Saturday, April 27, 2013

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax

I had to take a break from all the heavy fiction I've been reading, so I picked this novel up at the bookstore and finally sat down and finished it yesterday.  Wendy Wax has written a lot of novels, usually a bit lighthearted and enjoyable stories about women, life changes, and potential love interests.  

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey takes place in the Alexander, a historic apartment building in Atlanta.  The Alexander is a very nice place to live--it even includes a concierge, Edward.  He's there to do whatever the owners of the apartments need or want him to do.  He's also a main character in the novel.  He decides to start a Sunday evening showing of Downton Abbey so that people can meet each other and become friends.  Enter Samantha, Brooke, and Claire.  Each women has just moved into the Alexander and hasn't made friends with anyone else.  Samantha has been married for 25 years to a very wealthy man and has the most expensive and luxurious apartment in the building.  She spends her days exercising, having lunch with her snooty mother-in-law, and tries to keep her adult brother and sister from ruining their lives through pure laziness.  Did she do them wrong marrying her husband at a weak moment in her life?  Her attitude of gratefulness towards her husband for rescuing her all those years ago is slowly becoming an unsatisfactory state of marriage.

Brooke is newly divorced with two small girls.  Her husband dumped her after she put him through medical school, and now has a shiny new girlfriend who is everything Brooke never was--and her ex is a grade-A jerk.  She's feeling lost and completely alone with no direction.

Claire is an empty-nester who sold her home and moved into a compact little apartment at the Alexander.  She's taking a year off to write her third romance novel while her daughter attends college in Chicago.  Her problem?  A major case of writer's block.  

Slowly, through Sunday nights watching Downton Abbey and Wednesday pizza nights, the three women get to know each other, become friends, and support each other through a year of changes and unexpected surprises.  Edward is their guiding force, using his expertise as a concierge to work wonders and help each woman find happiness.  

This novel was entertaining, but nothing was a surprise.  I was particularly irritated after awhile with Samantha.  Speak up, woman!  God!  And Claire, who spent all her time walking around parks and ignoring her computer.  I get that a person can be stuck while writing, but she never even tried to write anything down for her novel and instead just kept panicking until she started to ignore her issue and lied to everyone about her progress.  Just being honest would have pushed her along much quicker towards a resolution.

I will read more Wendy Wax novels.   This one was just fine, but no fireworks or edge of your seat happenings.  

Rating:  6/10 Hopefully, there will be another novel featuring Edward.  His story is not finished.

Available in paperback and e-book.

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