The Wednesday Daughters by Meg Waite Clayton

The Wednesday daughters are the daughters of the Wednesday sisters, who are not actually sisters, but best friends who remain best friends for the rest of their lives. The Wednesday daughters in turn become best friends.

The Wednesday Daughters by Meg Waite ClaytonWhen Hope’s mother Ally Tantry passed away, the Wednesday daughters accompanied Hope to the English Lakes, Lake Windermere to be exact, to her mother’s cottage, where she wrote her journals and researched and worked on her biography of Beatrice Potter.
Throughout the book, the story is intertwined with quotes from Beatrice Potter’s books and letters and Ally’s imagined conversations with Bea. I loved this almost more than I did the story of the Wednesday daughters.

As Hope and the other Wednesday daughters Anna Page and Julie go through Ally’s things, they find her journals which are written in code. The mysterious and somewhat frightening Graham appears at the door, and the girls are challenged to discover his friendship/relationship to Ally. Why does Graham know so much about Hope, while she has never heard of him? He calls her Asha, a name only her family knows her by.

There are grumblings and jealousies among the daughters, as well as intense loyalty to one another. Each came to the island with her own problems. Julie’s sister Jamie died a year ago of breast cancer, leaving her son Oliver and husband Isaac grief stricken. Julie and her husband Norm divorce and Julie believes she’s in love with Isaac. Anna Page blames her parents for her inability to have a meaningful relationship. Hope, in her grief, can’t understand why her mother came to the island to die instead of near Hope and her brother Sammy. There are a lot of things going on in this book, which is a sequel to THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS, and a lot of loose ends that have to be tied up by the book’s end.

A lot of years pass between THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS and THE WEDNESDAY DAUGHTERS, making the transition somewhat confusing at first. It’s not necessary to read SISTERS first, but it is helpful, if only to understand the DAUGHTERS’ relationship.

I am a huge fan of Meg Waite Clayton. I was unsure at the beginning of the book, whether or not I liked it. In the end, I was sorry when I turned to the last page. I definitely would recommend THE WEDNESDAY DAUGHTERS.

This book was given to me in the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.

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