The Four Ms. Bradwells

Publisher Ballantine, March 22, 2011

Meg Waite Clayton’s national bestseller The Wednesday Sisters was a word-of-mouth sensation and book club favorite. In THE FOURS MS. BRADWELLS Clayton delivers an affecting page-turner that explores the secrets we keep—even from those we love most—and celebrates the enduring power of friendship.

Years before Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed to the Supreme Court—and at a time when only three women had ever served full Senate terms—Mia, Laney, Betts and Ginger were nicknamed “the Ms. Bradwells.” A reference to Bradwell v. Illinois, a landmark case in the history of gender discrimination, the nickname instantly unites the women—both inside and out of the classrooms at the University of Michigan Law School, where they first meet. Best friends ever since, the Ms. Bradwells have supported one another through life’s challenges: marriages and divorces, births and deaths, career setbacks, and triumphs large and small. Betts was, and still is, the Funny One. Ginger, the Rebel. Laney, the Good Girl. And Mia, the Savant. Together they’ve shared their hopes and dreams and developed and adapted their notions of what it means to be a woman, friend, mother, and daughter.

But as they gather for an impromptu reunion while Betts awaits confirmation of her Supreme Court appointment, the Senate hearings uncover a shocking thirty-year-old skeleton in the friends’ collective closet that rocks the foundation of their friendship. Forced to flee the media, the women retreat to the home of Ginger’s mother—a renowned feminist lawyer and inspiration to each of them—on the Chesapeake Bay. There they find themselves reliving a much darker period in their past— one that forces them to confront the limits of loyalty and the power of having friends who stand beside one another through their bad choices as well as their good.

THE FOUR MS. BRADWELLS examines the unique bonds of female friendship and the remarkable ways in which our relationships with our mothers and daughters shape us. It is also a captivating tale of how far people will go to protect the ones they love.

“Meg Waite Clayton writes with intelligence, wisdom, and humor about women’s friendships. To steal from Holden Caulfield, after reading THE FOUR MS. BRADWELLS, you’ll wish the characters were terrific friends of yours and you could call them up on the phone whenever you felt like it.”
— Tatjana Soli, New York Times bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters

“It’s rare that I come across a book that I immediately want to give to my best friends. This was one of them.”
— Katie Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Girls in Trucks and Men and Dogs

“A fine, smart, compelling novel about the deep friendships that guide and nurture our most difficult choices.”
— Elizabeth Brundage, author of The Doctor’s Wife and A Stranger Like You

“An exquisitely written novel about the heartbreaking and heartwarming moments of life and friendship and everything in between, THE FOUR MS. BRADWELLS will resonate with you long after you’ve turned the final page on these wonderful women. Don’t miss a second of their journey.”
— Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of Time of My Life and The One That I Want

The Four Ms. Bradwells