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The After Wife: A Novel Hardcover – July 10, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Fans of Lolly Winston, Mary Kay Andrews, and Jennifer Weiner will especially enjoy Grazer’s newest.”—Booklist
“Hilariously funny and profoundly wise, The After Wife is for anyone who’s ever been married or widowed, in debt or in love. I could not put it down: a fabulous read!”—Nancy Thayer, author of Island Girls
“A charming tale of a grieving forty-ish widow—and the wacky friends who love her.”—Los Angeles Times
“A book that is part Jacqueline Susann, part Real Housewives . . . Gigi Levangie Grazer [is a] Jimmy Choo’ed-out satirist.”—National Post
“Fans of The Starter Wife will be equally charmed with The After Wife.”—Library Journal
“Grazer’s entertaining satire is sure to spice up any occasion.”—Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Gigi Levangie Grazer is the bestselling author of four previous novels, including The Starter Wife, first a miniseries and then a series on the USA Network, and Maneater, now a Lifetime miniseries. Her most recent book, Queen Takes King, is currently under option at Lifetime. Grazer has also written the screenplay for Stepmom, starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon, and articles for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Glamour. She lives in Los Angeles with her two children and one miniature dachshund.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345523997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345523990
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,553,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Opa Wayne VINE VOICE on July 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )

Gigi Levangie Grazer presents a pithy and sardonic novel, The After Wife. She uses a wry sense of humor to explore the inner mind of a woman who faces a sad and serious situation.

Hannah Bernal must cope with the early death of her husband and continue to care for her three-year-old daughter, Ellie. She resorts to Post-It-Notes to remind her of everyday living activities, e.g. eating, sleeping, walking the dog, in addition to her work duties and responsibilities to her daughter. Although Hannah's thoughts and emotions often appear real under the circumstances, her perceptions sometimes seem a bit exaggerated.

Whether she actually "opens a portal", or it's a figment of her imagination, Hannah begins to have the ability to see and speak to the dead. This includes her late husband, John. When she meditates outdoors, an avocado tree seems to enhance her ability. Can this newly acquired insight help solve the case of her husband's death by a hit and run driver? What about the immigrant without papers who is accused of hitting him? Can she prevent him from going on trial? How can she deal with the spirits who talk with her when she's in ordinary situations?

Enter her friends, Jay (who's gay), Chole (with her kids and dogs), Aimee (a childless, middle-age "almost" actress), Brandon (an intern at Ellie's nursery school), who provides Hannah with extra help for her daughter as a live-in "manny", and Tom (a widower), who tries to help Hannah save her house. Each character, with their own quirks, offers to assist in their own way. Hannah tries to remain sane in light of her newly found abilities and the parade of characters in her life.

I recommend this book. It makes for an entertaining read. While the main character sometimes finds herself in situations that border on the absurd, the book does expose some deeper meaning in what it is like to process the magnitude of grief of losing a loved one and restructuring one's life.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've read Gigi Levangie Granger's other novels and these are definitely not deep character studies. Breezy, beach books about Hollywood are her forte, populated by archetype characters awash in cliches, they're the sort of mind candy that you enjoy while reading, but forget 15 minutes later. And, personally, I think there's a place for that type of story when well-done, which Levangie Granger's are. Light, flirty and fast-paced, the AFTER WIFE is well within Levangie Granger's STARER WIFE wheelhouse, even post-divorce (hers) and with a lot less star power by her side, which is reflected in this much more L.A. than Hollywood tale.

Set in trendy Santa Monica, this story of a reality TV producer that becomes a young widow turns a bit weird midway when it goes all MEDIUM on us. (I thought several times that Levangie Granger must have caught a marathon of that CBS show midway through this manuscript.) A little loopy, the weirdness mostly works, as do Hannah, her daughter Ellie, best-gay-friend and business partner Jay and two best friends Aimee and Chloe ... All classic L.A. stereotypes made just real enough to enjoy.

Nothing mind-blowing or particularly outstanding, I still found myself really enjoying this marshmallow fluff of a tale. Perfect poolside material.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was surely a surprise. I read her first book, The Starter Wife and loved the story and all of the Hollywood insider tidbits and jokes. The resulting mini-series was disappointing, but I have come to expect that from book adaptations.

In The After Wife, Hannah Marsh, a reality television show producer finds her world altered when her husband dies suddenly. Left to pick up the pieces and raise her daughter, her hilarious friends rally around her for support. While she tries to hold on to her life, her job, and her sanity, she questions (out loud) why this is happening to her. She actually gets an answer and a whole new world and insight into life after death opens up to her.

I didn't know anything about this book when I read it and was truly happy with the outcome. Grazer is still hilarious and manages to fit in so many pop culture references and jokes that you feel as if you are reading about friends. This is the time of year when we hear a lot about "beach reading" and I'm not sure how many people actually take books with them to the beach, but this should be one of them.
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Format: Paperback
This was an odd book and that makes it tough to rate. There were some parts that really spoke to me and that shows good skill on the author's part. However, those parts were few and far between and the rest of the book breaks almost every writing rule there is. The protagonist doesn't drive the story at all, events happen purely by coincidence and for plot convenience, characters rarely behave in a believable manner, dozens of sub-plots are tossed in and then dropped for no discernible reason, and the entire book is about three times as long as it needs to be.

Let's start with the good. The beginning of the book where the protagonist, Hannah, loses her husband was well done. It really struck a chord with me and I found myself tearing up as I imagined how awful it would be to lose my own husband in such a terrible way. There were also a few lines from Hannah's friends, The Grief Team, in the beginning that made me chuckle. That is really saying something because this was right in the midst of the "so torn up about the death" part that a line has to be truly hysterical to make my emotions swing back the other way.

Unfortunately, everything after that just didn't work for me. Hannah is a very difficult protagonist to root for because she does absolutely nothing to help her own situation. I understand that she's grieving for her husband, but she's also got a 3-year-old daughter who is grieving too and needs her mother's support. Hannah completely, completely fails to be there for this little girl. She leaves it to her gay friend, Jay, to dress the girl for school everyday and half the time forgets to pick her up in the afternoon. The whole book is told from Hannah's perspective and the amount of time she spends actually thinking about her daughter is pitiful.
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