Physical Changes. Cognitive Changes. Emotional Changes. The life stage called early adulthood defines individuals between the ages of 20 and 35, who are typically vibrant, active and healthy, and are focused on friendships, romance, child bearing and careers. Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner was published in 2005 and takes place in the present, where it follows the lives of four young women through their first pregnancies, childbirth and beyond. Three of the women, Becky, Kelly and Ayinde, meet at a pre-natal yoga class; they meet the fourth woman, Lia, in a coffee shop, where Becky recognizes her as the woman who has been watching her. The four women share the spotlight as main characters, although Lia's narration is in the first person while the rest of the women's stories are in the third person.
The novel opens as Lia sits in the park in Philadelphia, watching a pregnant woman (Becky) and reflecting on her recent past in California as an up-and-coming actress. She has recently lost a baby to SIDS and after not being able to come to terms with it, she suddenly leaves her husband, a successful actor, with an "I'm so sorry" note and goes back to Philadelphia to her mother's home. Since she told her husband, Sam, her parents were dead, he has no idea how to find her. She comes home only because she feels she must get away and has nowhere else to go. She and her mother never got along, and she thinks her mother hates her. Lia is suffering from depression and can't seem to get over the SIDS death of her ten-week-old baby. After they become friends, she begins to work in Mas, Becky's restaurant.
Becky, who is overweight, co-manages a restaurant, is married to a doctor and has the mother-in-law from hell. She finds herself in a yoga class with Kelly, whom she thinks looks like a Barbie clone and Ayinde, a model type and former newscaster. After these three become friends, they are together in a coffee shop when Becky recognizes Lia as the woman who's been watching her, and they eventually befriend her. Becky is a warm-hearted woman who manages to find the humorous side of almost any situation. She is mad about her husband, who loves her, but he is such a mama's boy he can't say no to his mother Mimi, even when it hurts Becky. Mimi is a childish, selfish woman who makes Becky's life miserable, especially after her daughter, Ava, is born.
Ayinde has quit her job as a newscaster in Texas and married Richard Towne, a star basketball player who was recently traded to the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers. When she goes into labor a little early, she can't reach her husband, who is away at the first round of the play-offs. When he finally arrives, just before the birth, she thinks she catches a faint whiff of perfume on him. Even though she is beautiful and married to a...