The Wednesday Daughters by Meg Waite Clayton
In the tradition of Kristin Hannah and Karen Joy Folwer, Meg Waite Clayton, bestselling author of The Wednesday Sisters, returns with an enthralling new novel of mothers, daughters, and the secrets and dreams passed down through generations.
It is early evening when Hope Tantry arrives at the small cottage in England’s pastoral Lake District where her mother, Ally, spent the last years of her life. Ally—one of a close-knit group of women who called themselves the Wednesday Sisters—had used the cottage as a writer’s retreat while she worked on her unpublished biography of Beatrix Potter, yet Hope knows little about her mother’s time there. Traveling with Hope are friends Anna Page and Julie, first introduced as little girls in The Wednesday Sisters, now grown women grappling with issues of a different era. They’ve come to help Hope sort through her mother’s personal effects, yet what they find is a tangled family history—one steeped in Lake District lore.
Hope finds a stack of Ally’s old notebooks tucked away in a hidden drawer, all written in a mysterious code. As she, Julie, and Anna Page try to decipher Ally’s writings—the reason for their encryption, their possible connection to the Potter manuscript—they are forced to confront their own personal struggles: Hope’s doubts about her marriage, Julie’s grief over losing her twin sister, Anna Page’s fear of commitment in relationships. And as the real reason for Ally’s stay in England comes to light, Hope, Julie, and Anna Page reach a new understanding about the enduring bonds of family, the unwavering strength of love, and the inescapable pull of the past.
I love the idea of this book, the unbreakable bond between women is something I can relate to. I haven’t read the Wednesday Sisters, so although The Wdnesday Daughters follows the story on with the original character’s daughters, it isn’t compulsary to have read both books.
Though the plot is not action heavy, I found the characters engaging enough to draw me in and the situations they found themselves in are realistic. I loved Hope’s mother Ally’s journals which depicted imagined conversations with Beatrix Potter and found these a highlight of the book.
My one negative thought, is that there are a lot of characters so it can get a little confusing, but once I got my head around them all it was fine.
I give 3.5/5 and I’ve added The Wednesday Sisters to my to-read pile, so I can see how it all started.
I received an advanced reader copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.