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While We Were Watching Downton Abbey (Deckle edge) Paperback – Deluxe Edition, April 2, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1 edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425263312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425263310
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (304 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Wax breaks from her Ten Beach Road series to indulge her obsession with the popular British television show Downton Abbey in her latest novel. When Edward, concierge of a posh Atlanta building, decides to host a weekly Downtown Abbey viewing party, it brings together an unlikely trio of residents. Behind her poised facade, Samantha harbors the belief that her husband married her out of pity, and she lets her younger siblings take advantage of her. Empty-nester Claire has taken a year off from her day job to write her next novel, but crippling writer’s block has her dodging her editor’s calls. Frumpy single-mom Brooke must face her ex-husband and his glossy new girlfriend, who have moved into the building. Wax’s trendy premise makes for a surprisingly poignant and enjoyable story about friendship. Readers need not be fans of the show to enjoy this tale, but they may relate more to the characters’ infatuation if they are. --Aleksandra Walker

Review

"What do you get when you mix one dashing British concierge with three lonely women from diverse backgrounds, set them all in a historic apartment building in Midtown Atlanta, then turn on the television?  What you get, actually, is quite a clever, fun little novel. And could Wendy Wax be any more clever naming it While We Were Watching Downton Abbey?  That title alone is reason enough to pick up the book and see what the heck is going on. What's going on is Edward, the ever-so-dapper concierge at the Alexander, decides the tenants need to get out more and meet each other. So he sets up an evening where everyone meets in a room downstairs and watches the hit British series about landed aristocracy at the beginning of the 20th century.…But none of these women — or Edward — quite know what their future will bring, which moves this tale along. They connect with one another, and the show, and we're not saying anything more.  If you're a sucker for plucky women who rise to the occasion, this is for you….Fun reading for a spring weekend. You might even be tempted to move in. Edward would arrange everything. Of course." --USA Today

“A tribute to the transformative power of female friendship, and reading Wendy Wax is like discovering a witty, wise, and wonderful new friend.”—Claire Cook, bestselling author of Must Love Dogs and Time Flies
 
“If you’re a sucker for plucky women who rise to the occasion, this is for you.”—USA Today
 
“Wax’s trendy premise makes for a surprisingly poignant and enjoyable story about friendship.”—Booklist
 
“In the style of…Karen Joy Fowler’s The Jane Austen Book Club…the book engrosses its reader in the drama of these women’s love lives and emotional struggles.”—Deseret News
 
“A grand, well-paced contemporary read definitely deserving to be on the bestseller list!!! Great writing!”—Crystal Book Reviews
 
“Wendy Wax’s fresh approach to an entertaining storyline hooks us with the idea that other things could happen “while we were watching Downton Abbey”…Honesty in any relationship is vital, and Wax shows this truth in downtown Atlanta alongside the engrossing story of Downton Abbey.”—Bookreporter.com
 
“This warm and charming novel about struggling to redefine yourself will be your perfect escape.”—Lisa Steinke, She Knows
 
“Pulled me in… I highly recommend it.”—Night Owl Reviews
 
“Again, Wax has knocked it out of the park.”—Great Thoughts

"Wax’s trendy premise makes for a surprisingly poignant and enjoyable story about friendship. Readers need not be fans of the show to enjoy this tale." --Booklist

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is a tribute to the transformative power of female friendship, and reading Wendy Wax is like discovering a witty, wise, and wonderful new friend.” – Claire Cook, bestselling author of Must Love Dogs and Time Flies

“A beautiful book about loyalty, courage, and pursuing your dreams with a little help from your friends…A novel to savor!”—Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of Sea Change

“[Wax] writes with breezy wit and keen insight.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Heartwarming…[this] dynamic, fast-paced story is a loving tribute to friendship and the power of the female spirit.”—Las Vegas Review-Journal

“Great escape reading, perfect for the beach.”—Library Journal

“A terrific story brimming with wit, warmth, and good humor. I loved it!”—Jane Porter, author of She’s Gone Country

“A wry, revealing tell-all about friendship.”—Haywood Smith, New York Times bestselling author

“Captivating….Wonderfully entertaining.”—Southern Seasons

“Sexual magnetism…and a secret…add dramatic tension…showcasing three women who rise above their shattered realities with grace, determination, and a little elbow grease.”—Publishers Weekly

More About the Author

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey novelist Wendy Wax is a bestselling author of contemporary women's fiction exploring friendship, loyalty, self-discovery and the seemingly insurmountable challenges life sometimes presents. Born in St. Petersburg, Florida, she grew up on St. Pete Beach within spitting distance of the Gulf of Mexico. Appropriately enough, Wendy attended Sunshine Elementary School where recess and art class sometimes took place on the beach, and the highlight of every school year was the annual fish broil. Not surprisingly, some of her favorite Florida beaches were destined to become settings for her best selling fiction, including TEN BEACH ROAD, OCEAN BEACH, CHRISTMAS AT THE BEACH and her latest summer read, THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT.
It's hard to be a type-A personality when you grow up in such a laid-back environment, but somehow Wendy managed. Convinced that you were expected to know how to read before you showed up for school, at the age of five she forced a neighbor friend to teach her. She's been devouring the written word ever since. Books, one of Wendy's greatest treasures and best forms of escape, have had a major impact on her life and on her decision to create stories about women, friendship, family and triumph over adversity leavened with her trademark honesty and humor.
Wendy's writing has been highly praised. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says she "writes with breezy wit and keen insight into family relations." Her books have been featured in national publications such as USA Today and Woman's World, and at online book sites such as On a Clear Day I Can Read Forever, Luxury Reading, Book Reporter, Night Owl Reviews and Fresh Fiction. In 2011 she was honored by the City of St. Pete Beach when the City Commission declared May 12th "Wendy Wax Day."
Prior to writing, Wendy worked in radio, television and film, most notably as writer, producer and host of The Home Front, which aired on PBS station across the country, and as the host of a Friday night radio show called Desperate & Dateless when she was both.
The mother of a toddler and a newborn when she first decided to write, Wendy admits it may not have been the best timing in terms of productivity. "I'm still not certain why I felt so compelled to write my first novel at that particular time," she says, "but that first book took forever." Since then, she's written ten others and an e-book original novella. In addition to THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT, OCEAN BEACH, TEN BEACH ROAD, CHRISTMAS AT THE BEACH, and WHILE WE WERE WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY, they are MAGNOLIA WEDNESDAYS, THE ACCIDENTAL BESTSELLER, HOSTILE MAKEOVER, LEAVE IT TO CLEAVAGE, SINGLE IN SUBURBIA, and 7 DAYS AND 7 NIGHTS.
When not writing, Wendy spends much of her time speaking to writers groups and book clubs, enjoying time with her family, visiting relatives in St. Pete and reading. She lives in Atlanta, where she and her husband are adjusting to their new life as empty nesters.
Wendy loves to hear from her readers! You can reach her at wendy@authorwendywax.com.

Customer Reviews

Enjoyed the book and it was a fun light read.
rob
I loved how the friendship between the three women developed.
Susan r fowler
Lovely story, engaging characters and interesting story line.
Andrea

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Sherry Mary Christmas on April 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I entered the month of April going through heavy Downton Abbey withdrawals. It had been 2 months since my last viewing of an episode and I think I was starting to twitch. When I hopped onto Amazon to troll around the books one day, this particular book popped up on my screen. My oh my, I am sooooooo glad it did.

From the first page, to the last page, I was hooked. Wendy swiftly brings you into the lives of Samantha, Brooke and Claire and I found that there was a little piece of me in each woman, even though they are all completely different, all three are like friends that you have yet to meet. She continues this wonderful pace as she introduces you to Edward, the thread that binds these woman carefully together using Downton as the Gossamer Cord.

The characters were very real and believable and the story of the friendships that build is deeply satisfying and as refreshing as an ice cold glass of sweet tea on an August afternoon. I wanted to be part of the Sunday evening viewings with them.

Who needs the Navy Seals, when you have Wendy Wax. I will never look at a Potted Palm in the lobby of any building without wondering if there has ever been a Brooke walk by.

I had never read a Wendy Wax book up to this point. She is now on my list of favorites to read. Maybe a sequel now that season 3 of Downton is over and season 4 is being filmed. Yes, yes, yes...
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michalea Moore on April 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I saw this book at Target, came home, and bought it for my kindle on a lark. It's one of the few times my on-a-lark book choice worked out well. First of all, the writing is terrific. Ms. Wax shows her knowledge of Downton Abbey, southern customs, the writing life, current British life, and the joys and sorrows of being female without making the reader feel as though she is laboring to do so. The story itself is both engaging and insightful. I am recommending it without hesitation to all my Downton Abbey friends AND my serious reader friends. And for all that, it would also be a wonderful beach read.
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Format: Paperback
Yes, I'm a fan. And yes, I can't wait for DOWNTON ABBEY to come back on. Edward, the British concierge at an upscale downtown Atlanta highrise apartment building, schedules a Sunday night screening party to introduce season 1 of DOWNTON ABBEY to get ready to watch season 2 when it comes on. He wants to foster more of a community bond in the building, and he thinks this is the way to do it. He feels like he practically has to force some people to attend that first meeting, so he's not sure it will be a success. But week after week, women keep showing up, and bonds are formed, especially between 3 unlikely residents: Claire, Brooke, and Samantha.

Claire and Brooke first meet when Brooke's dog's leash entangles Claire's legs in the lobby, bringing her down with a dog and a child on top of her. Brooke already feels out of place in the posh apartment that she and her husband moved into shortly before he left her. It's "accidents" like this that confirm her feelings of unworthiness.

Claire is understanding, because she also knows the pressure of being a single mom, but now her only daughter has moved out to go to college. Claire took her departure as a chance to sell her house in the suburbs, move into town, and pursue her writing full time. She's given herself a year to write her 3rd novel, but that gift is beginning to feel a bit more like a curse.

Brooke meets Samantha later that week when she decides to check out the building's gym. She knows she's out of shape, but decides to try to do something about it, hoping to perhaps drum up some endorphins to counteract the sadness she feels. When perfect Samantha gets on the machine next to her, Brooke feels even worse about herself.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Laurel-Rain Snow TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
In the historic Alexander, a lovely downtown Atlanta apartment building, an assortment of residents fill its rooms, from the gorgeous and wealthy Jonathan and Samantha Davis in the penthouse to the writer/single mom Claire in her studio apartment. And the glue that holds them all together is Edward Parker, the concierge, whose impeccable charm and manners lend an Old World level of comfort to them all.

So when Edward invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and, unexpectedly, with each other.

As we meet each of them, we learn about their private lives, those that are hidden from their neighbors. Brooke MacKenzie: divorced with two children; she is the somewhat mousy woman in beige while her ex is the preening Peacock--and plastic surgeon--arriving after the divorce to take up residence in one of the apartments with his reconstructed mannequin-like new girlfriend.

Writer/single mom Claire Walker has sold her suburban home to spend a year doing nothing but writing her next novel, hoping, now that her daughter is off at college, to turn her full attention to her creativity. But why is her writing not happening? Why does she sit for days on end staring at a blank computer screen?

And what about "Princess" Samantha and the perfect life that everyone envisions? How could she possibly connect to any of the others, since she couldn't possibly have any real problems?

How does the world of Downton Abbey appeal to them each in very different ways, and yet somehow shines a light on those very secrets and longings that are hidden from the others?
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