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Little Earthquakes Paperback – September 14, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 389 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Irresistible....Weiner has a fine eye for detail and a knack for making supporting characters come convincingly to life."

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


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 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: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (389 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,651,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback 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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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: Paperback
Little Earthquakes is by far Jennifer Weiner's best novel to date. I have read both of her other books Good in Bed and In Her Shoes, which were also great reads. But, Little Earthquakes characters are much developed and you really feel connected to all of the characters. You follow all of the characters through their pregnancies and through some hard times in becoming new mommies.

The main character would have to be Rebecca "Becky." Rebecca is a chef of an up and coming restaurant called Mas. Becky is overweight and is feeling that no one can tell that she is pregnant. She decides to join a pregnancy yoga class where she meets some unlikely friends. Becky meets two women there who she will grow to become great friends with. Ayinde is a beautiful woman who is married to an NBA star. During the class Ayinde starts to go into labor and with the help of Becky, and Kelly who was also at the yoga class, they help her get to the hospital.

This one event causes little earthquakes to take place in all three of the major characters lives. All of the new mothers have to deal with new challenges that effect their marriages, careers, and new babies' lives. There is another character that helps the new mommies along the way. Lia has just come back to the city where she grew up after leaving her life and a terrible secret behind.
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