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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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on February 11, 2014
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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on February 13, 2014
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.
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on March 20, 2014
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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VINE VOICEon March 19, 2014
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. "He cheats at poker and shoots up the room" Sasha liked to say, "while she collects the money and tidies up." That is a fantastic description of their marriage.
The best part of the book are the Jack Huxley sections. Huxley clearly is meant to be George Clooney, and Radziwill dated Clooney years ago, which makes this novel all the more delicious. I'm not sure Clooney will be thrilled though.
Fans of Gigi Levangie's books (The Starter Wife) will like this one; there is the same mix of humor and poignancy.
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on April 8, 2014
It was not what I expected. Thought it was going to be a funny contemporary romance (as in light and airy), but it ended up a more thought provoking read. I enjoyed it but definitely not what I would consider a "beach" read. I will definitely read her fiction again.
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on July 21, 2014
A very enjoyable read. Radziwell is an acute observer of other people and of her environment, and NYC natives will enjoy the setting of the novel.
When it comes to her main character, Claire, however, the author is strangely dispassionate. We see things through the character's eyes, but never quite know how she feels, or if she feels at all.

I found this to be the book's major flaw..one does not feel much of anything for the narrator, who remains something of a cypher and seems rather cold.
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on August 5, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. It was a lighthearted, fun and humorous book! I'm not sure why such harsh negative reviews on this book. It Really is just a Great Summer Read. I read her first book and couldn't wait to read this one. I love Carole's writing style and hope to read many more books written by her.
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on March 14, 2014
Loved this book. Smartly written romantic comedy, story draws you in and doesn't let go. I read it on the treadmill at the gym and Carole Radziwill is such a talented writer I hardly noticed the extra miles I logged. Thanks, Carole, for helping me lose a jeans size while enjoying this book.
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on February 15, 2014
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!
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