Friday, August 13, 2010

Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner

Released: 2004

Little Earthquakes is the third novel by bestselling chick-lit author Jennifer Weiner. When I read Weiner's first novel Good in Bed (2001) several years ago, I knew she was going to be one of those authors (which for me includes Chuck Palahniuk and Tracy Chevalier among numerous others) who produces such amazing work that you just have to read everything they publish. In saying this, I am ashamed that I allowed Little Earthquakes to linger on my shelf for so many years, because this novel is AMAZING!

Little Earthquakes centers upon four main characters that are all pregnant at the beginning of the book and forge their friendship by sharing "new mother" experiences with one another. We meet Becky, a pleasantly plump chef who runs her own restaurant but must deal with the worst mother-in-law on the planet, Kelly -- a perky, energetic event planner with a laid-off husband who more or less sits at home and does nothing, and Ayinde, the wife of a scandalous pro-basketball player who has gotten himself into quite the mess. In addition to these three women who bond over their newborn children, we also meet Lia, an ex-Hollywood starlet haunted by a tragic accident and desperate to start anew in her hometown of Philadelphia.

Each chapter in Little Earthquakes is dedicated to the intimate, behind-the-scenes details of each woman's life over the course of one year and the struggles they face between being new mothers and dealing with their unique situations. As always, Jennifer Weiner writes to present such vivid and realistic characters and situations that we can't help but place ourselves in their shoes. Better yet, you won't even have to be a mother to relate to these four women and the adventures they encounter.

Not only are the dialogues and inner-monologues of the women in Little Earthquakes hilarious and witty, but the ending contains such emotional episodes that you'll need to keep tissues nearby. Movies and novels will not bring me to tears unless it's quality work, and I can assure you that this novel is genuinely touching!

My favorite elements of the book include Becky's mother-in-law situation - as Mimi has no respect for Becky's mothering techniques and special requests. There are many instances that will provoke you to grit your teeth as you read about Mimi's hooker-style choices of clothing for Becky's daughter Ava, as well as Mimi's ignorance regarding insisting sneaking formula to Ava versus Becky's healthy breast milk. The other aspect I love in Little Earthquakes concerns Lia's reunion with her estranged mother. This along with the Becky-Mimi situation personally hit home for me, and I'm sure other readers will find other situations to relate to, guaranteed.

Little Earthquakes is so delectable that you'll finish it and marvel at how the time had flown by. Before the novel was over I had already added the books I had missed by Jennifer Weiner to my wish list.

Jennifer Weiner's latest novel is Fly Away Home (2010). Other recent titles include Best Friends Forever (2009) and Certain Girls (2008), featuring the infamous Cannie Shapiro.

   Fly Away Home: A Novel Best Friends Forever: A Novel Certain Girls: A Novel

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