Let me start this post by saying, as a kid and “tween,” I absolutely adored Judy Blume. I read every single “Fudge” book (and even watched the show!), “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing,” and “Blubber” to name a few . Then when I got to middle school I was introduced to “It’s Not the End of the World,” “Just as Long as We’re Together,” and “Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson,” the latter two I checked out over and over again from our school library. Those stories are permanently etched on my heart. Judy Blume has a way of writing about tough situations that shows you will pull through. How could this woman know so much? It’s like she knew my parents would divorce a few years later and I would need to have heard those stories. Her books largely focused on kids with divorced parents, peer pressure and the beginning of puberty. My youth would have been incredibly different had I not found the friends she wrote of in her books. Who didn’t want a crazy brother like Fudge? Or friends like Stephanie and Allison? And of course, Rachel Robinson will always be the girl I wanted to be 🙂
So it goes without saying, that as an adult I was pretty excited to start a new Judy Blume book (well new to me anyway). I was hoping for a book that would fill me with nostalgia and characters I could love, and in her book “Smart Women,” Blume does not disappoint. In the books introduction, Blume tells us that she coined her title from a line within the story’s text, “How come smart women like us keep falling in love with schmucks?”This line sums up a large portion of the plot, but does not cover it all. This book is so much more than some divorced women trying to move on with their lives. Instead, it’s more the coming of age, so to speak, of the 40-something divorcee’, how they’re handling it, and even how their kids and distant family handle it. Wrapped with a dose of humor, teenagers who push your buttons, and family crises this book is able to take something that is broken and show the reader how it can mend.