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Little Earthquakes Hardcover – September 14, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1st Atria Books Hardcover Ed edition (September 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743470095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743470094
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (339 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jennifer Weiner, whose novels Good in Bed and In Her Shoes earned her a place among women's book club aficionados everywhere, proves she still has the touch with Little Earthquakes, a tale of love, heartbreak, redemption, and friendship. Weiner's novel centers around four new mothers, all of whom must learn to adjust their lives and their marriages to deal with the challenges of raising children.

Ayinde is a beautiful, biracial newscaster who moves to Philadelphia after her husband, a star player for the NBA, is traded to the 76ers. She meets Becky, an overweight chef who plays the "pregnant or just fat" game every time she passes a mirror, and Kelly, an overachieving event planner who has her whole life mapped out down to the most minute details, after going into labor at a prenatal yoga class. The three become fast friends, and come to rely on each other for everything from burping techniques to intense emotional support. The group grows to include Lia, a semi-famous Hollywood starlet who leaves her husband and returns to Philly after a sudden tragedy.

While Little Earthquakes may leave little to the imagination, and some of the characters are laughably stereotypical (the Mama's boy Jewish doctor and the cheating ball player, to name a few), it is Weiner's gift for creating compelling characters with whom her readers can identify that make her such a successful storyteller. --Gisele Toueg

From Publishers Weekly

In her first and second bestsellers, Good in Bed and In Her Shoes, Weiner came up with female characters so smart, lovable and mordantly funny that they reminded readers that Bridget Jones wasn't the first single woman to light up a bestseller list or the big screen—there were Sheila Levine, Mary and Rhoda, the Golden Girls. Now, just as the star-studded movie version of In Her Shoes is about to be released, Weiner delivers the interwoven tale of four new mothers who come to form a tight posse in contemporary Philadelphia. The heart of this third-person narrative is Becky, an overweight but thoroughly appealing chef at a chic bistro. Married to an adoring doctor and living in a cozy row house, the warm, nurturing Becky is the latest incarnation of Weiner's previous protagonists, as Weiner's fans will recognize as she rushes to help another woman who collapses into sudden, crushing labor pains after a prenatal yoga class ("Being in labor all by herself —no husband around, no friend to hold her hand—was about the worst thing she could imagine," Becky thinks. "Well, that and having her midriff appear on one of those 'Obesity: A National Epidemic' news reports"). The woman whom Becky helps is Ayinde, the gorgeous wife of an NBA superstar. Picturesquely if improbably, she, Becky and another expectant mom, perky blonde Kelly (who was also at the fateful yoga class and lent a helping hand) become fast friends. Eventually, Lia, a beautiful young actress who has left Hollywood for her hometown of Philadelphia in the wake of a tragedy, joins the group. For much of the story, Weiner, a wonderful natural writer and storyteller, renders her characters and their messy, sometimes wrenching lives in details that resonate as the real deal. In the end, alas, she slips in a soapy Hollywood ending. Still, this is a rich portrayal of new motherhood and a fun ride. Weiner's readers will root for her to trust ever more her ability to float between comedy and pathos, leaving the shallows for true and surprising depths.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and The Next Best Thing. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.

Customer Reviews

Great fun book to read and I def. recommend it.
JW
Jennifer Weiner does a GREAT job of creating characters that are fun, interesting and easy to relate to.
Bobbie Jo Kirby
New Motherhood bonds these women and their friendships are ones that will stand the test of time.
mamareadssomuch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Winkie on November 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book had great potential and at first I couldn't put it down. Unfortunately, the characters never developed and by the end I was sick and tired of their whining. The characters were very stereotypical and while much was made of the trials of motherhood, the author never really showed us the joys that make it all worthwhile. I'm a working mom who's also experienced the pain of losing a baby and I was extremely disappointed in the storyline for Lia. There was a better story there than the one that was written.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By mysty72 on October 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I loved In Her Shoes, but was disappointed with Little Earthquakes. Weiner's writing style and wit were on the mark. But I felt that the characters were one-dimensional, not very sympathetic, and in ways not even likable. There was so much focus on the negative of early motherhood that you never got the sense there was any joy as well. This is especially true of how the husbands are portrayed.

I also felt that some of the plotlines were not plausible. Why would these three girls suddenly become so close so quickly just because they took a yoga class together? Also, if a woman loses her child, would she really find solace in OTHER people's children? Not only does it seem creepy that she comes across as a bit of a stalker, but I just don't buy that this is how a woman deals with this kind of pain.

Eventually the story started to drag. I began to care less and less what happened to these glum women, just the opposite of how I felt about Maggie and Rose Feller of In Her Shoes.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant. Truly a compelling and fabulous read. I'd read and loved her first two books, but this one far surpassed them for me.

All four main characters are well-realized, complicated, interesting women. As they negotiate new parenthood and the various changes in self, worklife, and relationships with family and partners, the characters must find their own solutions and Weiner avoids the easy answers. While Weiner does a wonderful job capturing the mundane practical dilemmas of diapering, cell phone calls from work, mothers-in-law, and so on, she also explores the challenges of how you reconceive your own family after becoming a parent, how you reshape a partnership when you go from being a couple to being a family, and how you revise your sense of self once you're a parent.

I especially appreciate how Weiner renders her main characters' male partners in nuanced tones, even while staying firmly focused on viewing the world through the four women's experiences.

This is a book I'll be giving my brother, my close friends, and my mother, among many others. It's absolutely not just for new mothers, though that's certainly one group of people who might enjoy the book. It is a compelling read for anyone interested in well-developed characters dealing with tightly plotted storylines in a well-realized physical world. Beautifully done.

WARNING: if you find yourself lost in sadness related to losing a child, this may well be a healing book, but you should be prepared to cry.
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43 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Movie Watcher on July 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am a bit surprised by the amount of reviewers who feel this book would be perfect for new mothers. While it was realistic in the sense that motherhood isn't easy or fun ALL OF THE TIME, it certainly makes becoming a mother seem like one of the most miserable, marriage-wrecking experiences a woman can find herself in.

I just found all of the women EXTREMELY unrealistic. Kelly is a materialistic complainer, and can't even have a rational discussion with her husband? Instead, she gets bent out of shape because he gets laid off, and basically considers him one step above fungus? Please! No man (or woman) would stand around while their mate chastised them. The explanation of her "awful" childhood is supposed to make us understand, but instead, it made me sick to my stomach whenever it was her turn to speak in the book.

Becky, supposedly the funny one since she threw out the most sarcastic comments of the group, all of a SUDDEN changes her heart about her psychotic mother-in-law? Honestly, I was suffocating in the sugary-sweet sap this author was gagging me with here. Plus, she lets some freaky, creepy stranger into her home, etc? Way to watch out, Becky. How about we let the stalker babysit?

Ayinde....obvious character....takes her cheating husband back. I can't begin to tell you how realistic it is that she would want the other woman's phone number...sure, let's be a happy family after my husband nationally embarasses me.

Lia...ok, because so many men would just take their wives back after she ditches them for a year? Oh, and the mother is waiting with open arms after Lia selfishly leaves her for 11 years?

None of these characters were sympathetic or likeable. They complained constantly, and magically everything pulls itself together in the end. I would never recommend this book to a new mother...it would probably depress her too much.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This book was read by the author, and she did a beautiful job. She intoned all the subtle jokes and really gave life to the emotions each character was feeling. Her voice is low, gentle and soft but very clear and audible, and portrays emotions well. So thumbs up for the reading.

The book itself started out a bit slowly to me, since I like action a bit more than emotions, but by the second CD I was hooked and truly cared about each of the characters. It is definitely women's fiction, it deals a ton with emotions, babies, relationships, and a good portion of the book is women talking about these things with other women.

Even with all the talking about feelings, this book managed to be a real hit with me, just because of the author's talent at writing believable characters into believable situations. I cried a few times through the book, and truly cared about what happened.

The abridgement was unobtrusive - I wouldn't have known it was abridged if the audiobook hadn't been labeled as such.

Fans of her previous books won't be disappointed.
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