themes of love and loss, the dangers of being too self-controlled or not self-controlled enough, and the exhilaration of letting yourself fall in love after a lifetime of being told you're impulsive or reckless. Compared to Wifey, this is optimistic and mindful. Margo and BB take control of their lives, rather than being buffeted and belittled by their spouses and social expectations. I can also see Margo's daughter Michelle's teenaged struggles much more clearly now than I could when I read it at her age, when I didn't have a teenager myself. I found myself laughing and choking up at completely different parts of the book than I did when I read it previously, and BB's struggles with her mental health were much more alarming and apparent earlier in the book than they had been before. It re-reads so well! Really glad I revisited this, especially now.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephenie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3.5 stars. In true Judy form, this book deals with real issues affecting real people. Smart Women focuses on families traversing their post-divorce lives. Having been a child of divorce, I found the issues these families face authentic, the teenager reactions and emotions age-appropriate. The book also deals with mental health issues and the loss of a child. Although but seriously heavy subjects, I liked how Judy handled them with her writing. This isnt a book that I would overtly recommend, but 3.5 stars. In true Judy form, this book deals with real issues affecting real people. Smart Women focuses on families traversing their post-divorce lives. Having been a child of divorce, I found the issues these families face authentic, the teenager reactions and emotions age-appropriate. The book also deals with mental health issues and the loss of a child. Although but seriously heavy subjects, I liked how Judy handled them with her writing. This isn’t a book that I would overtly recommend, but if asked I would respond with “I liked it, but I’m partial to anything Judy writes so I might be biased.”

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chanele

    Judy Blume has a special way about her writing that is so readable. She also captures humans, particularly women, in a way that is real. Even if you can't personally relate to their situations, Blume characters always have something about them with which you can understand. There may be no author out there today that just captures the complexity of being female. While this was not my favorite of her books, I enjoyed it quite a lot.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sara Riley Piotrowski

    I had not heard of this book and saw it on a list of "books women should read." Originally published in 1983. be sure to read Judy Blume's forward from 2005. I quickly became invested in the lives Margo and B.B. Quick, addicting read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tiffanie

    It's been years since I've read a Judy Blume book! I enjoyed the relationships between mother/daughter (and son) and watching the story unfold. Nothing over the top amazing, but a good story that kept me listening.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Romi

    Oh Judy Blume. Seriously? What happened to the author I LOVED as a kid. To the energy and enthusiasm? This was just dreadful. I got to page 200 and then said to myself - why am I continuing to read this? It's about women my age who are all divorced and struggling and starting over. But it's written with so many stereotypes and so little energy. Blech.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Allie

    Definitely prefer the children's books more...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Doxiemutti

    3.5 stars--reminded me of an 80s soap opera.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    How wonderful that the same Judy Blume who helped us make sense of adolescence is there to provide adulthood insight as well! I adored this book; it was exactly what I needed to read at this moment in my life. In telling the somewhat complicated love story between Margo and Andrew, Blume describes the internal and external repercussions as their two families combine under one roof. While this could be written off as a simple romance novel, the story covered a surprising amount of ground: in How wonderful that the same Judy Blume who helped us make sense of adolescence is there to provide adulthood insight as well! I adored this book; it was exactly what I needed to read at this moment in my life. In telling the somewhat complicated love story between Margo and Andrew, Blume describes the internal and external repercussions as their two families combine under one roof. While this could be written off as a simple romance novel, the story covered a surprising amount of ground: in fact, one of the most compelling aspects of the book was its exploration of pressures and responsibilities women bear from their careers, children, parents, and society--and their sometimes tragic effects. The women in the story are not always likeable or even sympathetic, but they are always realistic and believable. Finally, to add true Judy Blume authenticity, a girl even gets her first period. I look forward to reading more of Blume's adult novels.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ngozi O. Nwosu

    I enjoyed this book for the complexity of the characters. I've seen a few reviews complaining the women in the book are not smart. Personally, I disagree. They are all smart in their own way but they have very real human weaknesses. Ultimately, those weaknesses either get them into trouble or when exploited, lead them something new and positive. I particularly enjoyed the POV of the daughters and son in this story. Stuart, Michelle and Sarah have very definite opinions about their parents' I enjoyed this book for the complexity of the characters. I've seen a few reviews complaining the women in the book are not smart. Personally, I disagree. They are all smart in their own way but they have very real human weaknesses. Ultimately, those weaknesses either get them into trouble or when exploited, lead them something new and positive. I particularly enjoyed the POV of the daughters and son in this story. Stuart, Michelle and Sarah have very definite opinions about their parents' behavior and choices. How they express those opinions is interesting and very unique to each child. It is very clear how those choices impact the kids' behavior and relationships both in the home and with outsiders. It is also sadly evident that the children are all looking for something they feel they are not getting at home. All told, I enjoyed this book for the story. It was layered and the characters made sense to me. While I might not have made their choices, I understand why they made them. Because of that, I can respect what happens next.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bren

    When youre without problems, Clare said, youre dead. Judy Blume, Smart Women My favorite of all her books. I do not know what it is about Smart Women but I liked it even more then Summer Sisters. Something about how accurately Blume gets at family life just got me. She also does atmosphere better then almost anyone. Smart women makes you want to hug your family, friends, summertime, and it also makes you want to read it again. I love realistic fiction and this story never fails to get me even “When you’re without problems,” Clare said, “you’re dead.” ― Judy Blume, Smart Women My favorite of all her books. I do not know what it is about Smart Women but I liked it even more then Summer Sisters. Something about how accurately Blume gets at family life just got me. She also does atmosphere better then almost anyone. Smart women makes you want to hug your family, friends, summertime, and it also makes you want to read it again. I love realistic fiction and this story never fails to get me even after reading it about two dozen time s..LOL. I love all her books but this is my favorite.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    2.5 STARS "Margo and B.B. are each divorced, and each is trying to reinvent her life in Colorado-while their respective teenage daughters look on with a mixture of humor and horror. But even smart women sometimes have a lot to learn-and they will, when B.B.'s ex-husband moves in next door to Margo..." (From Amazon) Once I reached about 14 I had read most of Blume's books and moved on to the adult fiction. I love her children and teen books so thought I would automatically love these ones. Smart 2.5 STARS "Margo and B.B. are each divorced, and each is trying to reinvent her life in Colorado-while their respective teenage daughters look on with a mixture of humor and horror. But even smart women sometimes have a lot to learn-and they will, when B.B.'s ex-husband moves in next door to Margo..." (From Amazon) Once I reached about 14 I had read most of Blume's books and moved on to the adult fiction. I love her children and teen books so thought I would automatically love these ones. Smart Women seemed not so smart. I was not interested in the storyline and the characters were a bit wooden.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Ahh Judy Blume...she's the reason I started recreational reading as a kid and why my 13 year old daughter does today. I purchased this book thinking it was another teen book, but it's not. The book is in 4 voices: 2 adults: BB and Margo and 2 teens: Michelle and Sara. It's a story of love the second time around and the tumultuous relationship between mother and teenage daughter. It places my current challenges w/ my daughter into a broader spectrum and gives me insight on her perspective as Ahh Judy Blume...she's the reason I started recreational reading as a kid and why my 13 year old daughter does today. I purchased this book thinking it was another teen book, but it's not. The book is in 4 voices: 2 adults: BB and Margo and 2 teens: Michelle and Sara. It's a story of love the second time around and the tumultuous relationship between mother and teenage daughter. It places my current challenges w/ my daughter into a broader spectrum and gives me insight on her perspective as well. What a nice surprise for me on a book that I thought I was buying for my daughter.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I love Judy Blume!! I grew up reading her young adult novels. I love that she has a couple of adult books, but I wish she had more. I liked the book, I love her writing style. I just kind of wish she would have let us see inside Andrew's head (3rd person). I really wanted to hear his personal take on everything. As far as B.B, I liked her and I wish everything would have worked a little more in her favor. For all my lady friends, my ex-husband is off limits!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne Cobbs

    A different love story Judy Blume was my favorite author as a child and I still love her work! "Smart Women" is a different kind of love story about 3 women who have been married and divorced and how their lives change as they grow. It is full of twists and turns and will keep you going till the end.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book would lead to a good discussion for book club!!! Lots of personality.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    great book...good ending...every experience you could imagine a mother, teenager and ex-wife could might go through.

  27. 4 out of 5

    katyjanereads

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ***SPOILERS*** 1. It took me a couple of days to digest how I felt about this book. Did I like it? Did I not? I still am not completely sure. 2. One of the main reasons this book doesn't work for me is that it isn't plot driven. I don't always have to have a plot driven book, but it felt like this one dragged because the reader couldn't hold on to a point. 3. I understand the name of the book is supposed to be somewhat ironic. All of these women with great careers are supposed to be smart but ***SPOILERS*** 1. It took me a couple of days to digest how I felt about this book. Did I like it? Did I not? I still am not completely sure. 2. One of the main reasons this book doesn't work for me is that it isn't plot driven. I don't always have to have a plot driven book, but it felt like this one dragged because the reader couldn't hold on to a point. 3. I understand the name of the book is supposed to be somewhat ironic. All of these women with great careers are supposed to be smart but they make bad decisions along the way that hurt their marriage and family: BB holds everything inside, Clare took in her ex after he cheated on her, Margo seems to walk through life not connecting to any human being on a deep level. 4. None of the characters have redeeming qualities, but I felt like they were actual humans. Life is messy, so the characters were believable. 5. Michelle drove me crazy. She was so mean to her mother, Margo, for no reason. 6. I wonder how BB will end up. I figure Sara will always live with her father. 7. Would BB be okay right now if Andrew had never shown up? 8. I read the large print edition to this and it had a couple of typos. Drove me crazy. 9. I learned that farina is a form of wheat for hot cereal. 10. I learned that Dixie Cup ice cream used to have pictures on the lid that kids would collect. 11. At the beginning of the book, I really found Margo and Andrew's banter very funny (especially in the hot tub), but they lost the banter until the very end. I'm not sure if that was purposeful to show the relationship progression or what. Conversation I loved: "I like the way you look in glasses," Andrew said. "I'm nearsighted," Margo explained. "I need them for driving and movies." "But not for making love?" She looked over at him. "Don't you ever think of anything else? "Yes, sure... all the time," he said. "I didn't mean anything personal. I was just wondering." "Just for the record," she said, "I don't wear them when I'm making love." "Some people do, you know...but I guess they're farsighted." 12. I cried at the end when Andrew said, "And you can handle this [having Sara]?" he asked. "I've been thinking that...well, you know we've been too busy to talk about...look, I know the idea scares the shit out of you, but I made a list tonight of all the reasons...and they're all our reasons and they all make sense...so will you think about...no pressure, I promise..." 13. I thought Andrew could have been more romantic but he was very romantic when BB asked if they were ever going to be together again and he said no.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Margot is trying hard to be a good mother to her son and daughter. Her daughter is a complete little bitch. And Morgan lets her get away with everything which is just teaching her that she can get away everything. Kids dont really want to get away with everything. They want their parents, to care enough about them that they will teach them and discipline them. Michelle wants to draw closer to her mother badly and yet this girl, who should know right from wrong by now, is extremely mean to her Margot is trying hard to be a good mother to her son and daughter. Her daughter is a complete little bitch. And Morgan lets her get away with everything which is just teaching her that she can get away everything. Kids don’t really want to get away with everything. They want their parents, to care enough about them that they will teach them and discipline them. Michelle wants to draw closer to her mother badly and yet this girl, who should know right from wrong by now, is extremely mean to her mother. When she swears at or around her mother, especially with the F word she needs to be disciplined strongly. Doing otherwise invites more disrespect and bad behavior in and out of the home. It is amazing how disrespectful parents allow their children to be. No wonder they grow up having no respect for authority. The first time I talked back to my mother I was maybe seven or eight. She got me down on my back on the floor, she straddled me and held my hands up above my head and with the back of her fingers smacked my mouth rapidly and lightly about... for maybe about five or 10 seconds. Some would label that as child-abuse but it was completely NOT. My lips were never bruised. They stung a bit for about two or three minutes. Period. But the helplessness of being held down and the irritation of having fingers smacking your lips, not even that hard, taught me that I better respect her. She did have to do this twice, The second was later on when I got mouthy again at 10 or 11. I never ever disrespected my mother until the day that she died at 89. If you consider this too harsh, OK. Find some other way. My sister-in-law‘s way was threatening them with one of those disciplinarian boot camps. She actually got one of the camps to send her pamphlets what she conveniently left around the house. BB is one messed up woman. Selfish and definitely not a good mother to sweet Sarah. This is the type of woman that commits child abuse every day simply by being such a horrible mother. Amazing that BB would let this abusive man, Mitch, drive Michelle home. Unbelievable! Michelle was very lucky. And then!,! She calls him when she’s on vacation and humiliates herself. Claire names her daughter Puffin?!? And goes off to Europe alone every year & finds lovers? THAT’S IT!!! Most of the people in this book, especially the women and girls, are so stupid or ignorant or mean or self-centered…… I can’t deal with it anymore. I’m halfway through and now Sarah has turned into a bitch. I really don’t need to read a book about such completely dysfunctional people. DONE.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    I had been anticipating a novel with depth but this was really just a beach (or, in my case, a deck) read. Reading the title and the description of the book, I was intrigued, especially because I loved Judy Blume's children's books and more recently her adult book, "In the Unlikely Event". I was a young adult in the early 80's so I could relate to the time, if not the age or life experience of the characters. I read in the introduction about how Blume chose the setting for the book as well as I had been anticipating a novel with depth but this was really just a beach (or, in my case, a deck) read. Reading the title and the description of the book, I was intrigued, especially because I loved Judy Blume's children's books and more recently her adult book, "In the Unlikely Event". I was a young adult in the early 80's so I could relate to the time, if not the age or life experience of the characters. I read in the introduction about how Blume chose the setting for the book as well as the title. But, honestly, I didn't find the characters very smart nor for that matter, very likable. They were supposed to be strong, independent, SMART women who, after getting divorced, work to re-invent themselves. But, in the end, they all end up with men again! B.B.'s character, not surprisingly, suffered a mental breakdown when she could no longer control her life and environment after working so hard to do so. And, while I assume she was striving for honesty and authenticity in the teenage characters, I was surprised at the language and some behaviors that the parents tolerated. Maybe I am getting to be an old fuddy duddy! Looking back over what I wrote in my review, my rating would really be a 2.5 because it was, as I mentioned, a decent beach read, just not the novel I had been hoping for.

  30. 5 out of 5

    C.J. Maughan

    This is probably one of my least favorite Judy Blume books. It pains me to even say it. The characters were whiny, self-absorbed and juvenile. I have real issues with plots where the problems can been solved had the characters actually TALKED to each other instead of pouring pages of inner monologue wondering what in the world they should do!? And this is exactly one of those books. Yeah, yeah. I know they're a bunch of divorced women, who've been given a rough hand and who are doing the best This is probably one of my least favorite Judy Blume books. It pains me to even say it. The characters were whiny, self-absorbed and juvenile. I have real issues with plots where the problems can been solved had the characters actually TALKED to each other instead of pouring pages of inner monologue wondering what in the world they should do!? And this is exactly one of those books. Yeah, yeah. I know they're a bunch of divorced women, who've been given a rough hand and who are doing the best they can. Yay girl power! But honestly, if they were such "smart women" they would've realized that their issues weren't with needing a MAN in their lives, but rather the lack of not knowing what they actually want. A man who communicates and is a partner? Or a man that will take them to bed and show them a good time but isn't relationship material? Both? Neither? Decisions decisions. And just as a final note. Hot tubs are gross. Don't write about them. They're not sexy. The entire plot line of this book reminded me of The Sims *cue pixelated hot tub movements* and I will never, ever be able to get that out of my head.

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