A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl

By: Jean Thompson BUY BOOK HERE

Women hold a family together. They plan the social activities and family gatherings, act as a buffer between butting heads, continue traditions, ease the emotions of family conflict, and provide the meals for the family table that brings generations together.

It is not an easy job, or an easy life. Especially in families afflicted with personality disorders, addictions, mental illness, anger issues, conflict--or even with the usual garden variety issues common to all families.

A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is about three generations of women who have struggled with holding the family together even when their personal dreams are sacrificed for their family. The characters, Evelyn, Laura, and Grace, are vital and distinct while recalling to mind our own mothers and daughters.

It is a heartbreaking story that spans from WWII to the present, each generation of women hoping to find self-fulfillment and true love yet putting the interests of others first.


A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is a poignant novel about three generations of the Wise family—Evelyn, Laura, and Grace—as they hunt for contentment amid chaos of their own making.

Evelyn set aside her career to marry, late, and motherhood never became her. Her daughter Laura felt this acutely and wants desperately to marry, but she soon discovers her husband Gabe to be a man who expects too much of everyone in his life, especially his musician son. Grace has moved out from Laura and Gabe’s house, but can’t seem to live up to her potential—whatever that might be.

In A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl we see these women and their trials, small and large: social slights and heartbreaks; marital disappointments and infidelities; familial dysfunction; mortality. Spanning from World War II to the present, Thompson reveals a matrilineal love story that is so perfectly grounded in our time—a story of three women regressing, stalling, and yes, evolving, over decades. One of the burning questions she asks is: by serving her family, is a woman destined to repeat the mistakes of previous generations, or can she transcend the expectations of a place, and a time? Can she truly be free?

Evelyn, Laura, and Grace are the glue that binds their family together. Tethered to their small Midwestern town—by choice or chance—Jean Thompson seamlessly weaves together the stories of the Wise women with humanity and elegance, through their heartbreaks, setbacks, triumphs, and tragedies.

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