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The Wednesday Daughters: A Novel Paperback – July 1, 2014

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The Beekeeper's Daughter
England, 1932: Grace Hamblin is growing up as the beekeeper's daughter on the beautiful estate of the Marquess and Marchioness of Penselwood. Then fast forward to Massachusetts, 1973. Will history repeat itself in this honey of a mother-daughter saga? Learn more about author Santa Montefiore
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (July 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345530292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345530295
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #615,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Clayton follows up her popular book-club selection The Wednesday Sisters (2008) with this story featuring the now-grown daughters of the women from the original novel’s writing club. Ally’s daughter, Hope—accompanied by the two other “Wednesday Daughters,” Anna Page and Julie—travels to England to clear out the Lake District cottage her mother used as a writing haven. The women discover a stash of Ally’s old notebooks, which seem to be written in code. Why would Ally have needed to keep secret writings, and what is the connection to the project she was working on at the end of her life (a biography of Beatrix Potter)? Why did Ally feel drawn to travel all the way to England to write? As the women try to unravel the puzzles left behind for them, they confront their own secrets and longings, as well as tapping into the eccentric life of Beatrix Potter. Fans of the first novel will be interested to see how the family secrets come to light and just where Beatrix Potter comes into play. --Rebecca Vnuk --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“The present and the past intertwine beautifully and inevitably in Meg Waite Clayton’s winning follow-up to The Wednesday Sisters. From the beguiling Lake District setting, to a completely charming (and spot-on) portrayal of Beatrix Potter, to the way the Wednesday daughters strive to unpuzzle both their own choices and their mothers’ legacies, every layer of the novel delivers. The Wednesday Daughters is utterly rich and satisfying.”—Paula McLainNew York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife
“A captivating novel about mothers and daughters, lifelong friendships, love affairs, betrayals, and redemption. Clayton transports us to the English Lake District, an area rich in literary history and romance, where her characters’ secrets unfold in ways both satisfying and surprising.”—J. Courtney SullivanNew York Times bestselling author of Commencement, Maine, and The Engagements
“Beautiful storytelling . . . [Meg Waite Clayton] delves deep into the human heart . . . and [will] keep you hanging on until the very last page is turned.”RT Book Reviews
The Wednesday Daughters is a bewitching escape of a novel. The characters became my beloved companions. I wanted it never to end.”—Elin Hilderbrand, author of Beautiful Day
“Heartwarming . . . filled with memorable characters.”Bookreporter
“Fans of The Wednesday Sisters will relish this new work, which intersperses captivating journal entries within its chapters and easily deserves to stand on its own. Given Clayton’s vivid imagery and rich historical detail, readers will almost be able to see Beatrix and her husband rowing along the tarn at sunset.”Publishers Weekly
“Charming, thoughtful and atmospheric in that way only Meg Waite Clayton can write, The Wednesday Daughters is a jewel of a book. It’s told with a deep and lovely understanding of generational ties, and it celebrates what ultimately matters most. Fans of The Wednesday Sisters are going to fall in love all over again.”—Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of The Peach Keeper
“With delicate, precise strokes, Meg Waite Clayton illustrates and explores the intricate effect of the secrets we keep, even from those we love, in The Wednesday Daughters. This is the perfect novel for every mother, daughter, and sister to read, savor, and discuss over a pot of tea.”—Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife

Selected as Recommended Summer Reading by Chicago Tribune • Fort Worth Star-Telegram • San Jose Mercury News

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

One need not already be a fan of The Wednesday Sisters to enjoy this new novel by Meg Clayton.
Maud C. Goldfield
I hadn't read the Wednesday Sisters so maybe I missed something but I couldn't wait to finish this book and chalk it up to a waste of time and money.
This is an exquisitely written, multi-layered story, replete with whimsical imaginary conversations with Beatrix Potter's ghost.
Jane Wilson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By patty mccormick on August 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This was a great book it is about 3 women who are the Wednesday daughters and they come together after Hope's mother dies. They bring her ashes to leave them in England's Lake District where her mother went to write. I liked the characters in this book, they were real people to me. I enjoyed the excerpts from the Beatrix Potter stories at the beginning of each chapter. I found it a little weird at first that the ghost of Beatrix Potter was following Hope's mom around all the time, but you get used to it after awhile. I did not find this book confusing. I felt it was pretty clear when it skipped back and forth from one character's story to another. It has characters that grow and develop through out the book and has a happy ending. The women learn about themselves and grow and Hope discovers secrets about who her mother really was. This book brings to light all of the private sides and thoughts of the women and they grow closer.

Okay, yes it did remind me of the Ya Ya Sisters. Is it better? I don't know. I liked it for what it was. Yes the background of the girls is similar in that their mothers are all friends, but the events in the girl's lives are different and there is the addition of the Beatrix Potter elements. I think that my mom will love this book. She likes mother daughter stories. This book kept my attention and it contained enough action to hold my interest. I give it 5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
Hope Tantry is understandably devastated when her mother, Ally, passes away without warning. This sudden loss has left her bereft, and her grief has prevented her from sorting through her mother's belongings. However, she doesn't have the luxury of stalling when it comes to dealing with the material items that her mother left behind in a small cottage in the Lake District of England, where she spent much of her later life writing a biography of Beatrix Potter.

Fortunately, Hope doesn't have to make the trip alone. Julie and Anna Page accompany her on this heart-wrenching journey. Friends from birth, the women have always been there for one another no matter what direction life takes them in. Born to a group of women who called themselves the Wednesday Sisters, the now-grown girls known as "The Wednesday Daughters" are the next generation.

Unfortunately, each woman is struggling with her own demons in addition to coming to terms with the loss of Ally. Julie's heart still aches from losing her twin sister to breast cancer only a year before. Hope misses her mother and is trying to decide whether or not her marriage has run its course. Last but not least, Anna Page, the eldest of the group, connects with men on a superficial and sexual level, but never on a deeper emotional basis. As the women band together to say goodbye to Ally, they also discover some hard truths about themselves in the process.

While sorting through her mother's belongings, Hope wonders whether her mother had finally gone round the bend. Several of Ally's writer's notebooks, written in a code that the Wednesday Daughters manage to crack, are filled with memories of her time spent with Beatrix Potter. The thing is, Ally never met Potter, who died in 1943.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Heather on August 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This novel is a follow up to The Wednesday Sisters published in 2008. The book follows the daughters Hope, Anna Page and Julie of The Wednesday Sisters Allison, Kath & Linda, respectively. When the book open the girls are heading to a cottage that Ally owned in England. Ally recently passed away and Hope is making the trip to clean out her mothers things. Over the course of their stay they meet Graham and Robbie both with their own secrets that end up intertwining with those of The Wednesday Sisters and Daughters. Hope is coming to grips with the death of her mother, a floundering marriage, an identity crisis and a love/hate relationship with Anna Page over her relationship with Ally. Anna Page is dealing with her need to make her father proud, the death of Ally and her own issues with men, sex and commitment. Julie lost her twin a year ago and finds herself treading on dangerous territory with her brother-in-law and also trying to face guilt for things she has done and is still doing.

To be perfectly honest I found the book to be overwhelmingly confusing. Between the time jump from the first book to this one, the different voices, the odd passages from Ally's journals, the relationships between the characters, etc., etc., etc.
I liked The Wednesday Sisters, so I was very happy to be chosen to read The Wednesday Daughters but something changed in this book. Maybe too much time had passed between books, aging of the daughters or maybe there didn't need to be a second book. Who knows. I forced myself to finish this book and I am glad that I can write this knowing I did finish and I had hope.
Some have said that they believe this could be a stand alone, I on the other hand do not completely agree.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Hughes on August 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If there is a literary country somewhere (or perhaps, continent) called Realistic Relationships, Meg Waite Clayton owns a lovely estate there. Perhaps a principality. Whichever, its deed in perpetuity lists the names of her four novels, and The Wednesday Daughters is in bold on that list. As is The Wednesday Sisters.

Why do we read, except to experience the emotional highs and lows we avoid like AIDS in our lives? In Meg's newest book, with all its emotional anthems and tragic betrayals, one will find that for which we search. Yes, it's true it took a while to get character map in my head, even while familiar with The Wednesday Sisters. But once that investment was made, what a ride ensued. It's akin to the rollercoaster's first hill, that slow ride to the top. Get that behind you (below you?) and, sister, hang on.

As in her previous books, Meg employs a subtle, though complex use of narrative, a sleight of hand that shifts us from a seemingly first person POV to something much more complex, a design that cracks opens the lives of these characters to us in a way that no other narrative strategy could accomplish. Those interested in such matters will find worlds to discover, to learn from.

But that's a recommendation for a small crowd. For the rest of us, those simply craving the length and breadth of life, as filtered through the lives of three woman and the constellation of relationships that bind them, this is finely seasoned stuff.

So this makes two in the Wednesday series. Word is, a third is in the works. Enjoy The Wednesday Daughter, and then prepare yourselves for another great ride.
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More About the Author

Meg Waite Clayton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of five novels, including the forthcoming THE RACE FOR PARIS (August 2015), THE WEDNESDAY DAUGHTERS, THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS, THE FOUR MS. BRADWELLS, the Bellwether Prize finalist THE LANGUAGE OF LIGHT. Her books have been translated into languages from German to Lithuanian to Chinese. She's written for The Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, The San Jose Mercury News, The Miami Herald, Writer's Digest, Runner's World, and public radio, and for The New York Times and Forbes online. A graduate of the University Michigan and its law school, she lives in Palo Alto, California.;; @megwclayton

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