The Smart One Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Smart One

Three siblings find themselves moving back in with their parents for the first time together in years due to their respective, unfortunate circumstances. Claire is a twenty-something who has just broken off her engagement and found herself in over her head in debt, unable to afford her apartment in NYC anymore. She makes the decision to move home, get a temp job and start paying off her debt. Her sister, Martha, is thirty and working at J.Crew due to a nursing career fallout. Often at odds with her psychiatrist, Martha makes the decision to start looking for her own place to live and considers going back into nursing. Max, the youngest sibling and only son, is secretly living with his model-like girlfriend, Cleo at college. Claire spends most of her time with her high school crush, Fran, but quickly realizes living at home can not last longer than a year because she becomes extremely dissatisfied and frustrated living in her parents' house. Over the holidays Max reveals to his family that Cleo is pregnant and they are keeping it. Martha begins immersing herself back into the healthcare field and quits J.Crew. After the baby is born, Max and Cleo move into the basement of Max's parents' house and get married. Claire leaves her temp job and happily migrates back to New York where she is able to get an apartment of her own.
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Best part of story, including ending: Although I overall enjoyed it, what I didn't particularly like about this story is how many characters and story lines there were; it lacked focus.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was when Cleo is in labor and, although for the months leading up to the birth, she insisted on a natural birth, the second she started going into labor she was demanding an epidural. She was explaining to her condescending mother and everyone else that she was in labor, but they rudely insisted it might be a false alarm. The scene was funny, realistic and exciting.

Opinion about the main character: What I like about Claire is that she is relateable and respectable-- she exemplifies dignity in even the most humiliating of situations, which makes you want to root for her the entire way.

The review of this Book prepared by Casey Cavanagh a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Smart One

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Pregnancy/Child rearing    -   Yes Major part of story:    -   dealing with unexpected pregnancy

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Jennifer Close Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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