Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Julie's Review: The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating

Author: Carole Radziwell
Series: None
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt
Pages: 320
Obtained: Publisher
Genre:  Contemporary, Womens Fiction
Rating: 3/5
Bottom Line: A wonderfully moving story about unexpected bonds.
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Just get it at the library
Summary: 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; hes a firm believer that sex and love cant coexist for long, and he does little to hide his affairs. Claires 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 Charlies. 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. ~powells.com

Review: So you know when you have high expectations that a book is going to be funny but it's not? That was my experience with The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating; I don't think I laughed once. While I really liked Claire as a character, I found both Sasha and Ethan to be stereotypical. Ethan was the stylish gay best friend who was also her husband's assistant. Sasha was the boozy, botox-addicted other best friend. I found them annoying and contrite. I'm not sure if they had had her best interest at heart. I think they just wanted to see her move on and deal with Charlie's death.

What this book was to me was about New York society and how the rich/elite work. Sure, Charlie was a well-known sexoligist (someone who writes and talks about sex all the time) who was a little less than faithful to Claire. He didn't even seem to truly love Claire. She felt like something to collect for him. I'm glad that Claire came out of her fog and found happiness but it was a little too predictable for me. Oh and I know that George Clooney is in many women's dreams but not every fictional movie star needs to favor him. Throw in Bradley Cooper look-a-like every now and then.

I was hoping for my laugh out loud moments during the book but they just didn't come for me. I would have even taken some chuckles too, but again it lacked that for me too. Until the end of the novel it didn't feel like there was one genuine character in the novel.



thecuecard April 13, 2014 at 6:40 PM  

Oh too bad. I, too, had high hopes for this as a comedy. Ugh. I'm glad your review spares me of it.

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