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The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 197 customer reviews

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Length: 316 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When Claire Byrne’s intellectual husband dies in a freak accident with a falling sculpture (a fake, at that), she must figure out how to be a widow. Her marriage was defined by the age gap, Charles’ insistence (academic and otherwise) that there is either love or sex (not both), and his frequent infidelities. Claire has almost no identity of her own, and she is convinced by friends to lose her widowed virginity and move on. Radziwill’s first novel (after her memoir, What Remains, 2005) is a very New York book, even when Claire travels to L.A. to interview (and sleep with) a movie star. There is a constant war between lightness and heaviness in the subject, in the story, and in the telling that seems intrinsic to city dwellers. The plot features a lot of takeout, and Claire sees multiple therapists, a psychic, and a botanomanist to get herself sorted out, which, by the end, she more or less does. Radziwill’s book may receive extra coverage due to her association with the Kennedys and her appearance on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. --Susan Maguire

Review

'Witty and charming ... a delight. The character of the widow is a modern-day Holly Golightly' Candace Bushnell. Candace Bushnell 'Radziwill's delicious debut novel ... is a poignant tale of love and loss' Publisher's Weekly. Publisher's Weekly

Product Details

  • File Size: 767 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (February 11, 2014)
  • Publication Date: February 11, 2014
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ANI9FZU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,400 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although this book is fiction, it feels like a different approach to Radziwill's memoir. In both books she discusses the dislocation of a young widow, but this one takes the approach of dark humor. Claire's husband has been killed suddenly by a falling sculpture caused by a broken cable.

In her exploration of the societal and personal reactions New York's elite Claire's new status, Radziwill is witty and literate. She is especially deft in her mocking of the literate celebrities who have failed to find the humor in themselves. While still ceding grief its piece of reality, she is still able to turn a mocking eye on those who prey on widows.

I have to nod to the range of books emerging from the Real Housewives franchise. Certainly this is the most literate and worthwhile of this genre. While this book doesn't meet the promise of her first book, perhaps neither was this Radziwill's intent. Sometimes you just want to read for fun, and this book scratches that itch.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I adored Radziwill's first book, "What Remains", which is a masterfully written memoir about love, friendship and loss. "Widow's Guide" is another great read, its a funny and wildly entertaining NYC based novel about sex, acceptance and moving on. I highly recommend this book, its great fun.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So, really, a book by a 'Housewife'?
Although I am cool enough to admit I watch 'The Countess' (for her impeccable instructions on class ....my friend) - I'm not cool enough to admit reading a novel by a NY Housewife.
Plus Radziwell annoyed me on the show. She was too cool...and willowy and literate....She was not funny or trashy, so why was she on that show, for goodness sakes!
What the heck. She wrote a book. I'll read the book.
And I just finished. It is brilliant. Uniquely and glowingly brilliant. Written with a smooth and knowing hand and speaking to the reader in an engagingly intimate manner.
This book is cool. Radziwell is immaculately cool. If you enjoy really rather amazing writing and like the feeling of being a charter reader of a classic work, do read this book. It is really achingly gentle, fragile....
God I hope she doesn't go back on that show. I think it would break my heart.
24 Comments 72 of 86 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By Jana on March 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved "What remains", this one was obviously different kind of book, but I could still see her thru the masked words. Book was lovely in a strange and witty kind of way
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Format: Hardcover
Claire Byrne is married to Charlie, a reknowned sexologist, author of many books on the subject. One day, he is killed by a huge statue falling from a crane on Fifth Avenue in New York. Claire finds herself a widow in her 30s and completely lost as to what to do next.
She goes to two different therapists, visits psychics and even follows a griot, a storyteller who travels the city sharing stories about famous New York City dwellers, to try and find her way to a new life. Then she meets Jack Huxley, the notoriously heterosexual movie star whom every woman wants, and has some sort of relationship with him.
Throughout the novel, Claire shares the rules she is learning about sex and dating for widows, like
Rule #34- "Never discourage anyone who continues to make progress, no matter how slow" (Plato)
Rule #29- A boy says, "Have a good trip", a man says "Call me when you land."

I loved Carole's emotional and moving memoir What Remains, about losing her young husband to cancer and her two best friends, John F. Kennedy and his wife Carolyn in a plane crash. It is a brilliant book, and so I was interested to see what her fiction would be like.
This is definitely a book for anyone who loves to immerse themselves in the wealthy NYC culture; those who religiously watch The Real Housewives of New York City will love it (and Radziwill is a cast member of that show).
Claire is an interesting character, a little snarky, and her journey through widowhood (the depression, the setups with widowers forty years older) rings true. She is trying to find her place after being in the shadow of her famous husband, what her friend describes as "Charlie's Sundance to Claire's Butch Cassidy.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
This was a great, funny, and easy read! I loved Carole's first book and now I love the second! I would highly recommend this book!
Comment 23 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this, thought it would be just another hastily rushed out book with a cute cover (the cover is very cute!) -- but it was really smart, well-paced, and had the most interesting cast of characters. There are so many fun cultural references placed throughout. Some people will get them, some won't. It feels like Radziwill had great fun writing it, I hope she's working on another.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Carole Radziwill is a great storyteller. Her journalism career probably trained her, her memoir established it, she has the best voice on her Real Housewives show and here she is again. Death, sex, love and reinvention are the universal themes in this book and she handles all of them with a very deft hand. I have recommended her book to all my friends, and we are reading it for our book club!
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