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The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating
by Carole Radziwill

Overview -

"Radziwill's delicious debut novel... is a poignant tale of love and loss."--"Publishers Weekly"

"One of the richest, most deeply satisfying stories I've read in a long time."--"BookPage"

"Carole Radziwill writes like a cross between Sophie Kinsella and Christopher Buckley.  Read more...


 
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More About The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating by Carole Radziwill
 
 
 
Overview

"Radziwill's delicious debut novel... is a poignant tale of love and loss."--"Publishers Weekly"

"One of the richest, most deeply satisfying stories I've read in a long time."--"BookPage"

"Carole Radziwill writes like a cross between Sophie Kinsella and Christopher Buckley. Cautiously romantic, unexpectedly moving, and funny "--Susan Sarandon

"The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating "is Carole Radziwill's deliciously smart comedy about a famously widowed young New Yorker hell-bent on recapturing a kind of passionate love she never really had

Claire Byrne is a quirky and glamorous 34-year-old Manhattanite and the wife of a famous, slightly older man. Her husband, Charlie, is a renowned sexologist and writer. Equal parts Alfred Kinsey and Warren Beatty, Charlie is pompous yet charming, supportive yet unfaithful; he's a firm believer that sex and love can't coexist for long, and he does little to hide his affairs. Claire's life with Charlie is an always interesting if not deeply devoted one, until Charlie is struck dead one day on the sidewalk by a falling sculpture ... a Giacometti, no less

Once a promising young writer, Claire had buried her ambitions to make room for Charlie's. After his death, she must reinvent herself. Over the course of a year, she sees a shrink (or two), visits an oracle, hires a "botanomanist," enjoys an erotic interlude (or ten), eats too little, drinks too much, dates a hockey player, dates a billionaire, dates an actor (not any actor either, but the handsome movie star every woman in the world fantasizes about dating). As she grieves for Charlie and searches for herself, she comes to realize that she has an opportunity to find something bigger than she had before--maybe even, possibly, love.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780805098846
  • ISBN-10: 0805098844
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
  • Publish Date: February 2014
  • Page Count: 302


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-07-01
  • Reviewer: Staff

Claire Byrne comes piteously undone after Charlie, her imperious husband and a best-selling sexologist, is beaned by a knockoff 190-pound bronze sculpture in reality star Radziwill’s delicious debut novel, a return to the subject matter of her memoir, What Remains, which explored Radziwill’s reaction to the early death of her husband. The death of Claire’s middle-aged husband forces her, a 32-year-old, emotionally immature aspiring writer, to re-evaluate a life spent in Charlie’s shadow. “You’ve never really been alone,” best friend Ethan tells her. “You got married at twenty-two.... Before you could be a sun, you signed on to be a moon.” Claire promptly falls for Holly-wood heartthrob Jack Huxley, whom Charlie was writing a book about, but discovers that Charlie’s biggest critic, book reviewer Ben Hawthorne, might just be the one to repair her broken heart and dreams. Along this circuitous path to happiness, there will be 35 mostly gratuitous rules (“#19: Never kiss a man who will look better than you in the morning) and a sly nod to Radziwill’s day job as one of the Real Housewives of New York. But beyond the camp and predictable, there is a poignant tale of loss and love. “Sex is one thing. Sex is easy.... The trouble is those other two: hope and its mean cousin, heartbreak,” Claire finds. Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management. (Nov.)

 
BookPage Reviews

'Real Housewives' star surprises with a sympathetic debut novel

I was skeptical when I found out the author of The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating stars on “The Real Housewives of New York.” And when the epigram was a Lady Gaga quote, I thought I was in for a long slog. What a pleasant surprise, then, when the book turned out to be one of the richest, most deeply satisfying stories I’ve read in a long time.

At 32, Claire Byrne is smart, beautiful and married to famous author and sexologist Charlie Byrne. She dabbles in magazine writing, but is mostly content in his larger-than-life shadow, following him from party to party around Manhattan, where he’s never short on opinions and admirers. “He gave her entrée into the elite upper reaches of words and the people who traded in them; she gave him a wide swath,” Radziwill writes.

Then Charlie is improbably killed by a falling piece of art while walking home from a tryst with his publicist, and Claire finds herself with the burden (opportunity?) of redefining her life as a widow. She fumbles through dates set up by well-intentioned girlfriends, drinks a lot of wine, sleeps too much and consults a ridiculous series of questionable therapists.

When Charlie’s editor asks Claire to finish Charlie’s last book, Claire finds herself face-to-face with the book’s subject, movie star Jack Huxley. As their relationship deepens, Claire has to decide whether she is willing to step into someone else’s shadow again.

An award-winning former TV reporter, Radziwill is also the author of the well-received What Remains—a memoir of her marriage, which ended when her husband died of cancer in 1999. It’s hard to know how much of her own experience colors this debut novel. What is clear is that her spare writing and wry voice make The Widow’s Guide an exhilarating, insightful and moving story about loss and identity. 

 
BAM Customer Reviews

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