By Meg Waite Clayton, Ballantine Books, $25.00, 321 pages
In 1873, the Supreme Court denied Mrs. Myra Bradwell the right to practice law because she was a woman. In 2011, author Meg Waite Clayton reflects upon that decision and many others that have changed the lives of women in her new novel The Four Mrs. Bradwells. Don’t miss Clayton’s latest inspirational and powerful story about friendship, discrimination, education, secrets and love.
The book follows the lives of four women thrown together in their first year of law school. They each earn the nickname of “Mrs. Bradwell” when a professor has them answer questions during the discussion of Bradwell v. Illinois. Throughout their lives they face challenges because of gender and race. The book joins them during an unplanned reunion as one of them waits to hear whether she has been appointed to the Supreme Court. When a 30 year old secret threatens to ruin all they have worked for, the friends must come together and support each other, whatever the outcome. Clayton writes with compassion and honesty. She shares a unique perspective on women, made stronger by her experiences as a law student, lawyer, daughter, mother and friend.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin