Sunday, January 19, 2014

ARC Review The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating Carole Radziwell

The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating: A NovelThe Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating: A Novel by Carole Radziwill
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I enjoy watching the Real Housewives of where ever after a long stressful day of work, its the perfect mindless entertainment, for an hour I don't have to think and can relax.  Carole Radziwell, author of The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating, is a cast member of The Real Housewives of New York and one of the more intelligent and least irritating. A former ABC news correspondent and previous New York Times best selling author, I had somewhat high expectations for this novel.  However, it was much like an episode of The Real Housewives, mindless entertainment, just not as good.

Claire Bryne, a thirty something, is a widow.  Her husband, suddenly killed, by a sculpture falling from the sky.  Charlie Bryne, is a well know sexologist and author, best know for his philosophy that love and sex cannot coexist.  We know sex didn't exist in his marriage to Claire, but it never feels like love existed either.  Claire bumbles through her first year of widowhood, anxiously awaiting loosing her widow virginal cherry, going on many bad dates and seeing numerous therapist types.  Nothing really ever happens though and thats the problem with this book.

It started out strong, Radziwell is a good writer, she is able to craft beautiful passages about nothing, it's to bad she cannot craft a plot with the same beauty.  The novel starts strong and I enjoy her talking about how it was a beautiful day when Charlie died, bright blue skies, wonderful weather.  Tragedies always happen when the sky is blue - and that statement feels true.  The way that Radziwell discusses what each person who was attached to Charlie or the sculpture was doing around the time of his death and how all these events came together to ultimately culminate in Charlie's death was fascinating.  Charlie, despite his ego and fame, was one small part of a bigger story of the world continuing to move on.  Once Charlie is dead and all we have left is his one dimensional unlikeable wife and her crew of unlikeable friends and dates the novel nosedives quickly.

Claire Brynes has no depth, she never seems like a grieving widow, only a very shallow socialite who is more concerned with maintaining a social status and landing a new wealthy husband so she can continue to basically do and be nothing.  Her friends are just like her, nobody feels like a real person, the situations they are in are not relatable and the dialogue feels very forced.

I will continue to indulge in Real Housewives episodes but perhaps this will be the last book I read by a Real Housewife.

I received a free copy of this book from First Reads in exchange for a fair review

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